Best Outdoor Markets in and around Villefranche-sur-Mer on the French Riviera
There’s nothing more enjoyable than spending a few hours lost in the chaotic effervescence of a local French open-air market. This most alluring aspect of everyday life is what makes a holiday to the south of France so incredibly enjoyable. From fresh locally grown produce, to unique arts, crafts, clothing and knick-knacks, France’s outdoor markets offer the tourist a chance to become totally involved and engrossed in the more cultural side of life, and can turn a simple holiday into an unforgettable experience. When next in France, book your holiday rental villa in Villefranche-sur-Mer and market-hop your way up and down the most famous coastline in the world. Following is a guide to the very best three outdoor markets on the French Riviera.
Booking a holiday rental villa in Villefranche-sur-Mer is a brilliant way to get out of the tourist-path and have a chance to live like a local, albeit for just a few weeks. Every town in the country plays host to a weekly market, and Villefranche is home to one of the most varied market schedules on the entire coast. On Saturday mornings is when you’ll find two very large produce markets, both offering a wide selection of locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as delectable olive oils, wines and cured ham and cheeses. There are also plenty of stalls selling gorgeous pottery, Provençal fabrics and hand-made crafts. An absolutely brilliant Sunday second-hand market draws in the crowds by the busloads, and here is where you can score some incredible bargains for top-notch wares. Every day of the week, from morning until noon, the town is also teeming with smaller (yet no less divine) produce stalls where you can get your daily produce and freshly caught fish.
Cannes’ Marche Forville is a French Riviera institution, and certainly one you shouldn’t miss experiencing. From Tuesdays to Sundays, the Cannes market is a hive of frantic activity; local farmers converge here by the truckloads to sell their bio-produce to awaiting crowds, and the whole process is a wonderful spectacle to witness. Come discover what goodies are on offer here! From Italian home-made prosciutto and gorgonzola, to local varieties of in-season vegetables and the most exquisite Provençal herbs around, the Marche Forville offers absolutely everything to make your home-made meals an astounding success.
Head here on Sundays, when the locals dress up for the event and have much more time to peruse the stalls. The market also scores high points for people-watching! Enjoy a cafe au lait at one of the square’s cafes and just absorb the atmosphere, it’s truly mesmerizing.
If the flowers on sale in Cannes caught your attention, then best you head to the most famous flower market on the coast: Nice’s Marché aux Fleurs. Here is where the area’s most prominent flower growers head to, to sell their best varieties of lilies, freesias, azaleas, gardenias and roses among many others. The flower market is one of the most aromatic on the French Riviera, and has been running continuously for over a hundred years. Held in the heart of Nice’s historic centre, it has now become of the city’s best tourist attractions. Of course, beside the flowers, the market also has a myriad of stalls offering top-quality local produce. And..not to be missed, on Mondays, the market is transformed into a haven for the region’s best deals on antiques.