France

A Daily Guide of the Best Markets in Provence

There is no better way to spend your day than visiting the weekly market. It is there where you will see the locals catching up with their friends and with their favourite vendors, buying their items for the week. It is a true feast for the senses – where you will see the brightly-coloured display of fruits and vegetables, the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread, the most delicious selection of fresh and aged cheeses and a beautiful showcase of linens, flowers and lavender.

Any day of the week, no matter where you are, you are bound to run into a market. So, here are a few of my favourites, by the day of the week, to help you plan your itinerary if you find yourself in the Vaucluse region. Each market runs from about 9:00am to 12:30pm.

Monday ~ Bedoin

The village of Bedoin sits at the base of Mont Ventoux and if you continue down the main road, you will find lots of activity with its terrace cafes and shops, all filled with hikers, dogs and cyclists. However, it is inside the old village, where you will find the long, narrow streets with the colourful Provençal facades and the market. Once you have finished at the market, why not drive (or cycle) to the top of Mont Ventoux where you will experience the most breathtaking views of the Alps in this area. 

Tuesday ~ Gordes

As a Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (Most Beautiful Village in France), Gordes is definitely a photogenic hilltop village that is a must-see destination. The market is set at the foot of a castle, and with one of the most stunning views to beyond you will find in this area. At the market, you will find many fabrics, linens, soaps, lavender and clothing, along with the usual vendors of fruits, vegetables, and several delicious things to snack on or plan a lunch with. Inevitably, you will want to stop your car driving into the Village as it is even more magnificent from the outside.

Wednesday ~ Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

One of the best and most well-known markets in the region is in St-Rémy. This small, sleepy village comes alive on Wednesday mornings offering everything from seasonal produce to local olives to bread to Provençal ceramic cookware and tableware. It truly has it all. You can’t help by not getting swept away by the activity and vibe this market offers.  

Thursday ~ Roussillon

This impressive village is situated in one of the largest ochre deposits in the world, which makes it famous for its magnificent red cliffs. Trust me, the amazing views will inspire you to want to create an impromptu picnic. So why not gather what you need at the market – a baguette, a chunk of cheese, some tapenade and a bottle of wine, and allow the the impressive views be your backdrop.

Friday ~ Lourmarin

Although not the largest market as some of the others, it showcases the best quality vendors in the region. It is a local’s favourite, and easily became mine too. It is blissfully quiet and quaint with some of the best shops and restaurants in the region. As a Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (Most Beautiful Village), it is nestled in the middle of vineyards, olive groves and almond trees.

Saturday ~ Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence, or referred to as “Aix”, is a wonderful larger city dotted with plane trees and fountains. The twisted laneways in Aix lead to different squares that host different markets many days of the week (Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday) where you will find a farmer’s market, a flower market, an antiques market, and the textiles/artisans’ market. This is a can’t-miss experience in Provence, and one that requires the full day to really see it all.

Sunday ~ L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

Taking place right along the winding River Sorgue, as well as the inner streets of the town, you will find a lively twin antique and food market. The Sunday (and Thursday) antique market is rated as one of the largest in Provence and best in France (second to Paris), so it is the antiques that drew me in. Make sure you get there early, as parking is limited and it gets extremely busy.

Weekly Market Agenda

SUNDAY

  • Ansouis
  • Coustellet

MONDAY

  • Cadenet
  • Cavaillon
  • Lauris

TUESDAY

  • Cururon
  • Lacoste
  • La Tour d’Aigues
  • St Saturnin les Apt
  • Lourmarin (evening)

WEDNESDAY

  • Gargas
  • Merindol
  • Pertuis
  • St Martin de Castillon
  • Sault

THURSDAY

  • Caumont
  • Cereste
  • Goult
  • Menerbes
  • Robion

FRIDAY

  • Bonnieux

SATURDAY

  • Cheval Blanc
  • Pertuis
  • Manosque
  • Oppede-le-vieux
  • Apt

So, if you are planning to visit this region, why not plan your itinerary around these villages on market days and enjoy immersing yourself in the Provençal way of life!

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48 Comments

  • Jean

    Oh too much delicious food. I love exploring local markets too. It’s such a great way to experience a new destination

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you so much Jean for your comment. Even though the markets offered the same type of options, you could definitely see the local differences. Yes, you are right, it was such a great way to start each day, and then explore that town we were in.

  • Meredith

    The markets are my very favorite thing about France! Great post, I haven’t visited Provence yet but it’s on my list. Saving this one for the future!

    Meredith
    The Longest Weekend
    thelongestweekend.co

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thanks for stopping by The Longest Weekend! Yes, definitely add Provence to your list, it is magical!

  • Delphine

    I’m from France and I really love markets, they’re such a typical and pleasant thing to do when visiting France. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photography too!

    • The.Holidaymaker

      How wonderful Delphine. I hope I did this blog post justice from a local’s point of view! Thank you for your kind compliment and taking the time to comment.

  • Joanne

    We had planned to visit Provence a few years ago and on my must do list were the local markets. We never did get there but I LOVE this list! It includes all those I found with a bunch of research plus many many more. I can’t wait to visit them one day.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Glad to know you might be able to use this in the future. Hopefully you get there one day soon. They are amazing to experience that wonderful Provençal way of life.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Yes, isn’t it amazing?! All of these towns and villages do not have supermarkets, they shop at farmers markets and small convenience type stores that offer the basics. Otherwise, they go to the bakery, the butcher all local in their town. It’s a wonderful way of life.

