Saint-Gilles-Croix-De-Vie was once two towns Sant Gilles and Croix de Vie, separated by La Vie river. In 1967 the two towns united to form one, and became known as Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. Today they are connected by a bridge that connects the towns across the river.
Evidence of the “two towns” still remains and can be seen in the “two churches” and the “two markets”, that Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie maintains.
Markets days are plentiful in the summer and occur several times during the week on the Saint Gilles side and on the Croix de Vie side. For the most part, it’s the same sellers at each market, but each market has its own character and charm. The days and hours can change throughout the year, but you can get up-to-date information on the Market Page of the SGCV Tourism Site.
The Saint Gilles Market
The Saint Gilles Market is located in the church parking lot and is spread out in a large orderly fashion, with predictable rows and alleys. As a result, it’s pretty easy to navigate.
Tour of The Saint Gilles Market Below
The Croix de Vie Market
By contrast, the Croix de Market is located in the streets of Croix de Vie, and winds around through the town, meandering through the small streets and back alleys, culminating in the church square. It’s equally charming and fun but definitely has its own character.
- Don’t touch the produce. The vendor will pick for you. Most often they will ask you what day you plan to eat a fruit or vegetable and pick the best one for you
- Bring cash. most vendors do not accept credit cards (with the exception of the larger vendors such as the cheese cart, seafood, and charcuterie trucks). But it’s best to inquire before ordering.
- Look for the sign that indicates which way the line should be formed so that you don’t lose your place in line waiting in the wrong spot.
- Bring your own bags and baskets, vendors will only give you small bags for each purchase. You’ll want a larger basket or bag to cart it all back to the car, which is a bit of a walk!
- Help yourself to the baskets, and bags hanging in the entry at Maison Coli!
- Markets are typically from 8:00am-1:00pm
- Get there early! Parking is hard to find on market days! Before 9:00am is best.
- Best public parking on the Saint Gilles side is in the public lot across from the Comptoir de la Mer
- Best parking on Croix de Vie side is in the public parking lot at the end of the town, across from the pharmacy along the harbor
- For current Market Days and Hours consult the Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie Tourist Site