Visiting local food, craft, and antiques markets in France is one of the most pleasurable experiences enjoyed by holidaymakers. This certainly applies to Brittany and the Pays de la Loire regions. Whether you are looking for local Pottery, Speciality salt from the marshes around Guérande, Muscadet from the Pays Nantais, or the most wonderful fresh shellfish, you will find it at any number of bustling markets in the area.
Local French Markets usually operate weekly during the mornings on a specific day in even the smallest towns and villages. During the Summer months the markets are swollen both by the number of stalls and by the number of tourists. Therefore, it’s worth getting there early to avoid the crowds! However, prices aren’t generally cheap, but the quality is usually very high. Above all, produce is fresh. A lot of it is pulled out of the ground (or the sea) shortly before being offered for sale.
Here are just some of the French markets that you can visit in the La Baule / Presqu’île de Guérande / La Roche Bernard / Missillac area. Likewise, please let us know if you know of other markets in this area…
Traditional French Markets
Asserac – Town centre. Small market every Tuesday all year round
Batz-sur-Mer – Big market on Monday and Friday in July and August Place du Mûrier . Low season, Monday in the Grande Rue. September, April, May, June: every Monday morning Place du Mûrier. From October 1st to March: every Monday morning in the Grande Rue, just behind the church. Night market every Tuesday in the Grande Rue (but July and August only).
Guérande – Place Saint-Aubin. All year round: small market Wednesday, large market Saturday
Herbignac – All year every Wednesday
La Baule – Avenue du Marché – All year, every day (however, closed Monday between October and March)
Le Guézy – All year, Monday and Thursday (La Baule les Pins)
La Baule-les-Pins – Avenue Lajarrige; All year round, Tuesday and Saturday; In season, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
La Roche-Bernard – All Year round (but larger during Summer): Thursday morning
La Turballe – In the market hall (Espace Garlahy), all year round: everyday except Monday. In July and August, every day shellfish and fish market Quai St Pierre. Place du Marché all year round, Wednesday and Saturday.
Le Croisic – In the market hall, Rue des Cordiers: in Winter, Thursday and Saturday; In July and August, Saturday morning. Place Dinan, in July and August: Tuesday and Thursday.
Le Pouliguen – Place des Halles: all year Tuesday to Sunday inc (every morning in July and August). Outdoor market: all year Friday and Sunday morning (Tuesday morning from April to October)
Mesquer – Quimiac – Place du Marché at Quimiac: all year round, small market on Friday; Mid-June to mid-September, Tuesday and Friday. Mesquer town centre: every Sunday in July and August
Pénestin – All year round on Sundays; In July and August, Wednesday and Sunday
Piriac-sur-Mer -Place Paul Vince: 15 Sept to 14 June, on Tuesday and Saturday. 15 June to 14 September: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. In addition, here’s my guide to Piriac-sur-Mer.
Pornichet – Place des Halles: open everyday all year (but closed Monday during low season). Also pen air market in July and August: Wednesday and Saturday
Questembert – In the Halles, all year round: Monday mornings. Also all year round, evening market every Wednesday from 5pm, selling local produce. Read an account from someone who has visited Questembert market.
Local French Produce Markets
Guérande – In Pradel, near “Terre de Sel”; In July and August, Sunday from 10am until 3pm
Le Croisic – Place du Pilori; Fridays in July and August
Mesquer – Quimiac – In Kercabellec; Wednesdays in July and August from 9am to 1pm
Saint-Lyphard – In the village of Kerhinet. Thursdays from early July to mid-September
French Craft Markets
Guérande – Paper and old Books market – Place de la Psalette; In July and August, Monday from 6pm until 10pm
La Baule – Art trade market – Avenue des Ibis; Sundays in July and August from 9am until 12 noon
La Turballe – Evening arts and crafts market – Quai Saint-Pierre; Wednesdays in July and August from 7pm
Le Croisic – Flea Market – Place Dinan; Tuesdays in July and August
Arts and Crafts market – around the old auction, Saturdays in July and August
Piriac-sur-Mer – Arts and Crafts market – Place de l’Eglise; Thursdays in July and August from 6:30pm until 10pm
Antique Markets in France
La Gacilly – Antiques and secondhand goods – Place Yves Rocher; 09:00 – 18:00. 2nd Sunday in the month, but please check locally to confirm
Nantes – Indoor antique market – Ile de Nantes; 09:00. 1st or 2nd Sunday of month, but please check locally to confirm
Angers – Antique market – Old Town; 06:00. 1st Sunday of each month from March, but please check locally to confirm
To sum up, the choice of food, craft, and antiques markets in France is incredible. Wandering around these markets is above all a real feast for the eyes, the ears and the taste buds!
I reckon we have visited upwards of a thousand open-air markets across France and have yet to find one which tops our ‘local’ at Morlaix. At the end of the great northern coast estuary and bay of that name, the town has a great ‘sunken’ market square which is surrounded by some of the finest columbage Middle Ages buildings in the region. So big and popular is the Saturday morning market that it spills beyond the ancient square and through the cobbled alleyways or venelles and as far as the giant viaduct which dominates the ancient town centre. British visitors are welcome but it was not always so. In the 16th century an English raiding party invaded and sacked the town. Understanding the English temperament exactly, the townspeople waited until the invaders had drunk themselves insensible, then put them all to the sword. As I said, the townspeople of Morlaix are much more welcoming nowadays…