  • Samara

    What a cool read! I have such a love for markets from all over the world. You never know what you are going to find and always end up getting the coolest things. Plus shopping local small families means way more than big corporate chains!

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Yes, I love supporting the local farmers and artisans too. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      We were there in the late summer / early fall and were told that it is all year round, only the vendors may change depending on what their speciality is. Provence doesn’t experience a harsh winter. Although any of the towns were great to have that picnic, Roussillon was the most scenic in our opinion. Thanks for stopping by.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Ah, you’ve been to Aix? Didn’t you just love it. It is larger city, but oh so beautiful. Hope you get to return one day soon.

  • April Key Rode

    I love this post its very helpful especially to families who try to make their money go far and for travelers to see what locals are up to. The kids can see a lot of things to try for a cheap price.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      You are right, it is cost effective to grab something from the market and make your meals. Great point. Thank you.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      I hope you get there one day soon. Thanks so much for commenting. Appreciate you taking the time.

  • Mei and Kerstin

    This is such a great and useful post! We’ve been wanting to visit the Provence for so long now and still haven’t been (although it’s really not that far from our home!). Hopefully we’ll get to go there next Spring to see the beautiful lavender fields. And going to the daily or weekly local markets is one of our favorite things to do in France, so we’ll certainly check out all these awesome markets! Thanks a lot for putting this guide together! 🙂

    • The.Holidaymaker

      That makes me happy to know you find it useful. I can’t believe that you haven’t been yet, you travel so extensively. 😉
      More blogs to follow on this area, I have only scratched the surface.
      Happy planning your future travels.

  • Danik

    I love the markets in the Provence region but I dont go there for souvenirs etc, I just love the locally produced wine and food. Much better than the rest of France, this region. 🙂

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Yes, agreed! I definitely go there for the food and the experience. Thank you for commenting.

  • Evan Petzer

    I enjoy travel shopping almost as much as I do appreciate the food, but a market or should I say markets are a great place that combine those two joys. Absolutely love it, will have to give it a go.

  • Fae Celine Ong

    I love visiting markets too. These markets are just so beautiful, my favorite from the list is Gordes. Do you have any recommendation on which time of the year is the best time to visit?

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you Fae. Yes, Gordes was wonderful for sure. We were there in September and like that’s time of year as many fruits and vegetables are still in season and it is less crowds than the traditional summer months.

  • anshul

    Oh, I love exploring markets at different places. They give me a great place to indulge in some street photography. While Provence is still far away from the place where I live, I may visit there sometime and will explore all these places.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Yes, great photo opportunities you are right! Hope you are able to travel there one day soon. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Patricia

    Very timely! We are in the South of France right now and were looking for the local markets! The villages of Gordes and St Remy are gorgeous in their own rights so combining a visit with a market day is the perfect motivation for a trip!

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Oh, how amazing is that! Enjoy your travels and experience in the south of France. There is so much to explore, depending on which region you find yourself in. Happy travels!

  • Sheila

    Beautiful photos of amazing offerings at the markets! Makes me want to book a trip to France sooner rather than later. I really feel like I’ve just spent a week wandering the market stalls, you did a great job conveying the atmosphere of the markets.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you so much for your kind words Sheila. It makes me happy to know that you felt you were part of the experience through my post. Appreciate you taking the time to stop by.

  • Erica

    Love this list! Visiting local markets is one of my absolute favourite ways to spend a morning while travelling. It really gives you an insight into day to day life of wherever you´re visiting, and it certainly doesn´t dissapoint in a beautiful, pastel village like Provence (which your pictures have beautifully captured)! I´d definitely love to see Saint-Rémy-de-Provence on Wednesday morning.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you so much for your kind compliments Erica. Yes, that village certainly comes alive on market day! It was great to almost feel like you belonged to that community and not think of yourself as a tourist.

  • Sheila

    Beautiful photos. I felt like I was shopping the market stalls right along with you. Your post made me want to book a trip to France sooner rather than later! Thanks for sharing.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you Sheila. I am happy to know that this post inspired you. Hope you are able to get to France once day soon.

  • Kevin | Caffeinated Excursions

    What a truly lovely idea to base a visit around these markets! Everything from the cheese and bread to the flowers and soap just look so beautiful in your pictures. I can only imagine how good many of these markets must smell with so many fresh food items out in the open! Thanks for sharing, your shots do a great job of capturing the essence of these markets!

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you so much for your kind words Kevin. I am happy to know that it has made you almost feel like you are there. Thank you for commenting.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      It is really a part of their way of life. Most of Provence is full of villages and small towns and so there are no grocery stores. Locals count on these marketers and it forms part of their community. Thanks for reading.

  • Jas

    I love visiting local markets when I’m travelling and Provence is super high up on my list so I’ll defs be bookmarking this. Gordes, Roussillon, and Aix-en-Provence are my top threes for sure. A market by a castle, delicious picnic treats, and a beautiful flower market. These all sound right up my alley!

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you for commenting Jas. You will definitely love this area then. There are so many wonderful villages to see, Lourmarin and Menerbes, are wonderful places to add to your list as well. Especially in the evening for a dinner would be lovely.

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