Feast your senses at Saint-Chinian’s Sunday morning market

Saint-Chinian Sunday morning market

Saint-Chinian is, most of the days, a charming, quiet little village tucked away between rolling vineyards and garrigue. Except for Sunday mornings, when a lively local market is held there. This is where people from far and near come to buy their groceries, both in summer and winter. And after the straw baskets are filled with fresh products and maybe some irresistible knick-knacks, it’s time to meet up with friends or family at one of the terraces.


The best time to visit Saint-Chinian’s Sunday morning market is early morning. It starts every Sunday (and Thursday, but the one on Sundays is livelier) from 08h00 until 13h00 on the promenade between the Rue de la Promenade and the Allée Gaubert. Although I always aim to be there around nine-ish, especially during the high season, I mostly arrive much later… That’s ok, too, but there are more people, and parking is much harder. I’m stubborn and tend to drive circles around the market and wait until I get lucky and find a spot. Once the car is parked, I start my stroll. Around 40 stalls are divided over two rows- one part mainly food and the other one non-food.

Saint-Chinian Sunday morning market

Plane trees

The good thing about the set-up on the promenade is that stately plane trees protect you from the sun. Their shade will keep you from getting sunburned straight away. First up is the food part, on the side of the Allée Gaubert. Well, that’s my order of preference. The choice of local produce is huge, so it can be challenging to make up your mind. Are you getting some of the fabulous cheeses, fresh oysters, tasteful olives, all kinds of tapenades, beautiful fruits and vegetables, locally made empanadas, sweet nougat, or …? It’s all there. On top of the deliciously roasted chickens and excellent paella, that is. There is even a stall with English products. Tip: don’t go to this market on an empty stomach!

Saint-Chinian Sunday morning market

Café du Balcon

In addition to the food market, there is also an important section where you can buy all kinds of stuff. It’s on the other half of the market along the Rue de la Promenade. I only sometimes go here, as the obviously all very useful products tempt me too much. From the typical hats you definitely need in the sunny South to floaty dresses, fragrant soaps, colourful fouta towels, straw bags and much more. Enough to keep you busy for a while, that’s for sure! After all that strolling and shopping, it is a local custom to relax on the terrace of Café du Balcon Chez Polak. Have a refreshing drink and catch up with the latest gossip before you head home to prepare a wonderful lunch. Or have a little nap to recover from all that hustle and bustle….

Saint-Chinian Sunday morning market
TO SEE - Markets
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