Markets: Charente-Maritime – Saintes

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For those on holiday in France close to areas like Palmyre in campsites such as Bonne Anse Plage or Les Charmettes, a visit to Saintes is often tempting but not always fulfilled.

This is a shame because it does have a charming town centre and it’s a break away from the languid flat coastal resorts to a town with more “normal” rhythms of French life and it even has its own Gallo-Roman amphitheatre.

Saturday morning is the biggest one, with over 120 people selling their wares on the oblong and atmospheric Place St Pierre in the centre of town. This runs from 08:00 to 13:00 both indoors and outdoors and is also on Wednesday mornings when it’s not as big.

The next-largest market of the week – with about 90 vendors – is the Saint Pallais market. This takes place on Sundays from 08:00 to 13:00 on the other side of the river at Place St Pallais. Also on Thursdays on a lesser scale (50-60 stalls).

On Thursdays, it’s the turn of the Bellevue Market that takes place on Thursday morning at Place des Câtives. Some say that this one is great for bargains, being located in a real local no-frills district of the town where tourists wouldn’t normally go.

In addition to all that, the first Monday of every month hosts a foire or a fair on the wide streets of Saintes, such as Cours Reverseaux.

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