Market in Provence - Photo: ©Sylvia Davis

Visiting an open-air market in Provence is one of life’s little pleasures. Market day has been a way of life for Provençals as well as most Europeans for generations. The market serves as much as a social function as an opportunity to shop, bringing together the community each week. For the tourist or new resident visiting an open-air market not only allows you to interact with the locals but also provides a glimpse into everyday life in Provence.

Provençal markets abound with tantalising colours and smells. Sun-kissed fruits – melons, peaches and apricots, colourful vegetables, tasty tomatoes, aubergines (eggplant) and courgettes (zucchini), – all indispensable to Provençal cuisine. Of course there is also the sun, the conviviality, the local humour and the way of taking one’s time … talking, joking, feeling and appreciating the company of friends and neighbours, and enjoying the moment. These are all delightful aspects of any visit to a local market.

The markets usually consist of local farmers and other vendors who sell their products and many of these vendors travel from market to market, so you may see the same vendor at one market on Monday, and then at another in a different town on Tuesday. You will most often have a selection of fish and meats from local butchers, fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers, as well as other specialties such as bread, cheese, olives, spices and wine. You will most certainly always find things that are specific to the region or city and that you won’t find in the supermarket.

Many of the markets in Provence are so much more than just a food market. Some also sell everyday items such as table linens, shoes, clothes, flowers, and books. Other markets offer very specific goods such as antiques or artwork. The market in Lorgues each Tuesday morning is a perfect example. FrenchEntrée reader Bob Taylor describes this market best.
“It covers the usual fruit and veg,” says Bob, “but also has stalls offering freshly cooked chickens, paella, fish, bread, meat, dried herbs and spices, pasta, even Japanese and Vietnamese dishes to take away. It also has stalls offering plants and herbs, fabrics, clothes, shoes, honey, olive oil, gifts. I’ve even seen beds and replacement windows for sale there. The most remarkable thing about the market in Lorgues is that it transforms a sleepy town into a vibrant place for half a day, and by early afternoon, almost in an instant, it dozes right back again.” And this is true of many of Provence’s delightful daily markets.

Each town typically has a market one day a week, although some towns do hold markets daily. Markets start very early in the morning usually by 8am until noon or 1pm. The market is usually held at the town square in smaller towns. Below is a list of some of the markets by day in Provence. The most popular markets are in bold.

OUTDOOR MARKETS IN PROVENCE

DAILY

  • Aix-en-Provence – food market – place Richelme
  • Aix-en-Provence – flowers – place de l’Hôtel (Tue, Thur, Sat) and place des Prêcheurs (other days)
  • Avignon – food market – Les Halles (covered market – closed Mon)
  • Grasse – food market
  • Marseille – food market – cours Pierre Puget, place Jean-Jaurès, place du Marché-des-Capucins and avenue du Prado (all closed Sun)
  • Marseille – fish market – quai des Belges
  • Sanary-sur-Mer – food market
  • Toulon – food market – cours Lafayette (except Mon)

SUNDAY

  • Aix-en-Provence – antique book market – place Mairie (first Sun of each month)
  • Avignon – flea market – place des Carmes
  • Carpentras – flea market
  • Chateaurenard – food market
  • Le Coustellet – food market
  • Isle sur la Sorgue – food market
  • Isle sur la Sorgue – antiques – held throughout the town
  • La Ciotat – food market – Vieux Port
  • Marseille – flea market – avenue du Cap-Pinède
  • Ramatuelle – food market
  • St-Maxime – food market


MONDAY

  • Bédoin – food market
  • Cadenet – food market
  • Cavaillon – food market

TUESDAY

  • Aix-en-Provence – flea market – place Verdun
  • Apt – flea market – place St. Pierre
  • Gordes – food and arts & crafts market
  • La Ciotat – food market – place Evariste-Gras
  • La Tour D’Aigues – food market
  • Lorgues – food and arts & crafts market
  • Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer – flea market
  • St-Tropez – flea market – place des Lices
  • Tarascon – food market
  • Vaison-la-Romaine – food market

WEDNESDAY

  • Arles – food market – boulevard Emilie-Combes
  • Arles – antique market (first Wed of every month)
  • Draguignan – food and arts & crafts market
  • Draguignan – flea market
  • Fréjus
  • Grasse – flea market – place aux Herbes
  • Salon-de-Provence – food and arts & crafts market – Place Morgan
  • Sault – food and arts & crafts market
  • St-Rémy-de-Provence – food market – place de la République and place Pélissier

THURSDAY

  • Aix-en-Provence – flea market – place Verdun
  • Ansouis – food market
  • Isle sur la Sorgue – food market
  • Le Lavandou
  • Orange – food market
  • Orange – flea market – cour A. Brians
  • Ramatuelle – food market
  • Roussillon – food market
  • Salon-de-Provence – food and arts & crafts market – Place Morgan
  • Vacqueyras – food market

FRIDAY

  • Bonnieux
  • Carpentras – food and arts & crafts market – in the old town
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  • Lourmarin – food market
  • Pertuis – food market
  • Tarascon – organic market – place du Marché

SATURDAY

  • Aix-en-Provence – flea market – place Verdun
  • Apt – food and arts & crafts market – throughout entire town
  • Arles – food market – boulevard des Lices and boulevard Clemenceau
  • Avignon – flower market – place des Carmes
  • Barjols
  • Draguignan – food and arts & crafts market
  • Fréjus
  • Isle sur la Sorgue – antiques – held throughout the town
  • Isle sur la Sorgue – food market
  • Manosque – food market
  • Marseille – book market – cours Julien (every second Sat of each month)
  • St-Rémy-de-Provence
  • St-Tropez – flea market – place des Lices

We have provided a list of the local markets and fairs across Provence, but this list is not necessarily exhaustive, so if you find another market that is not yet listed or come across anything that needs changing please email the editor. Please keep in mind some of the markets listed are quite small so it’s worth checking with either your local Mairie or tourist office before making any special trips.

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