CHRISTMAS MARKETS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

It’s official: the 🎄 Christmas season is kicking off! The ❄️ snow has begun to fall and settle up high, ❄️ the mountain lakes have begun to freeze, and not too far from 🏔️ le Pays du Mont-Blanc, 🎁 Villages de Noël & 🎄 Marchés de Noël are soon to appear in the centre of bigger towns and villages (🇫🇷 Annecy, 🇨🇭 Montreux, Lausanne, 🇮🇹 Aosta . . .), bringing warming winter magic: mulled wine and 🥨 pretzels, 🎆 beautiful illuminations, sometimes a chance to do some ⛸ ice-skating and some Christmas shopping too . . .
 
Last year, the larger 🥨 Christmas markets were all cancelled due to Covid concerns – much to my dismay, as I do love 🥨 a Christmas market (though there were some smaller local ones!). In stark contrast, in 2019 MBFF been at one of the most well-known of Christmas markets in 🇫🇷 Colmar, Alsace !
 
This year, 🥨 the Christmas market season is BACK, with the larger markets in big towns and cities setting up from the 18th November 2021, and lasting a month or more. . . and we’ll soon have our own selection of ephemeral 🎄 Marchés & Villages de Noël au Pays du Mont-Blanc (from early December), with lots of artisanal and gastronomic goods made au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . .

for more information about preparing for 🎄 CHRISTMASTIME chez vous au Pays du Mont-Blanc, see separate article here :

  • 🎄 where to buy your own Christmas tree;
  • where to buy your Christmas decorations locally;
  • ✉️🎅 where to post your letters to Santa;
  • 📦 Les Boites de Noël – Secours Populaire;
  • 🎨 some ideas for Christmas craft chez vous;

and see separate MBFF article🎄CHRISTMASTIME & HOLIDAY SEASON au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond) here, for more information about:

  • 🎄 the lighting of town Christmas trees & 🎆 dazzling holiday light shows;
  • 🎄 BIG Christmas events and parks for families;
  • 🎅 visits from Santa and local Christmas events, spectacles and storytelling for families . . . 
  • 🎄 a CALENDAR of Christmas concerts . . . 

for more information about ⛸ SEASONAL OUTDOOR ICE-SKATING RINKS, see separate article here;


Colour code for listings:

Pays du Mont-Blanc

Chamonix Valley (Chamonix, Argentière, Les Houches & Servoz) and Vallorcine 

Passy & environs 

Sallanches, Combloux, Cordon & Domancy

Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, Le Fayet, Saint-Nicolas de Véroce & environs 

Megève, Praz-sur-Arly & environs 

Les Contamines-Montjoie & environs 

🇫🇷 Further France 

🇨🇭 Switzerland 

🇮🇹 Italy 


🎄 CHRISTMAS MARKETS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and further afield) in chronological order . . .

You’ll find some of 🎄 the bigger Christmas markets set up from the end of November!

🇨🇭 (GENEVA, Jardin Anglais) Noël au Jardin from 18th November ⇒ 26th December 2021

🎄 Le Jardin Anglais in Geneva is lovely throughout the year, but this year it will be infused again with 🌟 extra magic: artisans selling their wares, warming vin chaud, street food from around the world, and the Chalet à Fondue . . . and ⭐ Le Christmas Pub, with drinks from around the world! / and for the little ones: the 🌟 Monde des Enfants, a yourte with workshops, storytelling and more, and a carrousel!

when? for animations scheduled, see programme;

coup de cœur – MBFF visited Noël aux Bastions (the version of this event from 2019) just before Christmas in 2019, and had a lovely day: superb food huts (we travelled the world: Argentina, Iran, Mexico . . .), FREE ice-skating access, a brilliant new playground in the Parc des Bastions . . .

⇒ more information: website and FB page;

© Noël au Jardin

🇨🇭 (LAUSANNE) Bô Noël – from 18th November ⇒ 31st December 2021

🎄Lausanne’s Bô Noël is the ensemble of the🎄Marchés de Noël de Lausanne (5 markets, a village des enfants, two squares lit up and illuminations from Lausanne Lumières) / Village des Enfants: children’s workshops on Esplanade de la Cathédrale, every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 20th November until 29th December 2021, 13h until 19h (see here);

🗺 where? several locations in Lausanne;

when? see here / SHUT Christmas Day, 25th December 2021;

✨ NEW for 2021: x2 escape games !

coup de cœur MBFF headed to Lausanne a few years ago to experience 🎄Bô Noêl . . . we arrived to a magical flurry of snowflakes! There was a very festive spirit, the lights were stunning and the food markets were lovely (I was in food paradise when I discovered a Latin American stall . . . memories) . . . we even discovered some children’s workshops, glowing swings and Santa too!

