The Markets of Provence

When markets are mentioned, most people think food. Yes, there are food products at the markets of Provence, but there is much, much more!
There are Provencal linens for sale – placemats, tablecloths, pillow covers, and napkins. Scarves & shawls, children’s clothing, shoes, hats, leather belts and straw bags are other choices.
If you like great smelling soaps, you will be in heaven. Each market has at least one or two vendors selling bars of soap in wonderful fragrances like violet, lily of the valley, lilac, honeysuckle, jasmine, iris and verbena. Lavender products abound, from soap, sachets and perfumes.

If it is Sunday, it must be Isle sur la Sorgue. Well-known as the antique center of Provence, the market at Isle sur la Sorgue does not disappoint. Vendors set up along both sides of the Sorgue River and along the streets leading to the center of town.
Most of the antique dealers are found along the street across the river from center of town. Look for antique linens, old advertising prints, silver, and glassware. Many of the permanent antique shops are also open.
Also, on Sundays are markets in Aigues-Mortes, Beaucaire, Camaret, Chateaurenard, Jonquieres, Marguerittes, Mirabeau and Sorgues.
Cavaillon is the home of those wonderful melons. Be sure to buy one or more if you go to Monday market in the town.
Cadenet, Bedarrides, Bedoin, Bollene, Fontevielle, Forcalquier, Goult, Nimes, Saint-Didier also have Monday markets.
Gordes has a wonderful little market on Tuesdays. Located in the center of town, you may see a little blond artist who paints scenes of the area in bold colors, such as the old church at Les Baux. She is also usually at the Wednesday market in St. Remy.
Other Tuesday markets are Aix-en-Provence, Cucron, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, Mondragon, Tarascon & Vaison-la-Romaine
St. Remy is one of the larger markets. Vendors take over the public parking lot and line the streets of the town to the opposite side. There is a concentration of vendors around the Hotel d’Ville. Find the vendor selling the warm nuts with a hard sugar coating….too good to pass up! There are usually 3-4 artists at this market. Along with our friend from the Gordes market, there is a husband & wife who attend Isle sur la Sorgue, as well as St Remy.
Markets are also held on Wednesdays in Bagnols-sur-Ceze, Arles, Roussillon, Sault, Sommieres, Le Thor, & Velleron
Aix-en-Provence has more than one market each week. The Thursday market has prints, jewelry, old books, glass & silver. You can also find some of the more traditional market purchases. One find includes hand-painted sachets filled with lavender.
Other Thursday markets include Ansouis, Les Baux, Beaucaires, Maussane, Oppede-le-Vieux, La Pontet, Orange, Villeneuve-les-Avignon.
Visit the market at Chateauneuf-du-Pape and extend your time to include some of the area wineries.
Friday markets are also held in Bonnieux, Caromb, Carpentras, Eygalieres, Eyguieres, Lagnes, Lourmarin, Pertuis, and Visan.
Apt is described as a market town, so only appropriate that we highlight their market day. Find the vendor selling espadrilles in fantastic colors……pick up a lavender or hot pink pair. You can’t go wrong for 7 euros.
There are also markets in Arles, Beaumont, Camaret, Crillon-le-Brave, Oppede, Pernes-les-Fontaines, and Uzes on Saturdays.

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