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The magic of the Christmas markets

Le marché de Noël de Strasbourg
Le marché de Noël de Strasbourg

 

From Colmar to Toulouse via Amiens and Lyon, the Christmas markets are there to invite you to taste their gourmet specialities and mulled wine, to find ideas for gifts and decoration for your festive tables, or to invite you to take part in entertainment for all, such as street shows, concerts and sliding on the illuminated ice rinks. Choosing the campsite to accommodate you during your discovery stay means taking an active part in the playful and magical atmosphere that the end-of-year celebrations represent for many of us.

In Alsace, the Christmas tradition is celebrated from Advent to Epiphany, and in Colmar it starts with the old town, which takes on a fairy-tale atmosphere thanks to its decorations and illuminations. There are a total of six traditional markets spread throughout the city, each with its own identity. The chalets have been designed by architects and decorators, which allows them to be perfectly integrated into each square to create a playful atmosphere. Each little chalet in Colmar will introduce you to its confectionery and other culinary specialities, from which the delicious aromas of citrus fruits, cinnamon and other spices emanate.

Also in the Haut-Rhin, Riquewihr is an essential stop on your trip to Alsace. The quality of its heritage and its exceptionally well-preserved architecture add to the beauty of the town when it is adorned with Christmas lights and decorations. The Riquewihr Christmas market is located in several historic squares in the town centre and is usually open from the last weekend in November until Christmas Eve every day. Don't miss the Christmas concerts by the Chœur d'Hommes de Riquewihr and the Saint-Nicolas procession.

Strasbourg is said to be the capital of Christmas, and the tradition of the Christmas market in the city dates back to 1570. It is arguably the most festive capital in Europe during this period, and has a unique atmosphere. It welcomes no less than two million visitors every year for five long weeks. There are almost 300 chalets in the historic centre called La Grande Île. You will be offered the traditional delicacies but also decoration and gifts. The whole city is lit up at dusk with all its illuminations.

Located in Moselle, the city of Metz has been a major Christmas market for over fifteen years. Every year between mid-November and 31 December, the Place de la République is decked out in lights to welcome around thirty chalets offering gourmet and artisanal products as well as decorations, all in a Christmas atmosphere. There are other sites on Place Saint-Louis, Place Saint-Jacques and Place d'Armes. The Sentier des lanternes (Lantern Trail) is a 'dreamy lighted' trail that families will enjoy in Metz during this period.

 

It's a magical atmosphere that awaits you in Lyon on the Place Carnot for a month. In the heart of the city from the end of November until Christmas, you will discover 90 chalets that will surely guide you in your Christmas shopping. Jewellery, toys, games, fashion accessories... everything is there! It is also important to note that 80% of the shopkeepers sell French-made products. A chalet for charities as well as a chalet for the professional integration of young people with disabilities will be on offer this year.

 

 

Amiens

Christmas market is the largest market in northern France. While it will be closed on 25 December, you can make a note in your diaries of its opening between the last weekend of November and 31 December. In addition to the 130 red chalets on the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, which will allow you to taste regional specialities, the city of Amiens proposes animations such as the puppet theatre, Santa's house as well as the big zip line and many other activities for the little ones such as colouring and workshops to write a letter to Santa.

In Mulhouse, the Christmas market is the third largest in Alsace. For obvious sanitary reasons, it is now spread out by theme on several squares of the city. Thus, there are about thirty chalets on Place de la Réunion for crafts, Place des Cordiers is dedicated to mulled wine and smoked salmon to be enjoyed under a starry sky, gifts will be more on the side of the Cour des Maréchaux and the creative atmosphere for children in the Square de la Bourse. The Mulhouse Christmas market also offers Christmas concerts, shows and storytelling in the Children's Village.

In Evian-les-Bains the Christmas market is unlike any other. Here the town hosts the Fabulous Village built in driftwood. This village is home to surprising little characters who will offer you tales, ecological workshops as well as delicacies, a real fairytale experience not to be missed if you are in the area.

 

On the Thonon-les-Bains side, the Christmas market is very different but still has a warm Christmas atmosphere. You can enjoy about fifty chalets with local gastronomy, not forgetting the traditional mulled wine, entertainment for children, an ice rink, shows and concerts. Two campsites *** to discover Thonon, la Drance and Saint-Disdille.

Some of the 140 chalets at the Reims Christmas market are located in front of the superb Notre-Dame cathedral. The part reserved for children is located in the courtyard of the Palais de Thau. During the day, you can take a seat on the Ferris wheel installed for the event to discover the city and the vineyards from above. In the evening, you can admire the illumination of the market alleys as well as the architecture of the cathedral, highlighted by a dynamic polychrome show.

Even if it is rare to see snow falling in Toulouse, the city is not exempt from a Christmas market, proof that these are not reserved for Alsace! From the last weekend of November until the end of December, the Place du Capitole is draped in lights to take you on a journey through the magical world of Christmas. Chalets offer sweets, mulled wine, churros... but also toys, games and designer items.

 

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