⇒ more information: website and FB page;

© Bô Noël
© Bô Noël
Bô Noël © Bô Noël

🎆 Bô Noël runs in conjunction with 🎆 Festival Lausanne Lumières light show, which runs from 24th November ⇒ 24th December, every night from 18h30 until midnight (see website);

© Lausanne Lumières

🇨🇭 (MONTREUX, Lac Léman) Montreux-Noël – from 19th November ⇒ 24th December 2021

🎄Montreux-Noël stretches from the lakeside of Lac Léman, up to 🎅 Santa’s grotto in Rochers-de-Naye (at 2042m altitude, you can reach this by cobble train!), and across to the Château de Chillon (la Féerie Médiévale) too . . .

The Montreux section of the event is a destination for the whole family, with:

  • a large🎄Christmas market along the quai (150 chalets, decorated and lit along the lakeside: artisan wares, food, vin chaud, ideas for presents;
  • the fantastic 🎡 Big Wheel;
  • le Village des Bûcherons;
  • 🎅 Santa, who with his sledge and reindeer, makes an appearance each evening above your heads at 17h, 18h and 19h;
  • NEW for 2021: the parcours on ice!

good to know – the market does get very busy in the evenings, so do take due care with children and pushchairs! (personally, I would not have enjoyed an evening visit with a pushchair; with small children, I’d opt for a baby-carrier!)

🗺 where? for parking & transport information, see here;

❤ coup de cœur – I had been wanting to go to the 🎄Marché de Noël de Montreux for a long time, and a few Decembers ago MBFF finally managed a visit en famille . . . it was FABULOUS! We decided NOT to be too ambitious on our visit, and we kept to the Christmas market along the quai, and there was definitely enough to do there to keep us busy . . . the stalls, the lights, an appearance from Santa up above, 🎡 the Big Wheel (the boys loved this! Wrap up warmly, brrr!) . . . there are plenty of huts serving food along the way!

[ read about the MBFF experience here ]

more information: website;

© Montreux Noël

🇨🇭 (VEVEY, Lac Léman) Vevey Noël : Le Village de Noël – 20th November 2021 ⇒ 31st December 2021

Montreux’s little brother, and home once to Charlie Chaplin, Vevey also has a Christmas market, workshops for children . . . and a tunnel lumineux !

🗺 where? place Scanavin;

⇒ more information: see here;

© Vevey Noël

🇫🇷 (Château de Ripaille, THONON-les-BAINS) Salon de l’Avant Noël – 20th & 21st November 2021
© Château de Ripaille / Léman Créativ

🇫🇷 (AIX-les-BAINS, Riviera des Alpes) « Aix-les-Bains en Fêtes » : Village de Noël – 20th November 2021 ⇒ 9th January 2022

Aix-les-Bains’ 🎄 « Aix-les-Bains en Fêtes »includes a Village de Noël . . .

🗺 where? Square Alfred Boucher, 73100, Aix-les-Bains;
 
when? every day, 11h to 22h;
 
⇒ more information: here;
© Aix Riviera des Alpes

🇮🇹 (AOSTA, ITALY) Mercatino di Natale (Marché Vert de Noël) – from 20th November 2021 ⇒ until 6th January 2022

The🎄Mercatino di Natale is a Christmas market & village set within the Roman archaeological site of Aosta – what an impressive location!

🗺 where? archaeological area of the Teatro Romano, & Piazza Arco d’Augusto;

⏰ when? every day from 10h30 until 20h or 22h (weekends) and from 15h on Christmas Day and 1st January 2020;

⇒ more information: here;

© Comune di Aosta
Mercatino Natale © lovevda.it
Mercatino Natale © lovevda.it
© Aosta nel Cuore
Mercatino Natale © lovevda.it

[ good to know: if you head to Aosta for its Christmas market, there is a wonderful playground in the streets behind the Roman theatre! ]


🇫🇷 (ANNECY) « Noël des Alpes »: Marchés et Villages de Noël d’Annecy – from 22nd November 2021 ⇒ 2nd January 2022

Marchés et Villages de Noël d’Annecy is this year 9 different sites and 150 exposants!

