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Best French Farmers' markets to visit in the Languedoc region South France

 

The Languedoc region is one of the largest producers of Organic food & wine in France. There are many excellent Farmers' Markets in the Languedoc region of South France, selling high quality local produce and organic fruit and vegetables. We have organised these organic markets into a day-by-day guide, so no matter what day it is, you can always visit and authentic French Farmers' Market in South of France during your visit.

In France, Organic produce is often labelled as 'Bio' or 'Biologique' and Organic markets are called Marché Bio. There is an official brand for organic producers in France (agriculture biologique), which is shortened to the AB symbol.

The Occitanie region (which is formed from the merger of the old Languedoc and Midi-Pyrenees regions), is the largest producer of organic food, fruit, cereals and wines in France. In the region there are over 13,000 organic food and drinks producers, which is almost 25% of the total number in the whole of France. Over 20% of farms in Occitanie are now organic, cultivating over 600,000 hectares farmland and vineyards. Occitanie is the number one producer of Organic wine in France and the leading exporter of organic Brebis cheese (made from sheep milk).

Before I get stuck into the list of Farmers' Markets to visit in the Languedoc, can I firstly give a massive send-out to two fabulous women, Alice and Laura, who run Les Papilleuses, an organic drinks company in the Languedoc. They produce a range of natural wines, organic beers and fresh Bio lemonades and non-alcoholic drinks. The company is based in Serignan, near Beziers, and you can regularly find them at the Farmers Markets in Pezenas, Tourbes, Agde, Murviel-les-Beziers and Bessan. They have a fantastic Instagram page featuring a range of Biodynamic vineyards and Organic producers across the Languedoc (https://www.instagram.com/les_papilleuses/). I have featured a number of their excellent photos in this article.

 

 

 

Saturday - Farmers Markets, South France

 

 

Organic Market in Pezenas South France

 

Pezenas Farmers Market [Photo courtesy of www.instagram.com/les_papilleuses/]

 

The French Farmers' Market in Pezenas, South of France, is held every Saturday. It is one of the best markets for Organic food (Bio produce) in Languedoc. The Pezenas French Farmers Market features a range of local farmers and artisan producers. You will find a wide range of organic food, from vegetables to goat's cheese, honey, wine and herbs.

The "Marche Bio" is held at the Square Jean Moulin in Pezenas, which also features the main war memorial in Pezenas. The square is located at the top end of Cours Jean Jaures, near the water fountain and the Maison du Peuple. Cours Jean Jaures is the main market street in Pezenas. The market takes place from 08.00 to 13.00.

The Marché de Bio has been in operation for over 15 years and is run by a local Association de Producteurs (see Marché de Bio Pézenas). The members of the Association are regional cheese, fruit, vegetable and wine producers, who must follow the approach of organic and artisanal agriculture. They favour the production of seasonal produce and old, non-industrial varieties. They undertake to supply the market mainly with their own harvest. The Farmers market is a great place to stop off and stock up on your fruit and veg before heading to the larger main market that takes over the whole of Pezenas every Saturday morning (see Pezenas Market). Pezenas itself is one of the most beautiful town's in Languedoc, if not the South of France (but I am biased because I live there !!). 

  

Castelnau-le-Lez market near Montpellier

Castelnau-le-Lez is a small suburb in the north of Montpellier. There is a traditional market held in Castelnau-le-Lez every Saturday, selling seasonal regional products and crafts. The market is held from 06.00 to 14.00 and takes place throughout Castelnau-le-Lez, starting in Place de la Liberté and up along rue Jules Ferry to Place de l'Europe. This is a nice location for a market and there are plenty of pavement cafés along the route of the market.

 

Carcassonne, Place Carnot

Les Halles Prosper Montagné, indoor market Carcassonne [Photo courtesy of https://www.tourisme-carcassonne.fr]

 

The city of Carcassonne is known throughout France on account of its magnificent castle. Carcassonne lies in between the Mediterranean coast to the east, the city of Toulouse to the west and the Pyrenees Mountains to the south. Carcassonne's castle is one of the top tourist attractions in France and the second most-visited historical monument outside of Paris. More recently, Carcassonne has come to prominence as the setting for the books Labrynthe and Sepulchre by Kate Mosse.

In the centre of Carcassonne, the Bastide Saint-Louis (the 'new town' of Carcassonne below the castle) has for centuries been the main shopping and commercial district of Carcassonne. There has been a  market held at Place Carnot since at least the 13th Century. The market is held every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday morning. The Saturday morning market attracts a lot of Organic food producers.

Near to Place Carnot, you will also find the beautiful covered market in Carcassonne called Les Halles Prosper Montagné. Parts of the indoor market date back to the 17th century. The market was named in honour of a local Chef, Propser Montagné, who rose to prominence in France, by writing the first Larousse Gastronomic Dictionary in 1938, the most famous encyclopaedia of French dishes and cooking techniques. The market is open every morning, 5 days a week from Tuesday to Saturday. The market sells a range of fresh  and features a number of butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers and cheesemongers, etc.

