First Christmas market of the year at the Cracker Fair at Abbaye de Valmagne

By November 27, 2018MARKET, TO SEE
Cracker Fair

With Chrismas fast approaching, it is time to get in the festive mood. What better way to do so by visiting one of the locally organised Christmas markets? The South of France also takes part in this tradition and many “Marchés de Noël” pop-up in our region’s villages and towns. One of the first to be organised is the yearly Cracker Fair at the magical Abbaye de Valmagne.

Christmas shopping

The Cracker Fair has been held since 2007 and is known as one of the best Christmas markets in the region. With no less than 220 exhibitors, I was very likely to succeed in my Christmas shopping. This great event took place at the last weekend of November 2018: Saturday 24 November to Sunday 25 November, open each day from 10h00 to 18h00.

Cracker Fair


The stalls were scattered around the Abbaye and were filled with all kinds of products. The first part was the outside market, right after the entrance. I really loved looking through all the creations by local and international artists and artisans who live in the region. From the softest knitwear to fine wines: there was something for everyone. Including, some traditional Christmas crackers! I continued on my way to the beautifully restored cathedral, which hosted even more stalls. What a great setting for a Christmas market!

Cracker Fair


I arrived a bit late, so I had to quicken my pace slightly. And, unfortunately, I missed the carols, which are sung by a choir at various places in and around the abbaye between 14h00 and 16h00. But I did get to see the Abbaye at night. By the time I got to the beautiful groin vaulted cloister and the inner garden, the deep blue sky had turned into a darker blue and the lights started to shimmer. In this dreamy fairytale setting, by the fountain, you could believe that you might even meet Santa Claus.

Cracker Fair

Perfect gifts

In the end, I did get some great gifts for Christmas. Mostly for family and friends, but I couldn’t resist the ceramic sea urchins made by the talented Joëlle Veit. So I bought one for under our Christmas tree as well. Together with a bottle of locally brewed gin from the Domaine la Sarabande for Chéri. Next year I’ll make sure I arrive in the morning so I can take my time!

Cracker Fair


Languedoc Living yearly organises the Cracker Fair at the Abbaye de Valmagne in Velleveyrac. This Christmas market with international and local artists and artisans takes place at the end of the year on a Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 to 18h00. Dates vary, so it’s best to follow the Languedoc Living facebook page to find out about next year’s event. The ticket price is 5 euros, and it’s free for children under 12 years old.


You will find free parking next to the Abbaye de Valmagne.

Cracker Fair
Abbaye de Valmagne
34560 Villeveyrac
+33 (0)4 67 78 06 09


You may also like


A fairy-like Christmas at the Féeries de Noël in Aniane

| MARKET, TO SEE | No Comments
TO SEE | MARKET Yearly, the little village of Aniane near Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert transforms into a Christmas fairytale. During the Féeries de Noël, the Chapel of Pénitents hosts the largest life-sized...
Village Noël

Port Barcarès will get you in the Christmas spirit

| MARKET, TO SEE | No Comments
TO SEE | MARKET If you’re nuts for Christmas markets, then the one in Port Barcarès is where you should go. People come from far and wide to indulge in...

Enchanting Christmas market at Château Les Carrasses

| MARKET, TO SEE | No Comments
TO SEE | MARKET One of my favourite local Christmas markets is the one at Château Les Carrasses in Quarante, organised yearly on a Sunday in December. The setting is...

Leave a Reply