🗺 where? 9 different locations;

⇒ more information: here;

© Marchés et Villages de Noël d’Annecy
© Marchés et Villages de Noël d’Annecy
© Noël des Alpes

🇫🇷 (LYON) Marché de de Noël de Lyon – from 27th November ⇒ 24th December 2021

Lyon is particularly atmospheric at Christmastime, and the🎄Marché de Noël de Lyon (the largest in the area) is lively, taking over Place Carnot . . . there are more than a hundred stands selling artisan goods and food.

🗺 where? Place Carnot (métro Perrache);

when? 10h to 20h (with nocturnes Friday & Saturday until 22h);

coup de cœur MBFF headed to Lyon for a weekend in late November a few years ago, and managed to fit in a visit to the Christmas Market, a walking tour of Vieux Lyon, and also a visit to the beautiful village of Pérouges (lots of Christmas magic throughout the city, but sooo COLD . . . do wrap up warmly, as the winter wind bites in Lyon and Pérouges!!);

⇒ more information: website;

© Marché de Noel de Lyon

[ good to know: a visit can be combined with Lyon’s famous and sparkling 🎆 « Fête des Lumières », from 8th to 11th December 2021 (see website) / the wonderful Mini World Lyon also has its own spectacular Fête des Lumières ]

© Fete des Lumières

🇫🇷 (CHATILLON-sur-CLUSES) Marché de Noël de Châtillon-sur-Cluses – 27th & 28th November 2021
© Châtillon-sur-Cluses / La Ripaille Cassandrine

🇫🇷 (MARNAZ) Marché de Noël de Marnaz – 27th & 28th November 2021

Marnaz’s 🎄 Marché de Noël is back again this year, with 30 stalls selling artisanal goods and Christmas decorations . . . meanwhile, the local associations of marnerotes will be in charge of selling crêpes, chocolat and vin chaud, marrons . . . as well as selling Christmas gastronomic delights – oysters, etc . . .

🗺 where? Parvis de la Pyramide, Marnaz;

when? 11h to 20h Saturday and 10h to 18h Sunday;

© Marnaz

🇫🇷 NEW for 2021 ! (Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard) « Le Château du Père Noël » – from 1st December 2021 ⇒ 2nd January 2022
This year is the first edition of the 🎄🏰 Château du Père-Noël, created by @mllerouge.event. A 🎄 Christmas market will set up in the magical grounds of 🏰 the Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard. This beautiful castle, with its views over Lac d’Annecy from its hilltop location, is magical even without a Christmas market . . . and so with one, it promises ✨ to sparkle even more!
© Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard

🎄 lighting of Christmas tree: Friday 3rd December;

© Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard
You’ll find: Christmas decorations, food stalls, concerts, illuminations, parcours lumineux & mapping, and also the royaume des enfants: every Wednesday to Sunday, from 15h to 18h, little ones can make a boule de Noël to hang on the tree, write a letter to Santa and la Recyclerie Père-Noël . . . a place where children can wrap a toy of their own (no longer used, but in a good condition!) to donate to the Secours Populaire.
 
© Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard
💶 price: FREE until 16h, and from 16h (when the illuminations start!) 4€;
© Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard

when? 11h to 23h;

⇒ more information: FB page;

 


🇨🇭 (MORGES, Lac Léman) Marché de Noël au Château de Morges – Wednesday 1st ⇒ Sunday 5th December AND Wednesday 8th ⇒ Sunday 12th December 2019 

The little chalets of the 🏰🎄 Marché de Noël au Château de Morges spill out into the gardens, the courtyard and the basement of this 13th century castle . . . food, wine and more!

🗺 where? rue du Château, Morges;

when? Thursdays & Fridays 16h to 21h, Saturdays 11h-21h, and Sundays 11h-19h;

⇒ more information: website & FB page;

© Marché de Noel de Morges

Thonon les Féeriques (THONON) – 2nd December 2021 ⇒ 2nd January 2022

Thonon Les Féeriques : a BRAND NEW Marché de Noël and more : a patinoire de 300m2 en glace naturelle, a fôret enchantée, illuminations sur l’hôtel de ville.

