The loveliest Christmas markets
Take in the magic of Christmas as you explore these markets, whether located in city centres or in smaller villages. Found in each department of the Pays de la Loire region, they showcase a dreamlike setting and invite visitors to stock up on original gifts.
Angers (Anjou) -The most majestic
In Angers, the very central place du Ralliement gets all dolled up for the holiday period. Opposite the Grand Théâtre, ablaze with the illuminations, the chalets unveil their treasures, which include wooden toys, nougat, glass art, pottery, shawls and more. Visitors certainly won't grumble at the idea of stopping between stalls to enjoy a mulled wine or even cider! As for the kids, they'll love the big merry-go-round, as well as the shows and concerts offered on site.
Beaulieu-sous-la-Roche (Vendée) -The most amazing
Every year, it's the turn of the tiny village of Beaulieu-sous-la-Roche to glow as it transforms into a giant Christmas market with a magical atmosphere of yesteryear. It hosts over 100 exhibitors, with local artisans and craftspeople also showing off their creations. The Féérie des Santons astounds young and old alike with its miniature villages magnified by beautiful interiors. As you pass by, don't miss the animated window displays of local traders, whose clockwork figures are every bit as good as those in Parisian shopping centres!
La Boissière (Mayenne) -The most secret
There's an incredible story behind the Christmas market at La Boissière, a modest village of 130 which, despite this, manages to attract thousands of curious visitors to this event every year! Some fifty stands hold court opposite the stunning Saint-Serge church, where a large nativity scene is set up. Little ones stomp around in the fake snow, rush to the face-painting stand or watch the magic shows, while adults – some of whom come from Brittany or border regions – stock up.
Nantes (Loire-Atlantique) -The biggest
What could be a more beautiful setting than the place Royale and place du Commerce to host the biggest Christmas market in western France, in Nantes? With the whole city adorned in glittering decorations, 120 chalets boast gingerbread, garlands and jewellery as well as more unusual creations, such as personalisable soft toys, postcards by illustrators, origami decorations, offbeat fashion accessories and more. Face-painting and brass bands further enliven the event.
Tuffé (Sarthe) -The most spiritual
This is an amazing setting for the Tuffé Advent market, set up in an abbey whose walls date back to the 17th century! The event showcases products by local associations as well as carefully-chosen artists, craftspeople and designers. Expect to find paintings, hats, shawls, baskets, wallets made from plant-based leather, ceramics, soaps and more. This premium selection is displayed inside various parts of the monument, including the splendid dovecote. There's also a refreshment stall and a gourmet stand.