 

Perpignan Marché Bio

In the centre of the city of Perpignan, there is a Farmer's Market held every Saturday morning. The market is held on Place de la République, the large central square in the heart of Perpignan, from 07.00 to 13.30.

The Place de la République is a large square that was built after the French Revolution. On this site there used to be a church, cemetery, convent and houses owned by the Jesuits. Following the revolution, the Jesuits were forced out of Perpignan and the area became public land. The buildings were demolished and the land was turned into a public square. Place de la République has been used as the site for a market, virtually continuously since 1794.

 

Béziers, Place de la Madeleine

A farmers' market is held in Beziers every Saturday morning, on Place de la Madelaine, just in front of the Sainte-Madeleine church. The market attracts around twenty small local producers, selling everything from herb plants to soap. This is a great opportunity to buy straight from the producer and to learn about sustainable agriculture.

The market is situated on one of the prettiest squares in Beziers, but the church on the square holds a pretty dark history. In 1167, the Viscount of Beziers, Raimond Trencavel, was murdered in the church by a mob of local citizens. Apparently, they were angry because a couple of months earlier, one of his soldiers had attacked a local man and his crime went unpunished. So they exacted their revenge. Then in 1209, thousands of local citizens were murdered by an army sent by the Pope to quell the growth of the Cathar religion in the area. The army led by Simon de Montfort, set fire to the church, with thousands of people inside. In total, some 20,000 people from Beziers were estimated to have died over a 2 day period in July 1209.

 

 

 

Sunday Farmers' Markets in Southern France

 

Narbonne market

 

One of the largest markets in the Languedoc on a Sunday is held in the former Roman garrison town of Narbonne. The market is spread over both sides of the Canal (Canal de Robine), in the centre of Narbonne. Nearby, there is the famous indoor market, Les Halles, which is one of the best food halls in Languedoc and should not be missed. The food here is excellent, especially the cheese, fish and pate.

Although the outdoor market in Narbonne contains a lot of stalls selling clothes and household goods, there is a small section of Bio producers selling fruit & vegetables, preserves, grains, pasta, bread and herbs.

There is also a small Bio marché held in Narbonne every Saturday morning on Place du Forum, which is a 100% organic market. The market takes place from 07.00 to 13.00.

 

Bessan market France

Bessan market isn't a dedicated Farmers' Market. It is more of a general market selling everything from food to clothing and hardware. But there is a small section dedicated to Organic produce. The market is spread out through the centre of the village. The Bessan market is particularly good for buying vegetables and also plants (especially small vegetables plants for putting in your vegetable patch).

The village of Bessan is located about 15 km from the Mediterranean coast, in between the towns of Pezenas and Agde. On first look, Bessan is a largely non-descript sort of place. But if you look closely, you can see that the village was once a fortified town (dating back to 1050 AD) and many of the current houses have been built into the former ramparts. There is archaeological evidence showing that there was a Greek settlement on the site of the village (from 600 BC) and there are significant Roman remains.

 

Saint-Martin-de-Londres market

There is a tradition market held on Sunday in the small town of Saint-Martin de Londres. The market is held below the Clock Tower in the centre of the town and features around 70 stallholders. The market takes places from 08.00 to 12.00 and attracts numerous local and regional gastronomic products as well as artistic crafts. A number of 'Bio' producers are present at the market, including those selling honey, vegetables, tapenades and wine.

Saint-Martin de Londres is located close to the Pic St Loup mountain, to the north of Montpellier. The wine produced in the vineyards surrounding Pic St Loup are among the best in Languedoc, if not the South of France. There is a dedicated wine appellation for Pic St Loup and there are a number of biodynamic wine producers such as the Chateaux du LascauxMas Foulaquier and Clos Marie Simon vineyards.

 

Antigone farmers' market - Montpellier

The Antigone area in central Montpellier, was the brain child of Montpellier's famous mayor, Georges Frêche. He wanted to re-develop this industrial wasteland area, that was the former site of a soap factory, on the banks of the River Lez, in the heart of the city. Frêche appointed the Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill to develop the area to provide a mix of housing, offices and shops. The area also houses a large library and an Olympic-size swimming pool. Since 2007, the Antigone district has hosted the popular FISE festival (International Extreme Sports Festival), which attracts over 600,000 visitors for the 4 days of the event.

Every Sunday morning from 08.00 to 12.00 a local farmers' market is held in the Antigone, along Avenue Samuel Champlain. The market features around 30 producers and artisans from the Montpellier region. Although the Antigone may not be the natural site of a Farmers' market, it is a quite nice spot to wander along the river afterwards or head into the historical centre of Montpellier.

