There are so many things to love about the South of France – and French markets are undoubtedly one of them.


As a South of France property surveyor, I’ve dealt with many clients who’ve simply fallen in love with the vibrancy, the freshness, the colours, smells and sense of the good life that pour from French markets. In fact, many expats have settled on a location due as much to splendour of the local French market as the property we’ve found for them.


Selling everything from fresh local produce to fish, flowers and antiques, there’s something very special indeed about French markets. So much are they part of the culture in the country, there’s now even a televised annual contest – Votre Plus Beau Marché (Your Most Beautiful Market) – which aims to discover the nation’s most-loved French market.


In the programme’s inaugural year (2018), the first winner was crowned – the glorious Sanary-sur-Mer in the Var Department, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in the South of France. And that is where we’ll start our journey.

1. Sanary-sur-Mer, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

A worthy winner, Sanary-sur-Mer is a beautiful port town with a charming harbour and cobbled streets. Market day is Wednesday, and you’ll find locally grown vegetables, fresh fish, meat, spices, honey, pottery, jewellery – everything to fill your tummy, treat yourself, and even buy a few gifts for friends and family. The atmosphere is welcoming, the prices hard to beat, and there are over 300 stalls to choose from.

2. Cours Saleya, Nice

Ranked by France’s National Council for the Culinary Arts as being one of France’s most special markets, Cours Saleya in Nice hosts four different markets every day except Mondays. The most famous of these is the Marché aux Fleurs (Flower Market) – a fragrant, bright, rainbow-coloured explosion of blooms and bouquets. Absolutely beautiful.

3. Marché Provençal, Antibes

A covered market, Marché Provençal in Antibes hosts around fifty stalls where local producers, fishermen and farmers sell fruit, vegetables, fish, fresh and cured meat, oils and spices directly. Located right next to the Picasso Museum and with many cafes and restaurants nearby, this beautiful French market has it all – open every day in the summer months, and Tuesday to Sunday the rest of the year.

4.  Marché Forville, Cannes 

Open every morning from 7am until 1pm – except Mondays – the Marché Forville in Cannes is one of the very best covered markets in the French Riviera. Flowers, fruit and vegetables make up the bulk of what’s on offer, though be sure to try some fresh oysters and mussels – the locals say they’re the finest in the country.

5. Roquebrun, Languedoc

The village of Roquebrun in the South of France department of Languedoc hosts a smaller market than most on this list, but it is no less alluring – especially for wine lovers. Situated on the edge of the River Orb, the local wine of Roquebrun is renowned as being excellent, and you can enjoy some samples in a picturesque setting as you pick up your ingredients (along with a bottle) for a French picnic in the surrounding hills and valleys. Open Tuesdays and Fridays.

6. Marché de Cahors, Midi-Pyrénées

A strong contender in the first Votre Plus Beau Marché contest, the Marché de Cahors is a 700-year-old market at the foot of the magnificent Saint-Etienne Cathedral – a UNESCO world heritage site. Centuries ago, local farmers made a daily journey to sell their products here – and they still do, though now just on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

7. Place des Lices, Saint-Tropez

Sausages, cheeses, breads, herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables – the Place des Lices Provençal market sells some of the finest French food you could hope for. It’s also a fantastic French market for antiques, vintage posters, paintings, and fashion accessories. Open on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

8. Uzès, Languedoc-Roussillon

We finish the list with the Uzès market in Langeudoc-Roussillon. Cheesemakers, olive growers, nuns selling wine, and a whole host of local producers laden with fresh fruit and vegetables, this twice-weekly market sells fresh food produce on Wednesdays, and second-hand goods and antiques on Saturdays.

Final Thoughts

Feeling hungry yet? Markets are engrained into the South of France culture and no trip to this stunning part of the world is complete without visiting one.


You may, however, wish to make a French market your very own local grocery store, in which case you may be considering buying a property in region.


With decades of experience buying and selling property in the South of France, property surveyor Charles Mackintosh is at your service to help you on your journey.


Get in touch for more information.