No holiday to the south of France is complete without a leisurely stroll around one of the many open-air markets dotted around the cities, towns, and villages of the region. Whether you’re on the breakfast run, gathering the freshest breads, croissants and pain-au-chocolats available or you’re hoping to purchase some traditional gifts and souvenirs from the area; markets play a major role in the day-to-day life of many who live and holiday in the beautiful part of the world. For those lucky enough to be heading to one of our luxury villas in the French Riviera this summer or beyond, we’ve created a guide to visiting some of the best markets, so you know exactly where to go for delicious delicacies, fresh ingredients and traditional titbits and souvenirs.
Usually, markets are open any time from 7am, which is ideal for early risers and those hoping to make the most of their time in the south of France. That said, most stall-holders won’t pack up shop ‘til around noon or 1pm, so rest-assured there will be plenty left for those who prefer a slightly slower start to their day. The French word for market is ‘Le Marché’, pronounced ‘marsh-ay’, so this is what to ask for if you are struggling to find where it is. We recommend doing a lap of the market before committing to a purchase, so you know exactly what’s available and at what price. In France, stall-holders are legally obliged to state the origin of the produce they sell, so keep a keen eye out for any price-tags that say ‘du pays’ which means local, as this is likely to be the freshest and tastiest option.
Nestled in the heart of old town, in the traditional and atmospheric town of Antibes is a historic covered food market selling all kinds of flavoursome treats for you to enjoy back at the villa or for a picnic at the beach. Vegetables, cheeses, olives, charcuterie, olive oil and more, this market has everything you could possibly need to cater for the entire holiday party during your stay, with professional growers taking the outer stalls and locals with large gardens or small holdings running down the middle. Occuring daily, 6am-1pm, from June to September and open every day but Monday during other times of the year, this bustling haven for bargain-hunters is not to be missed during your time in or around Antibes!
Not one, not two but three fantastic markets to choose from in this luxurious resort on the Cote D’Azur, there’s certainly no short of produce in Cannes. From staple foods such as meats and vegetables to speciality spices and hand-picked flowers, a browse round this market is a treat to the senses as you see, smell and taste all that this fruitful area has to offer. Open daily over the summer, 7am-1pm and every day bar Monday over the quieter months, each market is surrounded by an abundance of cafes, bistros and bars. Those looking for an explosion of colour and some natural flower to brighten up their home away from home, a daily flower market can be found at les Allées de la Liberté while an antiques market can also be found here all day on Saturdays.
Between celeb-spotting, sun-bathing and enjoying some of the finer things in life, those residing in or around Saint Tropez should not miss the opportunity to visit the vibrant market that occurs every Tuesday and Saturday, from 8am-1pm. Located on the place des Lives, you’ll be able to get the freshest fruit and vegetables around, perfect for anyone who fancies creating their own culinary delights from the comfort of their villa. For anyone taking part in any of the 5 Best Cooking Classes in the South of France, buying produce here creates the perfect opportunity for you to practice your new-found skills! An antique market also runs at the same time, allowing visitors to explore any number of stalls selling posh luggage, fabrics, furniture, wine glasses, chinaware and anything else you can think of – ideal for bringing a little piece of the south of France back home with you.
Open every day except public holidays, the impressive market in Nice is home to any number of high-quality produce, tasteful souvenirs and anything else you can think of that this part of the world is renowned for. Located along the Cours Saleya in Vieux, Nice, the market is the perfect backdrop for shopping, browsing, people-watching or simply soaking up the infectious atmosphere and appreciating the way of life for those that live in the city. On Mondays, an epic flea market comes to town, selling all manner of vintage and antique items of exceptional-quality at very good value. On summer evenings, a specialist arts and crafts market takes place, while every other day the flower market brings a splash of colour to the traditional city.
That concludes our guide to some of the best daily and weekly markets that are not to be missed during your next holiday to the south of France. Markets play such a vital role in the day-to-day life of many who reside in these areas, and it is often said you should do as locals do during your time away. Do you have a favourite market in the south of France or any others to recommend to us and fellow travellers? Let us know via the comments on our social media channels. If you are yet to book your escape to this beautiful part of the world, have a browse of just some of our properties below to find the perfect abode for you and your family’s next adventure.
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