 

Montpellier is also home to an annual Organic food & wine festival, "Sud de France fête la Qualité", held every June. This 3 day festival is organised by the Chamber of Agriculture Occitanie and is the largest organic produce exhibition in South France and features a large number of organic wine producers and AB labelled producers of chees, meat, fruits and vegetables, olives, honey, chestnuts, foie gras, etc. The festival houses a large Farmers' market ("Bienvenue à la Ferme"), an Oyster bar and various stands providing wine tastings, as well as workshops on organic farming techniques and sustainable agriculture. Basically, it is a great gourmet weekend for Foodies.

 

 

Monday Farmers' markets in South France

 

Villeneuvette bio marché

villeneuvette bio market

 

On a Monday evening, there is a lovely little Organic market held in the picturesque village of Villeneuvette, close to Clermont l'Herault. Clermont l'Herault is a small town located in between Montpellier and Beziers in the Herault department.

Villeneuvette is a very well-preserved village that was built around a royal clothmaking factory, established in 1673 by King Louis XIV. Today, Villeneuvette only has 67 inhabitants, but in its heyday in the mid-19th Century around 400 people lived here. The factory produced military uniforms for the French army from the 17th Century up until the late 19th Century. The village was classified a protected historical monument in 1995. There is a lovely walk up out of the back of the village along a small stream to the "Pont d'Amour" - a centuries old site for romantic liaisons

The market is held at Place Louis XIV from 16.30 to 20.00. At the market you'll find some excellent olive oils, bread and cheeses, fruit and vegetables, honey and homemade jams, cosmetics, as well as meat, aromatic herbs, plants for our garden. You will also have an opportunity to visit the Les Papilleuses stall and buy some of their excellent local wines & craft beers, 

 

Villeveyrac, Languedoc

Villeveyrac is a small village located 20 km south of Montpellier and close to the Etang du Thau seawater lake on the Mediterranean coast. During the summer (July & August), a local Farmer's market is held in Villeveyrac every Monday evening from 17.00 to 21.00. The market takes place at Place du Marché aux Raisins and brings together around fifteen local Organic food and wine producers. 

Just outside of Villeveyrac there is a beautiful Benedictine monastery, Abbaye Vallmagne, which was founded in 1138. Although the monks have long since gone, the vineyards established by the Cistercian monks in the 12th century are still in operation and today, the Abbey Vallmagne vineyard covers 75 hectares. There is also an excellent restaurant at the abbey, with a large terrace which looks out over the Abbey gardens and the vineyards beyond.

 

 

Tuesday Organic Markets in Languedoc

 

Le Boulou - Mercat de la Terra

farmers market
Le Boulou is a small town close to the border of France and Spain, just south of Perpignan. On the 3rd Tuesday of each month, there is a small bio market featuring local producers and artisans from the area. As this part of France is fiercely Catalan, the market is called Mercat de la Terra rather than the French equivalent of Marché du Terroir.

The market is held on the central pedestrianized street in Le Boulou, La Rambla, from 08.00 to 13.00.

 

 

Wednesday Farmers' markets South France

 

Port Leucate

Port Leucate is a large beach resort that was developed towards the end of the 1960s in France. Port Leucate is located on the Mediterranean coast, in between Narbonne and Perpignan. The town attracts over 60,000 tourists each year, including a sizeable number of naturists. Over the years, the town has developed a small community of residents who live there all year around and there are now schools, medical facilities and shops.

There has been a small shellfish port on this site for centuries, on the banks of the River Grau. The Oyster farmers cultivate their oysters, mussels, clams and shrimps in the river and since 2017, they have been invited to appear at the annual Salon de l'Agriculture in Paris (the equivalent of the Oscars for farmers in France). 

A small Farmers' market is held in Port Leucate every Wednesday (and on Sunday mornings) and in additional to the the usual producers of fruit & vegetables, preserves, tapenades and biodynamic wines, there is also a large presence of local shellfish producers. The market is held in the centre of the village every Wednesday and Sunday morning from 08.00 to 13.00.

 

 

 

Thursday Farmers Markets in South France

 

Sète Organic market

Sète South France [Photo courtesy of https://en.tourisme-sete.com/]

 

There is a small organic market held in the coastal town of Sète, every Thursday. Sète is a great place to visit. Sete grew rapidly during the late 17th Century due to its links to the Canal du Midi and the Canal a Rhone. During the mid 18th Century there was also a large influx of Italians into the town, fleeing the economic crisis in Southern Italy. Many of the new inhabitants were Anchovy fishermen, who continued their trade in the town. Sete is wrapped around an old volcano which pokes out of the sea. In the centre of Sète there are plenty of canals, seafood restaurants and shops.
The organic Market takes place on the Corniche in Sete from 08.00 to 13.00 every Thursday throughout the year. There are 22 stallholders selling a range of organic products from the Languedoc region, including seasonal fruits and vegetables, poultry and eggs, wine, honey and olive oils.

