Valence Christmas Market is the biggest one in the Drôme
Every year, the Christmas spirit arrives in Valence at the beginning of December. And in December every year, a magical atmosphere takes over the historic town centre with lights and decorations, the shops decorated with Christmas trees and tinsel, entertainment that livens up the town and the great Christmas Market where the sweet scent of mulled wine and pancakes fills the air.
For almost 5 years now, Valence Christmas Market and the ferris wheel have been bringing a festive atmosphere to the boulevards of the town centre and thousands of visitors come here every year. There are dozens of wooden chalets decorated with fairy lights and selling local products or handmade crafts such as jam, cheese, beer, foie gras, and you can also taste some hot pancakes with chocolate or caramel, waffles or churros while you're at the market. You can take your time strolling around the chalets and maybe find some great ideas for Christmas gifts: handmade jewellery, scarves and hats, natural and organic cosmetics, games, etc.
There is entertainment at the Christmas village throughout the whole of December, kicking off with some magical winter entertainment on the very first day. A parade of 400 local volunteers, adults and children, can be seen along the boulevards and everyone is in costume. Then there's a superb fireworks display after the parade, over the Champ de Mars. It's an astonishing sight! You can then wander around the Christmas Market and streets of the old town with decorations that will amaze the whole family until the end of December.
While the Christmas village is open, there will be a programme of free entertainment for the whole family: ice sculptures, wooden sculptures, singers, orchestra, street entertainers and much more. For those who are feeling sporty, there's an evening Christmas 8km run organised through the town centre of Valence, that attracts almost 1,000 runners every year (Click here to find out more and sign up ). Children will be delighted to come and get their photo taken with Father Christmas in his grotto. There's also a letterbox available so children can post their letters to him. Children will also enjoy the face-painting workshops, wooden games and arts and crafts workshops, free-of-charge.
You can also choose to explore the town on a horse-drawn carriage or take a ride on the ferris wheel in the day or evening to admire the breath-taking view of the hills of Ardèche, from 30-metres up above. Tickets can be purchased directly from the Tourist Office.
Valence Christmas Market is the main event of the winter and is a great way to spend some quality time with your family.