On any average day, the French town of Aillant-sur-Tholon in Burgundy, is home to around 1500 inhabitants. However, one weekend a year, the number of people in the town grows exponentially as the Foire aux puces d’Aillant-sur-Tholon takes place. Locals as well as organizers of this massive flea market prepare days in advance to be without rest and sleep for the duration of the weekend. And all efforts go into ensuring that this event is the largest and best brocante that France hosts for this one special weekend each year.
Foire aux puces d’Aillant-sur-Tholon is arranged by the tourist office of the town, and now hosts in average more than 650 merchants every year. The flea market stretches across a 7 km area, meaning it is almost impossible to see the wares of every vendor, even with a full weekend ahead of you. Visitors come from all over France to visit the fair, but also as far as Italy, Germany, Belgium, the UK, and the Netherlands. Some are flea market enthusiasts, others are serious collectors and most just come to enjoy the laid back ambience and to find a bargain or two. All tastes are catered for, and every visitor is made to feel most welcome.
There is an amazing amount of variety in the goods for sale at Foire aux puces d’Aillant-sur-Tholon. There are vintage pieces of furniture, old bicycles, antique cameras, comic collections, old newspapers, vintage toys and pull-down charts, record players, typewriters, clothing, jewelry, kitchen utensils, crockery, antique farming equipment and gardening implements, boxes, antique mirrors, artwork and so much more. Visitors are completely spoiled for choice, and collectors may well be too!
Almost as important as the goods at Foire aux puces d’Aillant-sur-Tholon are the food stalls. There are more than enough strategically placed through the kilometers of market stalls, so shoppers are never more than a few steps away from refreshment. Local treats are highlighted, and many of the cafes and restaurants have special events and offers during the market weekend. Foire aux puces d’Aillant-sur-Tholon is a great trip for the whole family and a weekend well spent. If you’re planning on spending a week road tripping in Burgundy in August, you can kill two birds with one stone and visit the Bricabrac de Mézilles which takes place exactly a week after the Foire aux puces d’Aillant-sur-Tholon.