The Dordogne town of Sarlat boats one of the best and most authentic markets in the region. The market days are Wednesdays and Saturdays when locals and tourists flock to the town from the surrounding areas to stock up on the finest local produce. The abundance of villas near Sarlat means a lot of tourists visit this market but the sheer number of locals who also rely on Sarlat market keeps it feeling authentic and traditional.
The market takes up the entire area around Place de la Liberte, rue de la Republique and rue Victor Hugo and the streets are filled with brightly coloured tents and stalls. All the usual vendors can be found here and regional specialties such as duck, goose and truffles are among the most popular buys. Cheese is also, of course, widely sold at the market with a mouth-watering selection of regional varieties and more generic cheeses. The pick among the fruit is probably the fantastic local cherries, which you will see piled high on stalls. Walnuts are another good buy here and you'll be amazed by how cheap they are compared to in the UK.
As well as the main Wednesday and Saturday outdoor market, Sarlat has a daily indoor market in the Eglise Sainte Marie. This is open every morning until 2pm and is a good alternative to the main market if you are unable to visit Sarlat on Wednesday or Saturday. The summer months (between mid-June to mid-September) also see an evening market come to Sarlat. Specialising in organic produce, the evening market takes place every Thursday in Place 14 Juillet from 6-10pm. If you're staying in one of the nearby gites, why not head into Sarlat one Thursday evening for dinner before stocking up on delicious organic produce to take back to your accommodation?
Sarlat itself is a pretty medieval town, making it perfect for an afternoon of sightseeing when you've finished at the market. The winding cobbled streets, picturesque courtyards and well-preserved buildings lend the town a fairy-tale charm. The local pavement cafes are perfect for stopping for a little refreshment and just watching the world go by.
If you intend to spend an entire day in Sarlat (and there's plenty to occupy you if you do), the Place de la Liberte is a wonderful spot for an aperitif once the market has wound down and the vendors have packed up for the day. Evenings are warm from late spring well into autumn so sitting relaxing with a drink at sunset is a great way to end your day in Sarlat.