In today’s global marketplace, most items found in Europe can be purchased in the US. With the weakness of the dollar against the euro, there are not many bargains. But have no fear shoppers of the world, there are still some must have treasures!

Already mentioned in our Markets’ section are ceramics; lavender products; olive oils (many brands not found in the US); soaps (scent like violet, lilac, honeysuckle, etc, not common in the US); espadrilles; linens; spices, jams, jellies, mustards & tapenades; clothing & jewelry.

The most unique buys will be original paintings, antiques, handmade jewelry & clothes and santons (not found at the markets).

Santons are terracotta figures originally made for Christmas scenes. You can totally populate a crèche or purchase individuals pieces. Varying sizes and quality of the pieces dictate the prices of each santon. There are santon shops in Aubagne, Aix-en-Provence and Arles. Santons can also be purchased in many tourist shops, but there is typically a difference in the quality of workmanship.

If a town has a high tourist appeal, shops are usually more t-shirt and souvenir. Larger towns/cities, such as Aix-en-Provence, Nice, and Cannes have more variety in types of shops as well as price ranges.

Smaller towns/villages that have unique, locally owned shops are St. Remy, Gordes, Lourmarin, Moustiers (for ceramics), St. Tropez, Tourrettes-sur-Loup, Eze and Mougins. The ceramics found in Vallarius provide many choices. If you want an unusual item, head there. You can find the bubble glass in goblets and sometimes pitchers in the US, occasionally at even at discount stores. Although, you won’t find the quality or variety of items and colors found in Biot. Plus you bought it in Provence!