Velleron night market is one of the best producer’s markets in Southern France. It has been continually included within the 100 “marchés d’exception” in France by the Conseil National des Arts Culinaires.
This is not a tourist market.
A Local Farmer’s Market
The market is open daily, except Sunday of course, in the hot summer months and is very popular with locals commuting from and to Avignon. You will see people march towards the stands with great purpose, armed with baskets that are very quickly full of the freshest seasonal produce to be had. The farmers selling their produce harvest everything the same day and offer many heritage vegetables that you won’t find elsewhere. I once bought spaghetti green beans that were incredibly long!
If you visit this market regularly, you’ll be able to notice the subtle differences in seasonal produce from week to week. The prices are also simply unbeatable. Many of the products are arranged into small baskets for 1 euro each. You can buy 2 heavy bags worth of veggies for fewer than 10 euros.
The main attraction of Velleron market is soil-encrusted vegetables and fruits. There is only one meat and cheese stand and there are no gifts to be bought (unless you’re buying for a gourmande like me). During the winter months, when the market slows a little, you might be lucky enough to get your hands on some glass jars of homemade pickles, pistou soup or other preserves.
The bustle and short time span of the market creates a charged atmosphere. You can thankfully watch (with protection from French elbows) from the small café that is located next to some form of live music. It serves 1 euro glasses of rosé. Enough said.
During summer months, the market starts at 6pm; the best produce is generally gone by 6:45pm. This is why, if you visit this market, you’ll really have to time yourself accordingly! In the winter, the stallholders are a little more forgiving. For me, one of the joys of living in Provence all year round is taking advantage of markets like these. In the winter months, you’ll be able to speak to the producers and perhaps shop a little more leisurely.
Velleron Night Market from 1st of April to 30th of September, every evening except Sunday and public holidays starting at 6pm
From 1st of October to 31st of March, open every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evening at 4:30pm.
Article as seen in Languedoc & Provence Sun magazine