With its amazing climate and soil, Provence is well known for growing delicious food that tastes divine. Here’s a guide on the best markets in Provence to buy your fresh fruits and to try the yummy olives, breads, cheeses and meats.
Marché au Poisson (Fish Market) – Marseille
The fish market has been in the same place in Marseille since 1909. Head to where the main street La Canebière hits the Old Port, every morning at 8am, to find the freshest fish, rain or shine.
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Daily Food Market – Aix-en-Provence
There are lots of markets in Aix-en-Provence, but the most reliable and most loved is the daily market in Place Richelme. There are three larger markets on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays at the foot of the main street in Aix, the Cours Mirabeau, selling a wider selection of the same items, as well as non-food items. Head here early for the best local, fresh, seasonal vegetables as well as yummy cheeses, meats and breads. Stop for a roast chicken and potatoes if you’re really hungry.
Lourmarin is a picture postcard village in the heart of Provence. Every Friday morning it has a market, selling wonderful local food, flowers and produce. It’s not the biggest but many people think it’s one of the best in the region. It takes over the main thoroughfare in the sleepy village where you can wander the wonderful seasonal produce and marvel at the architecture. Opening hours: 8am to 1pm, Fridays.
Arles has a market on Wednesday mornings on Boulevard Emile Combes but the Saturday market is 50% bigger. Both were created by King Henry III in 1584 by Royal Decree. With more than 450 vendors, you can find everything from Arles sausages to local honey, spices, cheeses, breads and olives.
The sleepy town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence plays host to a wonderful market every Wednesday. Expect lots of bright colours as the town comes alive with seasonal fruit and vegetable. Eat your way round, trying the local olives and breads. Opening hours: 8.30am to 1pm, Wednesdays.
The weekly food market in Carpentras is one of the oldest in Provence. It has been in existence since 1155. It has even been the subject of an anthropological study. It has been held in different parts of the town (even the cemetery) but in the 16th century, it started to take over the whole town. With the opening of the canal in 1857, the market grew even more as producers were able to transport goods much easier to town. In 1996, it received the highest accolade and was classed as one of France’s most Exceptional Markets. With more than 350 stalls, you can find everything local and delicious here. Opening hours: 8am to 1pm, Fridays.
There has been a market here since 1483 but it was Pope Clement VII who set the date in writing in 1532 – every Tuesday morning. Nowadays, over 450 farmers and market holders sell everything from food to textiles and household items. Opening hours: 8am to 1pm, Tuesdays.
There is a bigger market in Salon de Provence on Wednesday mornings, but the newly opened Sunday morning one is more intimate, with local vendors selling fresh, seasonal produce from the surrounding area. Opening hours: 8am to 12pm, Sundays.
The Sunday market in L’Isle sur la Sorgue is legendary and one of the most popular in the whole of France (if visitor numbers are taken into consideration). The town is on the river and on market day, the whole place is filled with pretty stalls selling everything from food and drink to “brocante” (antiques). A great place to stroll around, while filling your belly. Opening hours: 6am to 6pm, Sundays.