European Waterways’ luxury hotel barges glide serenely along some of France’s finest waterways, featuring unique on-land excursions along the way that offer guests an authentic sense of local culture.
The market, a place where locals and chefs come together to try and buy locally-grown produce, has always been an integral part of French culture, so it should come as no surprise that every town and village in France has one.
While cruising along some of France’s most iconic canals, European Waterways stops off at a range of markets, alongside other hidden gems, offering a great opportunity to discover local delicacies that you may not always find in the main street.
Named one of the best markets in France, Les Halles of Dijon is located at the heart of this elegant and historic city.
The famous covered market hall was designed by Dijon-born Gustave Eiffel, who is best known for his creation, the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Open four days a week, visitors can seek out some of the very best foods of France – stalls are overflowing with artisan cheeses, charcuterie, fresh produce, cakes, regional specialties and wine.
During their cruise along the Burgundy Canal on either hotel barge L’Impressionniste or Finesse, guests are given an escorted tour of Les Halles, often accompanied by their onboard chef with whom they can choose ingredients for that night’s dinner menu.
Nestled near the River Serein in Northern Burgundy, Noyers-sur-Serein is a medieval village with half-timbered houses, carved pillars and arches dating from the 13th century, and has long attracted entrepreneurs, artists and craftspeople from across the country and overseas.
It has remained a wine-growing village with many cellar doors opening directly onto the street.
Their lively, weekly market is held every Wednesday, and during Autumn, you will find the famous Burgundy truffle market held in the town centre with stalls selling local produce and pottery.
You can visit this market while barging on board La Bella Epoque or L’Art de Vivre.
Narbonne, Canal du Midi
Narbonne, the Roman Mediterranean capital, is home to a very well-known indoor market.
Built at the turn of the 20th century, it’s a masterpiece of art nouveau style, with panels of frosted glass, decorative stonework and a wonderful cast-iron roof.
Hungry visitors can take a walk around more than 70 stalls displaying the wide range of products of bakers, butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers and wine merchants.
You can visit this market while cruising the Canal du Midi aboard hotel barge Anjodi or Enchanté.
Famous for its hot springs and spa resort, Casteljaloux is situated on the Landes Lot-et-Garonne, in the heart of southwest France. It boasts a historic centre surrounded by lush, green countryside. The main street is lined with little shops and cafes and the twice-weekly local market is held on Tuesday and Saturday mornings.
You can visit the Casteljaloux market during a cruise along the Canal de Garonne aboard hotel barge Rosa.
Gien, Loire Valley
Home of the famous Faience pottery and Chateau de Gien, the quaint town of Gien has a bustling market held on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
This beautiful and charming town is situated on the banks of the River Loire accessed by a medieval stone bridge.
Briare, Loire Valley
The pretty, flowery town of Briare is a perfect stop for those cruising France’s oldest canal, the Canal de Briare. With an impressive aqueduct over the River Loire built by Gustave Eiffel, activities can be found on and around the waterfronts of this town.
Head to their Friday market full of fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood, cheese and some French fashion stalls.
You can visit the markets in Gien and Briare while cruising aboard hotel barge Renaissance.
Saverne is located at the foot of the coast in the plain of Alsace.
Its picturesque Grand Rue (main street) is lined with beautiful old half-timbered houses, and the town’s majestic, 18th century Rohan Castle with park and museum has a neoclassical façade recalling the glory of the Prince Bishops. Many festivals are now held there making Saverne a lively place to visit throughout the year.
On Tuesday afternoons you can visit their local produce markets held in the Saverne train station, while the weekly market takes place on Thursdays from 8am – 12pm in Place du Général De Gaulle (Saverne marketplace).
Hotel barge Panache cruises through Alsace along the Canal de la Marne au Rhin with a stop off at Saverne’s markets.