Market Day in Lourmarin. Photo by Mary Norcross

The long lazy days of summer in this part of the world officially come to an end this weekend. Already the days are abbreviated. After all the summers I’ve visited Provence, I have never lost my amazement at how long the days linger in the months of June, July, and August and how soon night begins to fall when September arrives!

By now, the last of the summer transplants has battened down the hatches of their country homes and returned north to places like Paris and Brussels. In their place are vacationers—probably more like you and me—striving to be satisfied with just a week or two in la belle Provence, folks who want to eke out the most of every day—while moving at a Provençal pace—before les vacances comes to an end.

What’s on their list of things to do and see in Provence? Markets, markets, and more markets, I hear.

According to my informal survey of the travelers I know—including the many people over the years to whom we rented our apartments in Lourmarin— the markets of Provence still hover at the top of the list, as they do in the spring and fall months.

Fall is a great time to visit the markets. The elbow-to-elbow crowds are gone, making possible a leisurely stroll along the colorful vendor-lined streets—even toting a heavily laden basket of goodies, a rather daring act in August; café tables are much easier to snag for a mid-morning break from shopping; and parking is a lot less challenging.

Somewhere not far from where you are vacationing in Provence, everyday of the week, there’s a market.   Come rain or shine or the fierce Mistral wind and even on holidays, independent vendors across the region are up by daybreak,loading their wares into trucks, vans, carts, and deux-chevaux to make the trip to one of the many markets in Provence. Markets open around 8:30 in the morning and close shortly after noon (in time for lunch!).

I am most familiar with the markets  in the Provence  departments of the Vaucluse and Bouche-du-

Rhône (although two of my favorite markets are in neighboring Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department).  Click on the map (above) to see which day(s) of the week each town has its market(s).  If you do your planning right, you could visit a couple of markets.

What do you buy in the markets when you won’t be hanging your hat in the area long? The answer to this question was the subject of a conversation I recently had with some friends who were on the eve of their departure for Provence (for ten days!).  The glorious fruits and vegetables, beautiful fish, mouthwatering rotisserie chickens and roasted vegetables, and stinky cheeses that usually fill my basket and the pages of TMT articles about my favorite markets are not what short-stay travelers are most interested in.

The conversation prompted me to gather some photos—with a little help from my friends—to show what you might purchase when you go to market in Provence and are not in the mood to buy a fat pig. That is, when perishable items just won’t do.

For more information on specific markets, please see earlier TMT articles by clicking here.  For more information on a specific item pictured below (e.g., what it is, which market it’s from, who took the photo, etc.),  please shoot me a note in the “comment” section below.

Un grand merci to photographers David Scott Allen, WT Manfull, Mary Norcross, and Pamela O’Neill for allowing me to post their lovely pictures.

Non-2BFood-2BMarket-2BItems Non-2BFood-2BMarket-2BItems9 DSC_0753_2 Non-2BFood-2BMarket-2BItems2 Market_Items-8207844 Non-2BFood-2BMarket-2BItems8 Non-2BFood-2BMarket-2BItems4 Pertuis_Market_Pam- Non-2BFood-2BMarket-2BItems7 Non-2BFood-2BMarket-2BItems15 photo-2B3 Non-2BFood-2BMarket-2BItems1 photo-2B1 Non-2BFood-2BMarket-2BItems3 Non-2BFood-2BMarket-2BItems11 Market_Items-8207841 Non-2BFood-2BMarket-2BItems6 Non-2BFood-2BMarket-2BItems10 Non-2BFood-2BMarket-2BItems5

Home Again, Home Again, Market is Done….I would love to hear what you buy when you go to the market in Provence!


  1. Drooling over the pics of kitchen primitives and the olive wood bowls and cutting boards (0:

  2. Susan, very nice piece and I really like the interactive map. Now I can't wait to get back and take more photos!

  3. Mary, thanks for contributing such beautiful photos! Alex drew the map many years ago–it is very handy, isn't it?!

  4. Denise, Based on your vibrant emails and comments, I think we would make a great team exploring the Markets of Provence! (Maybe the Tudors would join us!) Thanks for this note and all the others!

  5. Very fun post, Susan! And after looking at all the fun things in these photos, I am wondering why I never bought any! I guess I was concentrating too hard on the food, eh? The map is wonderful – and a good resource for future visits! Bisous, David

  6. Where do you go if you want to buy a fat pig?

  7. susan! we are Loumarin for the week, and so excited to be at the markets, traveling the narrow roads, and climbing to hilltop villages. You were the initial inspiration for our journey. Merci! carol and dave

  8. Hi David, We all reap the benefits of your concentration on the food vendors! I will pass the compliments on the Alex for drawing the map and Catherine Stone for making it work!

  9. Our favorite rotisserie vendor (in the markets of Lourmarin, Cucuron, and Ansouis) would know. If I have their name in my files, I will post it!

  10. Hi Carol and Dave, Oh, do keep me posted on your doings! Let me know which markets you like the most! Enjoy!

  11. Je suis d'accord. Although I love the summer season with all the fetes and activity, this is best time for exploring the markets without being crowded out by strollers with strollers and lethal shopping baskets. I can even bring my dog without fearing for his life!

  12. Ah, thanks Susan…you start working on them from your end and we'll see what we can do. :0)

  13. I love your colorful pictures… They make me feel like I am there!

  14. I'm guessing that's La Rotisserie du Luberon. Also at the markets at Lauris & Le Thor. (Just back from Lourmarin today, I've found their card in my wallet.)
    Allan B., Vancouver Island

  15. I can't believe I did not respond to your comment, Allan! Thank you for jumping in with the answer…ding! ding! ding! This family provides the best rotisserie!

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