The Best Markets of Provence | A Traveler’s Guide | Only Provence
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Discover the Best Markets of Provence: A Traveler’s Guide

At Only Provence, we pride ourselves on curating the most authentic experiences for travelers who want to explore the rich culture and vibrant markets of our beautiful region. Provence is a treasure trove of local delicacies, handmade crafts, and charming markets that bring the true essence of southern France to life. Here’s our guide to the best markets in Provence and what to buy to make your visit unforgettable.

1. Marché d’Apt – Authenticity At Its Best

The Satruday Apt market dates back to the 12th century, making it one of the oldest markets in Provence. Its long history adds to its charm and attracts visitors interested in experiencing a piece of living history.

Set against the backdrop of historic buildings, this market offers a sensory feast with stalls brimming with local produce, artisanal cheeses, and handcrafted goods. It has a more authentic feel than some of the other picture perfect villages making it one of our top picks. The market is known for its lively and bustling atmosphere. It is a place where locals and tourists alike can mingle, creating a vibrant and dynamic environment.  The market offers a wide range of products, including fresh produce, regional specialties, crafts, clothing, and antiques. This variety ensures there is something for everyone, whether they are looking for gourmet foods or unique souvenirs.

Provence is famous for its agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, olives, cheeses, and wines. The Apt market showcases the best of the region’s produce, attracting food enthusiasts and those interested in high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients.

When: Saturday mornings

What to Buy:

  • Cheese: Taste the local varieties like Banon, wrapped in chestnut leaves, and Picodon, a robust goat cheese.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh, seasonal produce like sun-ripened tomatoes, fragrant melons, and the famous strawberries of Carpentras.
  • Olives and Olive Oil: Sample different varieties of olives and take home a bottle of exquisite olive oil, a staple in Provençal cuisine.

2. Marché de L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue – Antique Lovers’ Paradise

This market is renowned for its antiques and vintage items. Known as the “Venice of Provence” due to its canals, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is one of the most significant antiques centers in France, attracting collectors and enthusiasts from around the world.

The market offers a vast array of goods, including antiques, second-hand treasures, fresh produce, local delicacies, flowers, textiles, and crafts. This wide range ensures that visitors can find something unique and interesting, catering to diverse tastes and interests.

The town is beautifully set along the Sorgue River, with waterwheels and canals adding to its charm. The market benefits from this scenic location, providing a pleasant and picturesque shopping experience. End your market shopping with a last lunch along the Sorgue river or at any of this town’s well known restaurants. 

When: Sundays

What to Buy:

  • Antiques: L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is renowned for its antique dealers. From vintage furniture to unique collectibles, this market is a treasure trove.
  • Art: Discover local artists and take home a piece of Provençal creativity.
  • Provencal Fabrics: Look for vibrant tablecloths, napkins, and lavender sachets.  There are many market vendors who also specialize in vintage linens.

3. Marché de Saint-Rémy-de-Provence – For a Taste of Tradition

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is a historic town known for its charming, narrow streets and traditional Provencal architecture. The market is set in the heart of this picturesque town, creating a delightful atmosphere for visitors.

Vendors at the market sell top-quality, locally-sourced products. Fresh fruits and vegetables, aromatic herbs, olive oils, and regional specialties such as tapenade and nougat highlight the rich agricultural heritage of Provence.

Gourmet Food Stalls: The market is a food lover’s paradise, with numerous stalls offering gourmet products and prepared foods. From freshly baked bread and pastries to cured meats and artisanal cheeses, visitors can sample and purchase a wide array of culinary delights.

When: Wednesdays

What to Buy:

  • Baked Goods: Indulge in freshly baked bread, croissants, and pastries.
  • Herbs de Provence: A must-buy for any cooking enthusiast, these aromatic herbs are essential for recreating Provençal dishes at home.
  • Lavender Products: From soaps to essential oils, lavender products make perfect souvenirs.

4. Marché de Gordes – A Scenic Delight

Gordes, perched on the edge of the Vaucluse plateau, offers breathtaking views along with its market. The Tuesday market is a blend of sights, sounds, and scents that perfectly encapsulate the magic of Provence.

The market features a wide range of high-quality local products, including fresh produce, cheeses, olives, honey, lavender, wines, and artisanal goods. The emphasis on locally-sourced, seasonal products ensures freshness and authenticity.

In addition to food items, the Gordes market offers a variety of handmade crafts, pottery, textiles, and other souvenirs. These items often reflect the region’s rich artistic heritage and make for unique, memorable purchases.

Charming Atmosphere: The market is set against the backdrop of Gordes’ narrow cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and charming squares. The ambiance is enhanced by the village’s traditional architecture and the friendly, welcoming nature of the vendors.

When: Tuesday mornings

What to Buy:

  • Honey: Provence is famous for its lavender honey, a delightful treat that captures the essence of the region.
  • Ceramics: Beautiful, handcrafted pottery that makes for a wonderful keepsake.
  • Truffles: In season, Gordes is a great place to find this luxurious ingredient.

5. Marché de Lourmarin – The Quintessential Provençal Experience

Lourmarin, nestled in the Luberon mountains, is often cited as one of the most beautiful villages in France. The Friday market here is a true delight, offering a mix of high-quality goods and a picturesque setting. Wander through the cobblestone streets and browse stalls filled with everything from fresh produce to exquisite crafts.

Lourmarin’s market is more than just a shopping destination; it’s an immersive cultural experience that captures the essence of Provençal life. Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir, a delicious local treat, or simply want to soak in the vibrant atmosphere, Lourmarin’s Friday market is a must-visit on your Provençal journey.

When: Friday Mornings

What to Buy:

  • Handcrafted Jewelry: Discover unique, locally made jewelry that reflects the artistic spirit of Provence.
  • Fresh Flowers: Brighten your day with beautiful, fragrant bouquets sourced from local gardens.
  • Gourmet Foods: Indulge in regional specialties such as tapenade, fresh pasta, and artisanal jams.

Insider Tips for Market Visits:

  • Arrive Early: Markets start bustling early in the morning. Arriving early ensures you get the best picks and experience the markets at their liveliest.
  • Cash is King: While some vendors accept cards, it’s always a good idea to carry cash, especially for smaller purchases.
  • Bring a Basket or Bag: A traditional market basket not only looks charming but is also practical for carrying your purchases.
  • Engage with Vendors: Don’t be shy! Provençal vendors are friendly and love to share stories about their products. A little French goes a long way.

At Only Provence, we believe that the markets of Provence are more than just places to shop—they are windows into the soul of our region. Whether you’re a foodie, a collector, or simply someone who loves to explore, the markets of Provence offer something truly special. We invite you to join us on a journey through these vibrant markets and discover the best that Provence has to offer.

Bon voyage et bon appétit!

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Jumping the Picket Fence Light Through the Cracks

Only Provence co-founder Lydia Dean writes about their experiences raising a family, building a business in Provence, and later combining the love of travel with giving back in "Jumping the Picket Fence”. In 2021, she published “Light Through the Cracks,” a continuation of her journey, much of which has been based in Provence. Both books are available Amazon,, and Amazon.Fr.