Shopping in France: souvenirs and treats to stock up with on your French holidays

There are loads of great reasons to go shopping in France! Take a short break especially to trawl the shops and markets, or add a few opportunities to stock up on unique French products and souvenirs into your holiday schedule – from food and wine to antiques, fabrics, beauty products and artisan gifts, shopping in France is a real treat…

Champagne, wine and spirits

People have been nipping across The Channel to stock up on wine for years – the choice, prices and quality of French wines on offer at supermarkets and wine warehouses within easy reach of all the main ports make it a great idea if you’re bulk buying to stock up your cellar or host a celebration.

Vineyards and wine-tasting tours

More serious wine buffs can visit vineyards for tours and tastings to choose the perfect vintage; there are wine producers almost all over France so any holiday can include a visit to see fields of vines and learn more about the wine making process.

As well as famous wines and Champagnes, France is a top producer of excellent cider and Calvados in Normandy, Pineau, a delicious aperitif from Charente, and Chambord, a raspberry liqueur made in the Loire Valley and perfect used to flavour a glass of Champagne for the ultimate Kir Royale.

Fantastic food

France is renowned for its fabulous food so don’t miss the chance to bring some home and relive your holiday magic!

Tins or jars of preserved Cassoulet, Confit du Canard, Foie Gras, sardines and pate are all easy to transport and store. Superior quality Dijon mustard, Fleur de Sel salt and Provence herbs make lovely store-cupboard treats or thoughtful gifts.

You can also bring back some items with a shorter shelf life that are so delicious they wouldn’t have lasted long anyway!

Wonderful cheeses, delicate French macarons, artisan chocolates, sea salted Brittany caramels and full-flavoured cured meats are just some of the delicacies on offer; just make sure you have a secure cool box if you favour the more pungent cheeses to avoid a fragrant car journey home!

Pharmacy favourites

Did you know that you can find some incredible skincare and beauty products in a French high street pharmacy? Alongside the headache pills and cough mixture, French pharmacies stock high performance beauty products at very reasonable prices.

There are some wonderful brands to discover that are secret weapons in the fashion and beauty industry – look out for Embryolisse moisturiser, Cicalfate beauty balm and Biafine healing skin lotion and scour the web for bloggers recommendations to give your beauty routine a touch of French elegance.

Artisan gifts

Handcrafted French products make wonderful gifts for friends and family (or yourself!). Depending on where in France you stay, you’ll find charming soaps fragranced with Provence lavender, bespoke perfumes made to your personal specifications, beautiful paintings and handmade jewellery, painted pottery, colourful Basque fabrics or handmade Chantilly lace.

Street markets and boutiques are the best places to browse and buy, and don’t forget to take a look in the antiques and brocante warehouses or markets for even more unique finds and souvenirs on your trip.


If you drive your car to France by ferry you’ll have plenty of room to stock up and take home all your French essentials. Book a self-catering cottage or B&B with us and get 20% off your Brittany Ferries crossings – you could even spend the money you save on buying even more goodies!



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