Buy all kinds of Provençal treats and products at the L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market:
Sunday is market day in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Our wake-up call this morning is the sound of stallholders setting up their stands and wares. The normally peaceful and quiet Place de la Liberté, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue’s small main square, becomes a hive of activity.
Bird’s Eye View
I love the local markets in France, so I am quick to forgive the stallholders for disrupting my Sunday sleep-in. From the window of our apartment on Place de la Liberté, we have bird’s eye view of the market in the square.
The Mistral is blowing hard this morning, making life a little difficult for the vendors as they struggle with their tablecloths and stall decorations. I particularly feel sorry for the lady whose rack of clothing keep taking flight. Mistral notwithstanding, the market momentum builds up quickly.
Not long after the arrival of the the vendors, the shoppers and visitors start streaming in.
Market Days in the Luberon
The villages in the Luberon have their market days spread out over different days of the week so there is a market operating in the Luberon every day of the week. L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue has two market days. The main and bigger one is held on Sunday and there is a smaller market on Thursday morning. If you happen to be in town on the first Sunday in August, there is the added bonus of a colourful Floating Market on the Sorgue River.
Being summer, and with the Avignon Festival on, the region is bursting with tourists and the L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market is a great attraction. But it’s certainly not just a tourist attraction as the people from the neighbouring villages also come to get their supplies here.
An Extensive Market
After our lazy breakfast, we decide to go downstairs and join in the market activities. The Sunday L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market is extensive and impressive. From the Place de la Liberté, the sprawling market extends down the Rue de la République to the Sorgue River front where there are many more stalls.
The vendors in the market are great. They’re always happy to discuss their products with you and have a laugh along the way. If you’re feeling peckish, there are stalls selling prepared food like this delicious-looking paella. But we’ve just had breakfast so we give it a miss.
Things to buy at the Market
The market stalls sell fresh fruit and vegetables, breads, cheeses and olives, herbs and all kinds of Provençal gourmet produce. Not wanting to miss out on my supply of cheese, I buy some early as well as some of the biggest cherries ever. The cherries are not only huge, they are also full of flavour, unlike the supermarket cherries back home.
The bottles of olive oil and jars of dips and sauces look tempting, but they are too heavy to carry. We still have a way to go after our L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue stay.
The slabs of nougat also look very tempting, and with great self-control I refrain from buying some. Yes, as someone who loves food, self-control is always required when going through the French local markets.
In addition to the food stalls, there are many vendors selling clothes, espadrilles, wood products, shopping baskets, tablecloths and napery. In Provence, you can’t escape the smell of the lovely floral soaps and bags of their famous dried lavender.
A vendor beckons us to take a look at his rubber bottle caps. He claims that they stop wine or beer from spilling from the bottle no matter how hard you shake it. The rubber caps look very plain and simple and our initial reaction is one of disbelief. We get closer to see the demonstration and the simple gadget seems to work well, so we buy a few (note: they really do work, amazing!).
These small eye-catching wood-carved figures and toys are good as little gifts as well.
The market finishes between 1 and 2 pm and the stalls have to clear out very quickly. The municipal cleaning service comes through the place and before you know it L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is restored to its pre-market condition. But you don’t have to leave the village as there are plenty of cafés and restaurants where you can have a meal and relaxing time.
How to Get Here
By Train –
L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue has a SNCF train station and so you can get here by train from Avignon and Cavaillon.
Tip: Make sure you buy your train ticket before boarding the train as there are inspectors at the turnstiles.
By Bus from –
Avignon – TransVaucluse Line 6 from Avignon to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue leaves from the Gare Routière (main bus depot).
Cavaillon – TransVaucluse Line 13.1 from Cavaillon to Carpentras stops at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.
Apt – TransVaucluse Line 14 from Apt to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue leaves from the Gare Routière.
Bus tickets can be purchased from the driver.
Don’t miss the other Isle-sur-la-Sorgue features at our website:
And get more interesting info about the attractions around L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue by checking out our features:
“Fontaine-de-Vaucluse – the Phenomenal Source of the Sorgue”
“Gordes – Jewel of the Luberon”
“A Walk In The Luberon Countryside With Some Intrepid Travellers”
“Abbaye de Sénanque and its Stunning Lavender Fields”
Please have a look our other videos too, and if you like them, why not subscribe to our Travelsignposts YouTube channel?
“Discover the Source of the Sorgue“,
“A Walk with Emperor Hadrian at Fontaine de Vaucluse“,
“Sorgue Idyll: Emerald Green Waters at Fontaine de Vaucluse”
“Fontaine de Vaucluse: Climb to the Fortress”
“Summer Lavender at Abbaye Notre Dame de Sénanque”
“From Abbaye de Sénanque to Gordes: A Walk In the Luberon”
The Luberon Coeur de Provence tourist office has some more details on Isle-sur-la-Sorgue at this link: Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, together with lots of other helpful information about the Luberon region.