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  • Writer's pictureEnchanting Escapes

Why Christmas Markets in the South of France are a must see

Updated: Jun 17, 2023

The cities of Provence transform every December as they set up markets, hang lights, and prepare delicious regional specialties in preparation for the Christmas season, called Calendale. Holiday cheer and intimate markets can be found in Provence in the South of France throughout the season. From Lyon to Avignon, these make-shift villages, called “Marchés de Noël,” are full of charm and character. River Cruising is one of the most beautiful ways to experience these charming villages, small ships and huge adventures while you sail through the country not around it.

  1. Pack lighter layers :The South of France has a milder climate than their northern counterparts which means that the Christmas markets are usually outdoors and have a more open layout. In contrast, many of the Northern Christmas markets are located in enclosed spaces, such as town halls or courtyards, to protect visitors from the cold.

  2. Lighter foods and Wines: The food and drink offered at the Christmas markets in the South of France tend to be more Mediterranean in flavor, featuring regional specialties such as olives, truffles, and seafood. In contrast, Northern Christmas markets are known for their hearty fare, such as sausages, pretzels, and gingerbread.

  3. Shopping: While both French and the Northern Christmas markets offer a wide range of crafts and gifts, the types of products on offer can differ. The markets in the South of France often feature handmade artisanal products, such as pottery, jewelry, and soap. Northern Christmas markets, on the other hand, are known for their wooden toys, hand-carved nativity scenes, and Christmas ornaments.

  4. 13 Desserts ? The Christmas markets in the South of France have their own unique festive traditions, such as the making of the traditional 13 desserts, which are served after Christmas Eve dinner. In contrast, Northern Christmas markets are known for their Christmas pyramids, which feature a revolving carousel of wooden figures depicting scenes from the Nativity story.

Both the South of France and their Northern counterparts offer a wonderful and festive holiday atmosphere during the Christmas season, and visiting the Christmas markets is a great way to experience local culture and traditions. I cannot wait to shop and taste this November.

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