As a fishing port, Sete is home to many seafood and fish restaurants and also has 2 local delicacies: 'La Tielle' a spicy tarte made with garlic, tomatoes and squid; and 'Zezette' a sweet biscuit

 

Saint Mathieu de Tréviers farmers market

Saint-Mathieu-de-Tréviers is a beautiful village of around 5,000 inhabitants, located 20km north of Montpellier. The village dates back to 978 AD and was the scene of a number of sieges and battles during the Wars of Religion. Saint-Mathieu-de-Tréviers is a very upmarket village, with a lot of residents commuting into Montpellier for work. The village has some excellent wine stores, delicatessens and cheese shops. The nearby Pic St Loup mountain is an iconic landmark in the Languedoc region and the wines from the vineyards near Pic St Loup are among the best in the South of France.

There is a Farmers' market held in Saint Mathieu de Tréviers every Thursday, which brings together local producers and artisans. On the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month, the market is supplemented with live music, an aperitif with bio wines and beers, as well as workshops focused on various seasonal products.

The Farmers' market is held at Place de l'Ancien Abattoir from 08.00 to 13.00.

 

 

 

Friday Farmers Markets in Languedoc

 

Marché de Caux

 

Caux is a small wine-making village just 4km from the historic town of Pezenas. Caux has a lovely old hilltop centre (they call these villages Circulades in France on account of the circular streets that wind up the hill). Caux is a very old village, with records showing it first being established in 880AD, although numerous Roman remains point to a much earlier settlement. In the 1300's, the Great Plague which swept across Europe, almost wiped out the village, with only 6 inhabitants surviving.

Caux was also the home village of Jean Pomarèdes (known as La Canaille de Caux or the Scoundrel of Caux) a famous 19th Century Highway Robber, in the vein of Dick Turpin. Pomarèdes was eventually executed by guillotine in Pezenas in 1843 in front of a crowd of 50,000 people. He was convicted of 3 murders and 58 robberies.

The village is surrounded by vineyards in all directions and there are over 20 wine producers in Caux, including the excellent Domaine Allegria and Domaine de Belles-Eaux. Every second Friday in the month, the epicerie, the small delicatessen shop in the centre of Caux, is converted during the evening into a fully-fledged wine bar, serving tapas and the wines from the local vineyard. We have been a couple of times and it was absolutely packed.

Every Friday morning there is a Farmer's Market held in Caux from 07.30 to 12.00 noon. The markets is held on the Place de la République, which is the main circular street in the centre of the village.

 

Le Grau du Roi Farmers market

The beautiful fishing village of Le Grau du Roi is located in the Camargue, 20 km east of the city of Montpellier. The Farmers' market is held every Friday from 08.00 to 12.00 on Boulevard Front de Mer, right by the beach. The market attracts a whole range of Foodies, searching for organic produce. The market features a large selection of local producers selling everything from olive oils, fresh vegetables, tapenades, honey, goats cheese and wines.

Farmers' market Nîmes

There is a large Farmers' market held on Boulevard Jean Jaurès in the centre of Nimes every Friday morning from 08.00 to 13.00. The market is called "Qualité sud de France" and features a wide range of fresh seasonal products and sustainable local agriculture producers.

 

 

 


 

 

Where to next . . .?

If you are a bit of a Foodie and you are planning a trip to the South of France in 2024, then you are in for a treat. The Languedoc region in the South of France is the largest producer of organic food & wine in France and features some of the best Oysters and mussels, a fantastic array of cheeses (especially the local Brebis and Chevre), some excellent local dishes such as the Cassoulet from Carcassonne and the spicy Tielle tart from Sète; and beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables. You will also find a good choice of local restaurants including dozens of Michelin star restaurants and excellent family-run eateries

To get the best out of your trip, then the following articles are a good source of local information:

 

10 best Carcassonne restaurants in South France

The restaurant scene in Carcassonne is buzzing at the moment, with 2 Michelin star restaurants and many interesting new restaurants opening. Discover the 10 best restaurants in Carcassonne to eat at in 2024.

 

canal du midi franceThe best markets in Languedoc

Read our day-to-day guide to the best markets in the Languedoc region of South France, so that you can always find a great local market to visit, no matter what day it is.

 

beziers feria2Best festivals in South France in 2024

Discover the best food & wine festivals to visit in South France during 2024. From festivals celebrating the harvest of local fruit to the production of Goats' cheese, we have everything covered.

 

beziers river10 best Beziers restaurants to eat at in 2024

Discover some of the best restaurants to eat at whilst you are visiting Beziers. The city has 3 of the most celebrated Chefs in the Languedoc and has an excellent range of eateries. 

 

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