⇒ more information: here;

© Thonon Tourisme
© Thonon Tourisme

(Parvis des Fiz, Passy) Marché de Noël de Passy Mont-Blanc – 4th & 5th December 2021

With a German stand organised by Jumelage Passy Pfullingen !

Jumelage Passy Pfullingen © Cé.Grafik Illustrations
 

🇫🇷 (SCIONZIER) Marché de Noël de Scionzier – 4th & 5th December 2021

🗺 where? centre of town;

when? Saturday, 9h to 20h and Sunday 9h to 19h;

© Scionzier

(SALLANCHES) « Festivités de Noël de Sallanches »: Marché de Noël – Saturday 4th December 2021 ⇒ 2nd January 2022

As part of 🎄« Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches » a 🎄Village de Noël sets up next to the ⛸ seasonal ice-skating rink at La Grenette – this is a lovely, atmospheric little Christmas market, with little wooden cabanes, selling vin chaud, 🥨 pretzels and ginger bread . . . and lots of animations for the whole family;

🗺 where? La Grenette, Sallanches;

when? every day from 15h until 21h or 22h, and weekends from 10h;

⇒ more information: to come!

 

🇫🇷 (ANNEMASSE) « Bonjour l’Hiver »: Marché de Noël from 8th ⇒ 24th December 2021

🎄« Bonjour l’Hiver » is Annemasse’s Christmas event – as well as events for the whole family, there is a 🎄 Marché de Noël (30+ stands) & 🎄Village de Noël (on place de l’Hôtel de Ville), spectacles de la rue ((25è Festival des Arts de la Rue) and a small ⛸ ice-skating rink;

⇒ more information: here;

Patinoire Bonjour l’Hiver Annemasse © Ville d’Annemasse

🇨🇭 (COPPET, SWITZERLAND) Marché de Noël du Château de Coppet – 10th, 11th & 12th December 2021

The 🎄Marché de Noël du Château de Coppet is a lovely Christmas market to head to with small children or buggies: it is fairly small, and contained within pretty castle grounds. And you can stroll down to the lakeside and through the pretty village, after the market. You’ll find gastronomic delights (to eat on-site and to buy), artisan goods, Christmas trees for sale, animations for kids and visits from Santa! There is also an ice-skating rink next door!

❤ coup de cœur MBFF visited this market a few years ago now, and we LOVED it! At the time, we had two small boys, one in a buggy, and it was really easy to navigate and didn’t feel overwhelming due to large crowds (which is often the case with the larger Christmas markets!). We took time to explore the pretty village and to head down to Lac Léman.

for more information here;

[ to read about MBFF’s experience at this exquisite Christmas market, see separate MBFF article here ]

© Marché de Noel de Coppet
© Marché de Noël du Château de Coppet

And down through the village to the lakeside . . .


🇨🇭(CAROUGE) « Carouge Magique »: Marché de NoëlFriday 10th ⇒ Sunday 12th December 2021

As part of the winter event 🎄 Carouge Magique (from 1st December 2021), there will be a 🎄 Christmas market from Friday 10th ⇒ Sunday 12th December / the shops in Carouge are also open for business on 🗓 Sundays in December, with extra animations on these days;

🗺 where? along rue St-Joseph, Place du Temple, Place du Marché and in front of Mairie;

when? Friday 14h until 20h, Saturday 10h until 20h and Sunday 10h until 18h / December Sundays 2021 – and the shops are open in Carouge on Sundays of the advent;

© http://www.icarouge.ch

coup de cœur – if you have never visited Carouge, then Christmastime is a lovely time to head there and explore . . . Carouge is considered as the ” Greenwich Village ” of Geneva, with architecture showing its Sardinian roots (terraces, passageways) and boutique shops, lovely cafés and restaurants / as part of 🎄Carouge Magique, there is also an  ice-skating rink for children and les illuminations de la Ville de Carouge;

⇒ more information: here;

© http://www.icarouge.ch
Carouge Magique © Ville de Carouge

🇨🇭(GRUYÈRES) – « Noël à Gruyères »: Marché de Noël – from 10th ⇒ 12th December AND 17th ⇒ 19th December2021

🏰 Gruyères is a chocolate-box quaint, cobble-stoned medieval village with a crowning castle . . . and so Christmas here is even more magical! There is a 🎄Christmas market and much, much more . . . an advent calendar in the windows of the medieval town, concerts and processions, a Quête de Chocolat, a Christmas exhibition in the castle, midnight mass;

when? the Marché de Noël is from the 10th ⇒ 12th December AND 17th ⇒ 19th December 2021 (and 🏰 « Noël à Gruyères » is from 27th November 2021 ⇒ 9th January 2022);

⇒ more information: here;

© Gruyères Tourisme

🇫🇷 (THYEZ, Forum des Lacs) Marché de Noël  – 11th & 12th November 2021

Artisans, animations, spectacles . . .

