Christmas shopping with your family

Treat your loved ones to authentic gifts from spectacular France

If you fancy a winter getaway or want to stock up on goodies for the festive season why not take a trip to a Christmas market in France? Whether you want to shop ‘til you drop with friends and family or take romantic strolls along streets twinkling with Christmas lights with your loved one, make it a December to remember with a trip across the Channel to France.

Here are our top 5 Christmas markets to visit this festive season:

1. Caen Christmas Market (30th November – 31st December 2019)

Christmas with Santa Claus
Image credit: Unsplash, Tim Mossholder

Caen Christmas market is a bustling market with over 60 chalets selling everything from traditional decorations to delicious local produce. Set in the beautiful Place Saint-Sauveur in the centre of Caen, you’ll even find Santa here as he takes up residence in his grotto.

2. Rouen Givrée (27th November – 31st December 2019)

Christmas gifting and gingerbread cookies
Image credit: Unsplash, Miroslava

In the Place de la Cathédrale in Rouen you’ll find a village of 80 wooden chalets, all manufactured in France using wood from local suppliers and selling everything from mulled wine, gingerbread and hot chestnuts to Christmas tree decorations and unique gifts. There are two ice skating rinks to enjoy and at Santa’s Grotto, children can post a letter to Santa– they will all receive a reply from the man himself!

3. Nantes Christmas Market (22nd November – 24th December 2019)

Festive Christmas stall
Image credit: Unsplash, Humphrey Muleba

The Nantes Marché de Noël is the largest in western France with more than 120 stalls selling gifts, food and crafts including gingerbread and mulled wine. There are other Christmas entertainments across Nantes including music performances and activities for children.

4. Brest Christmas Market (30th November – 24th December 2019)

Christmas decoration with a mini train
Image credit: Unsplash, John Matychuk

Brest Christmas market takes place each year in the Place de la Liberté. There are around 50 chalet-style stalls which sell traditional food and various local products. There’s plenty to do for children including a carousel and miniature train ride with Santa.

5. Le Havre Christmas Market (1st December – 24th December 2019)

Carousel in France
Image credit: Unsplash, Kitae Kim

The famous Christmas market at Place de l’Hôtel de Ville in Le Havre is relatively small compared to the others with just 30 stalls, but it has something to keep all the family entertained including a fabulous big wheel and carriage rides.

Winter is also a great time to visit some of the most famous attractions in France, when they are less crowded and many places are beautifully decorated for the festive season. Mont Saint Michel is dotted with Christmas trees and festooned in over 7km of fairy lights making it even more magical than usual after dark.

Many of the chateaux of the Loire Valley also have special events at this time of year with festive decorations, actors in period costume setting the scene, illuminated garden trails, music, craft workshops and ice skating or markets set against the stunning backdrop of these gorgeous castles. Wherever you go there are sure to be local events to enjoy from carol concerts and Christmas markets to light shows, festivals and processions.

Holiday France Direct has a fabulous selection of properties for your winter holiday and you can also benefit from an amazing 20% off car and passenger fares with Brittany Ferries. For more information or to book visit:

Christmas market
Image credit: Unsplash, Ross Sneddon