Magical Christmas Markets in the South of France 2023
Magical Christmas Markets in the South of France 2023

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Unwrapping Artistry: The Best Artisanal Markets in the South of France

Magical Christmas Markets in the South of France 2023

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

As the festive season approaches, the picturesque landscapes of the South of France transform into a winter wonderland, offering a unique blend of tradition, charm, and the unmistakable scent of mulled wine. For those seeking the perfect blend of local craftsmanship and holiday cheer, the Christmas markets scattered throughout the region are a treasure trove of handmade delights.

Ideal for those looking for an original Christmas gift or food enthusiasts indulging in traditional treats under the Christmas lights.

Montpellier: A Hub of Artisanal Splendor

Montpellier Christmas Market

Kickstarting the yuletide celebrations, Montpellier's Christmas market ('Hivernales') is a must-visit for enthusiasts of handcrafted wonders. Nestled in the heart of the historic city center, on the 'promenade de Peyrou' (picture below left), the market showcases 86 chalets and an array of locally produced goods, of which 15 are dedicated to food and drink.

Little ones can send a letter to Father Christmas from the special letter box on the the 'Temple des Eaux'.  Bigger ones can stroll through the lively stalls, and discover the passion and craftsmanship behind each piece, providing a unique shopping experience.  Don't miss out on tasting of local produce 5.30pm to 7.30 on Fridays and Saturdays!

Where?  Promenade de Peyrou, Montpellier, 34000

When?  2nd to the 30th of December 2023

Sunday to Thursday: 10.30am to 9.30pm

Friday and Saturday: 10.30am ti 10.30pm

24th and 30th of December : close at 6pm

Closed the 25th of December

Children's Activities at the Christmas market (they will all be in French!):

- Wednesday, December 6, from 3 pm to 5 pm: Christmas Tales "from here"
- Sunday, December 10, from 2 pm to 6 pm: Santa Claus, his elves, and his sleigh
- Wednesday, December 13, from 3 pm to 5 pm: Elf hats and letters to Santa Claus
- Sunday, December 17, from 2 pm to 6 pm: Santa Claus, his elves, and his sleigh
- Wednesday, December 20, from 3 pm to 5 pm: Christmas Tales "from elsewhere"
- Tuesday, December 26, from 3 pm to 5 pm: Face painting workshop
- Wednesday, December 27, from 3 pm to 5 pm: Children's show "The Queen of the Sleeping Baobab"
- Thursday, December 28, from 3 pm to 5 pm: Balloon sculpture and decoration

Artistic and Illuminated Parades:

- Saturday, December 2: Pandora Avatar 

- Wednesday, December 6: Circus Parade

- Wednesday, December 13: Disney Parade in Venice

- Wednesday, December 20: Gourmet Parade

- Wednesday, December 27: Christmas Parade

Christmas in Sete: A Maritime Celebration

Sete, with its charming canals and maritime ambiance, transforms into a festive playground during Christmas. The local Christmas markets are a great place to find locally made Christmas presents, offering a delightful array of artisanal toys, handmade crafts, and sweet treats. Families can enjoy the magical atmosphere while exploring unique gifts that reflect the maritime spirit of Sete.

Christmas Creators Market Sète 

Where? Place Léon Blum (Town Hall Square) and on Gaston Escarguel Street in Sète. 

When? Saturday, December 2, and Sunday, December 3, 2023.  From 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.

The market's artisanal stalls showcase intricate jewelry, locally crafted ceramics, and personalized gifts—perfect for creating lasting memories.  It's a great occasion to meet passionate local creators in numerous stands featuring jewelry, drawings, lighting, literature, decorations, unusual objects, treats, upcycling, clothing, paintings, soaps, ceramics.

Christmas in Beziers: A Historic Extravaganza 

Beziers, with its rich history and medieval charm, creates a captivating backdrop during Christmas. The festive market offers nearly thirty exhibitors and artisans selling artisanal wooden toys, handmade decorations, and traditional sweets.  Don't miss out on the music every Friday and Saturday!

Allées Paul Riquet, Beziers

 November 25th 2023, to January 7th 2024

Hours outside school holidays:

- Sunday to Thursday: 11:00 AM - 8:30 PM
- Friday and Saturday: 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM

Hours during school holidays:

- Daily: 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM

Aix-en-Provence: Provençal Elegance

Aix-en-Provence, with its picturesque streets and Provençal charm, hosts a Christmas market that is a true celebration of elegance and craftsmanship. The market features a curated selection of artisanal products, from lavender-infused goods to hand-painted ceramics. The ambiance is heightened by the scent of mulled wine and the sound of carolers, creating a festive atmosphere that invites visitors to explore the exquisite creations on display.

The chalets showcase about fifty artisans and merchants.  Mulled wine and all kinds of treats are to be enjoyed and shared on-site. 

Where?  Le cours Mirabeau, Cours Mirabeau, 13100 Aix-en-Provence

When? From 15th of November to 31st of December 
Open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm. On Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 9:30 pm.
On December 24 and 31: 10 am to 7 pm
On December 25: 4 pm to 8 pm.

10 Christmassy French expressions

1. **Joyeux Noël!**

- *Merry Christmas!*

2. **Bonne année!**

- *Happy New Year!*

3. **Le Réveillon de Noël**

- *Christmas Eve dinner*

4. **Les décorations de Noël**

- *Christmas decorations*

5. **Le sapin de Noël**

- *Christmas tree*

6. **Le Père Noël**

- *Santa Claus/Father Christmas*

7. **Les cadeaux de Noël**

- *Christmas presents/gifts*

8. **La crèche de Noël**

- *Nativity scene*

9. **Les chants de Noël**

- *Christmas carols*

10. **La neige qui tombe**

- *Falling snow*

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