Bask in the sun glistening off architectural gems surrounded by idyllic fields rich with grapevines and lavender – all while shopping the best flea markets in Provence. Cushioned between the Mediterranean Sea and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Provence is a haven for sightseers and collectorsalike. Flea market connoisseurs can stroll the source of inspiration for artists such as Van Gogh, Cézanne and Molière as they pick up vintage and antique pieces of Provence.
Framed by castle walls and the Rhône River, Beaucaire is an idyllic destination for antique collectors. The Brocante de Beaucaire runs weekly in the heart of town center. Locals and tourists alike make this French brocante bustle with activity. Both professional vendors and private individuals merge, offering a wide range of highly sought-after antiques and unique collectibles. As such, attendees can expect everything from household items, including furniture and silver and copperware, to decorative accessories like vintage photos and jewelry. Arrive early as this market is only open in the morning.
Nestled among olive trees off the Gulf of Saint Tropez, the Brocante du Jas des Roberts has attracted vintage enthusiasts for almost 30 years. The market draws hundreds of bargain seekers every Sunday, even in winter. Although the secret is out about this well-attended flea, early risers will have first pick of high quality and unusual goods. Anticipate a large selection of mid-centuryfurnitureand décor, artwork, and faïence pottery. And of course, expect a trove of retro barware and vintage trinkets such as ornaments, decorative clocks, and various brass figurines.
Featuring 200 vendors, and growing, the Uzès flea market teems with antiques and secondhand collectibles. Plus, it is a buyer’s market with a reputation for bargains. Typical goods include furniture, lamps, vintage handbags, lace dresses, paintings, old comics, linens and rugs. In addition to the usual flea market fare, enthusiasts can find unique sculptural busts, antique tools, and large jardinières and urns. Like many brocantes in Provence, the setting is a perk. Ringed by shuttered buildings with arched entryways to cafés, the Uzès flea market takes place every Sunday on the charming square of La Place-aux-Herbes.
Pore through 200 stalls packed with vintage merch. But don’t let the volume hold you back. The Carpentras flea market is typically laid back and casual, opening later on Sunday mornings than most of the region’s markets. If looking for an even greater selection, plan on attending the Carpentras special events called “immanquables” (or unmissable). These gather 900 professional and private antique vendors. While the regular market is known for offering higher quality items than the average car-boot sale, the “immanquables” requires that goods are considered true antique and vintage.
Tucked amid breathtaking vineyards and medieval forts, the Brocante de Villeneuve-lès-Avignon ranks as one of the most popular flea markets in Provence. As many as 95 vendors gather along the walls of Fort St André every Saturday from spring to winter. Booths offer everything from antique pottery, crystal and glassware, to wine and barrel making tools. Also find small and large pieces of furniture, silver, toys, kitchenware and other collectibles. Given the variety of goods and the stunning scenery, it’s no wonder thousands of vintage enthusiasts flock from all over the world to take in the Brocante de Villeneuve-lès-Avignon.
Options abound in Nice! For one, the awning-shaded portion of Brocante Saleya takes place Mondays at the Cours Saleya. The market sprawls with near 200 vendors selling a variety of fairly high-quality antiques and charming French bric-a-brac. Typical finds on the main thoroughfare include antique furniture, vintage clothing and jewelry, silverware, nautical and travel items, and ceramics and paintings. But also venture onto Place Garibaldi every third Saturday of the month to find both secondhand collectibles and newer trinkets. While haggling is often discouraged at the flower and fruit markets held here, flea market day welcomes bartering.
A potential goldmine awaits at Foire de l’Isle sur la Sorgue. What makes this market such a knockout? Certainly the quaint town packs Provençal charm with rustic waterwheels and bridges along the Sorgue River. Yet the “island city” has also become an antiques hub with approximately one antique shop per every 70 residents. With hundreds of permanent antique dealers, Isle sur la Sorgue is somewhat one, continuous flea market. But twice a year it goes all out. This bi-annual fair welcomes over 450 vendors who sell everything from traditional boutis (quilting), ceramics and old crockery to other rare finds and curios.
Celebrated for its Grand Siècle architecture, the backdrop of this best flea market in Provence is a scene straight out of movies, literally. The Grande Foire à la brocante de Pézenas is organized twice a year and gathers over 150 dealers. Considered a “Grand Déballage”, or large unpacking, the antiques fair and flea market stretches over two kilometers along the National 113. Festival goers can find vintage and antique furniture, linens, jewelry and watches, dishes, books, weapons, and musical instruments. Known for its many craftsmen and professional antique merchants, Pézenas also draws passionate collectors year-round.
Held once a month on Wednesdays, the delightful Brocante d’Arles spans the tree-lined Boulevard des Lices. Between 80 and 100 professional flea market dealers come from across the region, often accumulating additional vintage stock from other best flea markets in Provence. Many of the best buys represent Provençal traditions, such as fabrics also known as indiennes, antique local pottery, and santons (Provençal clay figures). In addition, vendors have furniture, paintings, old books, postcards, ornaments, jewelry, faïence, wrought iron, trinkets and other rarities. As such, discover many treasures to pore over or take back home.
Vendors stock up. Offered just a few times a year, the Déballage Marchand d’Avignon is a trade event committed to high-quality standards. Among a moving series of Antique Trade Markets, Marchand d’Avignon is reserved for professional antique dealers only. Likewise, the Déballage Marchand de Montpellier is also nearby and noteworthy. All flea market enthusiasts will want a chance to scoop up the beautiful collections inside. These unpackings, however, are closed to the public unless you provide proof of professional buyer status. Another great perk for lucky attendees? Specialized carriers provide on-site services to ship purchases anywhere in the world, customs formalities included.