The south of France is a beautiful area, full of culturally rich cities with countless holiday destinations, hotels, villas and cottages to choose from. But how can you choose one specific destination? Well that all depends on what you are visiting France for. France is famous for its flea markets, and while Paris is home to many famous ones, for more traditional and cultural markets – that means a distinct lack or knock off bags and phones – it is sometimes better to travel farther South. Here we look at some of the great flea markets in the south of France.
Toulouse hosts a monthly market full of lost treasures in Allees Jules Guesde, on the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of every month, excepting October. With classical books, military and pre war-time memorabilia, the Toulouse monthly market is an ideal place for those seeking out tidbits of modern history. Toulouse also offers selections of traditional French porcelain, plus a variety of other treasures.
Aside from the larger monthly market, there is also a weekly market in Toulouse, with around 50 stalls in the Place Saint-Sernin, ideal for those looking for a good bargain.
The covered market in Cannes is more of a cultural experience than a shopping experience for the tourists amongst us. It is great for those living in rented accommodation as students, or living in a villa as this is an ideal place to shop for fresh foods. You might even see some famous faces, as many of the best chefs in France shop for their ingredients.
Plus if you get there early enough, the fish stalls are an educating experience as many of the aquatic varieties on sale there are not available in the UK, and you are unlikely to see them anywhere else.
The market on the Isle-sur-la-sorgue – a small, medieval town built on the islands over the Sorgue River – specialises in antiques, with over 300 stalls appearing every Sunday. This is an amazing market to visit for those looking for a real piece of history to take home, or for those who just like to browse bric-a-brac. And for the literary collectors, the final Sunday of every month is host to a book market.
Arles is a market famous for its size. It is one of the largest markets in the South of France, with over 450 stall selling a huge variety of merchandise, anything between fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices and other consumables, to a variety of high quality, individual fabrics.
Arles market occurs every Saturday, and be sure to pack a picnic basket, because the market provides a huge choice of delicious goods to purchase for a romantic meal for two, or a simple family picnic.
The south of France is home to a number of special seasonal markets, whether it is Easter, Christmas or Valentine’s day, the French love markets. Check out your local trip advisor for a list of seasonal French markets, as these can be both beautiful and culturally significant, with more traditional markets popping up nearer Christmas time.
About the author: Clare Cook is a self confessed Francophile with a love of spelunking. She has contributed this post on behalf of South France Holiday Villas Ltd, premier providers of high class holiday homes in the south of France