If you are in or near Saint Tropez you should definitely try to make it to the Marche au Places des Lices. The Places des Lices sits in the heart of the town of Saint Tropez, and when the market isn’t open it is filled with people who play Boules all morning.
But Tuesday and Saturday mornings starting at 7:30 AM, the tree lined square becomes a beautiful outdoor market. On Tuesday morning we set off for the town of Saint Tropez at 7:45 AM. The market is absolutely gobsmacked in August and getting there by 8AM is sort of a must if you want to find parking and get any shopping done without being bumped around too much.
We parked in the underground parking closest to Places des Lices and set off for the market. I was immediately taken back with sensory overload. There were colorful spices, bright sparkly straw bags, t-shirts, cheese, sausage, breads, and produce. The smell of paella, bread and chicken cooking mingled with the scents of the open spice bags and tickled my nose. It was loud, and the sounds of people bargaining with the t-shirt sellers rose above the bubbling of stews and hissing sounds of the rotisserie spits.
If you come to the market be aware that some of the produce sellers have marked their stands “ne touche pas,” or don’t touch. My friend, a local, prefers the vendors who allow you to select your own fruits and veggies. The produce is abundant and beautiful. We stocked up on veggies for a ratatouille.
We sampled cheeses, some of the best I have had since our arrival, and some of the most expensive as well. The kids stopped at the toy booths and the bon-bon stand, stocking up on French water guns and candies.
There were panama hats galore and jams made to look like macarons. I was particularly fond of the sparkly straw bags and bags covered with sequins marked Saint Tropez. I have purchased so many of these bags that I fear I may need to open a French Sparkly Bag shop upon my return home.
Flower markets abound at the Places des Lices. The beautiful daisies, sunflowers and hydrangea are hard to resist. If you haven’t packed enough totes to bring all your goodies home you can stock up on these as well.
The market is open year round Tuesdays and Saturdays at 7:30 AM.