The town of Valbonne is located in the Alpes Maritimes region of the French Riviera, just 30 minutes above Cannes and Nice. Old Town Valbonne, with its medieval cobblestone main square, alleys and pathways is a great place to visit.
Throughout the year, there are several popular markets in the town of Valbonne. All of the markets are held in the picturesque Place des Arcades, the main square in Old Town and its surrounding alleys.
There is a brocante (traditional flea market) on the first Sunday of the month, where you’ll find great deals on antiques and such. During the holidays, the sure to visit the magical Christmas market with beautiful ornaments and decorations.
During my recent two week stay in the area, I made a stop at the Friday Valbonne Marché. Naturally, I managed to pick up some great souvenirs, table linens and food. Be sure to get there early to find a parking spot. Parking lots are towards the end of town or below town, just follow the signs for parking when you enter town.
On Tuesday and Friday mornings, Valbonne holds a very popular Marché from 7:30-1:30 at the Place des Arcades (main square). It’s a typical Provençal market with tons of stalls set up in the square, streets and alleys of Old Town.
You’ll find many stalls selling seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as many other foods and delicacies. I found the most delicious parmesan cheeses and amazing truffle salami from Sardinia…expensive but oh so worth it!
Olives are a major crop in the South of France, with some of the best olive oil produced in the region as well. Be sure to stop at the stall selling olives and olive oil in the Places des Arcades, at least sample some famous niçoise olives. Try the ones in pesto…yum! I bought several tubs of olives, and their olive oil as well. Be sure to take advantage of samples offered at most food stalls and snack you way through the market!
There is also a small stall selling Socca, the local street food. It’s a thin chickpea pancake made in a round pan over fire, making it crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. Seasoned with salt and pepper it’s a delicious gluten-free treat you can eat anytime.
In addition to all of the delicious food, there are stalls selling jewelry, all handmade by local artists. Another fabulous find is provincial linens. Several stalls offer the most amazing table linens and kitchen towels, and at much more affordable prices than the boutiques in towns.
Many stalls also sell clothing and accessories. You’ll find anything from shoes to underwear! The clothing is seasonal, and in September you’ll be able to find reduced prices on summer clothing and pick up some great deals on Fall sweaters and jackets.
Be sure to check out the leather goods. Stalls selling handbags, wallets and leather belts abound. But check around because some offer better deals than others.
The Provençal market in Valbonne is a fabulous way to spend a morning finding some great deals. Afterwards, head to one of the restaurants lining the main square or in the alleyways for a delicious French lunch!
If you are going to the French Riviera, be sure to check out other hilltop towns in the Alpes Maritimes above Nice and Cannes. Check out Exploring Saint-Paul de Vence and Amazing Tourrettes-sur-Loup for two fun medieval towns to visit!
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