The Outdoor Markets of Provence
No vacation to Provence would be complete without at least a morning or two spent
savoring the sights, sounds, smells and especially the flavors of its outdoor
They are no doubt great for souvenir shopping - fabrics, soaps, table clothes,
pottery will all be found in abundance. But above all, its the food which makes the
Provençal markets so special. Fresh local produce - fruits, vegetables, wines,
cheeses, pastries, breads - it's endless and all too tempting. So indulge. Take
along one of our baskets and provision a veritable picnic feast !
Here is a list of markets (one per day) to assist as you plan your vacation. It's not
meant to be exhaustive - just some of our favorites offering a good variety and a
chance to explore different areas of the Luberon and Provence while you are at it:
SATURDAY - the town of Apt (10 minute drive) is without doubt the place to be
Saturday morning in the Luberon. Founded by the Romans, this pretty, quiet town
comes to life with the market. You'll find anything and everything .
SUNDAY - Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (20 minute drive) is our choice. Similar in size and
breadth to Apt, with the added attraction of the largest concentration of antique
dealers anywhere in Provence.
MONDAY - we recommend heading slightly off the beaten track to Forqualquier
(45 minute drive) which has a nice mid-sized market and a town well worth
exploring. Add a visit to the abbeys of Carluc, Salagon and Ganagobie and the
lovely village of Lurs and you have the makings of a great day out.
TUESDAY - no need to go any further than St. Saturnin-Lès-Apt (2 minute
drive/20 minute walk) where you'll experience a small village market - lots of local
color and no hassles parking !
WEDNESDAY - the drive north of us to Sault (30 minutes) is amazing. The market
is equally great. And when the lavender is blooming in the summertime, your
picnic in the fields will be long remembered.
THURSDAY - the drive south, up and over the Luberon, to Aix-en-Provence (1
hour drive) is not too shabby either. After exploring the large and varied market,
you'll want to spend a lazy afternoon strolling from square to square in this very
beautiful university town. For reference, the market also takes place on Tuesday
FRIDAY - just on the south side of the Luberon is Lourmarin (30 minute drive) -
our choice for a very pleasant mid-size market. Combined with visits to the villages
of Ansouis and Cucuron, you'll get a nice feel for the "other side of the mountain".