France - Christmas Markets
France has a fine tradition of excellent markets in every town in the country - and on the run up to (and sometime beyond) Christmas there are some special Christmas markets around the country.
These often take the shape of a huddle of wooden huts adorned with bunting and lights selling a whole range of gifts and other products - usually small merchants with specialist craft-made goods - often with a merry-go-round and big wheel for the kids - music and hot spiced wine!! Even an old sceptic cannot but absorb something of the Christmas spirit. The fairs sometimes run for several weeks and will open in the evening.
The best resource is to see our Web Calendar of Events in France which will have details of the latest dates as soon as we know them - but you can also check previous year dates which will give you an indication of when the next dates are likely to be. (NB This is not an exhaustive list)
ALSACE CHRISTMAS GASTRONOMIC FESTIVAL at OBERNAI (67 Bas Rhin, Alsace) on 26th-27th November 2005 - foie gras, choucroute, chocolate, fresh water fish, snails, cheese, charcuterie, wines, eaux de vie - sounds mouthwatering - see www.tourisme-alsace.info
ST CHRISTOL CHRISTMAS MARKET - St Christol (34 Herault, Languedoc) 26 November 2005 9am-5pm, and you can also visit one of our favourite Coteaux du Languedoc winemakers - Chateau des Hospitaliers (lots of Knights of St John history here) see http://www.saint-christol.com
Verneuil-sur-Vienne (87 Haut Vienne, Limousin) 19-20th November 2005 - Chateau de Penneveyre. Sat 2pm-9pm, Sun 10am - 7pm - see www.tourismelimousin.com
Le Pouliguen (44 Loire-Atlantique, Brittany) 16-23 December 2005
Boulogne (62 Pas de Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais) 10-11 December 2005 - see www.tourisme-boulognesurmer.com
Isle (87 Haut Vienne, Limousin) 4 December 2005 - 11th annual Christmas Market with some German stalls as part of its twinning celebrations - see http://www.tourismelimousin.com
Lille (59 Nord, Nord Pas-de-Calais) Christmas Market - 23 November - 28 December 2005 in Place Rihour - see www.lilletourism.com
Montbeliard (25 Doubs, Franche-Comté) Christmas Lights and Market - 26th November - 24th December 2005 - see www.ot-pays-de-montbeliard.fr/
Nantes (44 Loire-Atlantique, Brittany) 1-31 December 2005 - Place du Commerce and Place Royale - "the biggest Christmas market in the West!"
Nort-sur-Erdre (44 Loire-Atlantique, Brittany) 17 December 2005
Strasbourg (67 Bas Rhin, Alsace-Lorraine) Christmas Market - 26 November - 31 December 2005 Place de la Gare (Mon-Fri 10am-8pm; Sat & Sun 10am-9.30pm)
Marseille (13 Bouches-du-Rhone, Provence) Christmas Craft Market 19th November - 24th December 2005, Place General de Gaule
Marseille (13 Bouches-du-Rhone, Provence) Christmas Truffle & Gourmet Delights Market (including chocolates in olive oil(?) and "calissons", a local almond and candied fruit sweet) - 17th December 2005 - Place de l'église de Mazargues
Mulhouse (68 Haut-Rhin, Alsace-Lorraine) Christmas Market - 22 November - 29 December 2005