🗺 where? Forum des Lacs;

when? 10h30 to 23h Saturday and 10h30 to 18h30 Sunday;

© Thyez les Lacs

🇫🇷 (SAMOËNS) Le Village de Noël – weekend 11th & 12th December 2021 AND 17th December 2021 ⇒ 1st January 2022

Samoëns (elected Mon Plus Beau Village de Haute-Savoie in 2021) has a 🎄Village de Noël, with fifteen chalets setting up in the main square around La Grenette and in the main streets of the village. There are plenty of animations and parades, Santa’s sledge, a nativity scene, vin and chocolat chaud . . .

🗺where? Place du Gros Tilleul & La Grenette, 74340, Samoëns;

when? Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th December, from 16h to 19h30 / 17th December ⇒ 1st January, from 16h to 19h30;

⇒ more information: here for more details;

© Samoëns Tourisme

(SERVOZ) Marché de Noël de Servoz – Sunday 12th December 2021

With local artisans, associations and producers!

🗺 where? centre du village;

when? 10h until 18h;

© Servoz

🇨🇭(NYON) Marché de Noël de Nyon – 16th ⇒ 24th December 2021

Little chalets selling products and food from the region . . .

🗺where? Place Bel Air, Nyon;

when? 11h until 22h on weekends, and 16h to 22h weekdays;

⇒ more information: here;


🇫🇷(CLUSES) Marché de Noël de Cluses – 17th ⇒ 23rd December 2021
© Cluses Arve & Montagnes

(SAINT-GERVAIS-MONT-BLANC) Noël à Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc – 18th & 19th December 2021

A ” marché de Noël artisanal, déballage des commerçants, stand de maquillage, animations familiales & musicales “;

🗺where? Saint-Gervais & Le Fayet;

when? Saturday 10h to 18h and Sunday 10h to 17h, suivi du goûter de Noël à Saint-Gervais;

© Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc Tourisme

🇫🇷(SIXT-FER-à-CHEVAL) Marché de Noël à Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval – Sunday 19th December 2021 

The lovely Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval has a🎄Christmas market, showcasing local artisans.

🗺where?in the heart of the village, in Place du Tilleul, Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval;

when?from 15h to 21h;

© Sixt Fer à Cheval Tourisme

🇫🇷(THÔNES) Village de Noël de Thônes – 19th ⇒ 23rd December 2021

With Santa arriving on the 22nd December !

© Thones

(La Crémerie d’Argentière, ARGENTIERE) Marché de Noël – 21st & 22nd December 2021

With local artisans, associations and producers!

© Crémerie d’Argentière

(LES CONTAMINES-MONTJOIE) Marché de Noël – 22nd & 23rd December 2021

There is an annual🎄Marché de Noël in Les Contamines-Montjoie / 30 artisan stands, hot chocolate, mulled wine, oyster tasting, folkloric dancing, Santa Claus photos;

🗺 where? l’Espace Animation des Contamines-Montjoie (address: 74 chemin des Ecoles, Les Contamines-Montjoie);

when? 22nd December, 10h until 20h and 23rd December, 10h until 18h;

© Les Contamines-Montjoie

FURTHER AFIELD 🎄 CHRISTMAS MARKETS

If you decide to head off even further afield for a weekend of🎄 Christmas market charm (but not too far away!), then here are some suggestions for some beautiful🎄 Christmas markets in 🇫🇷 Alsace & Lorraine, in 🇨🇭 Further Switzerland, and in 🇩🇪 Germany:

🇫🇷🎄 ALSACE & LORRAINE: the lovely village of Riquewihr, nestled among the vineyards / the village of Kaysersberg / Colmar / Obernai / Éguishelm / Mulhouse / Strasbourg / Metz;

🇨🇭🎄 FURTHER SWITZERLAND: Bern / Basel / Rapperswil / St. Gallen / Fribourg;

🇩🇪🎄 GERMANY: Konstanz / Freiburg;

© Strasbourg Alsace Tourisme

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