Provence is renowned for its exquisite truffles, a true delicacy of the French countryside. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of truffles, exploring the best times to purchase them, where to find these culinary treasures, and highlighting our favourite truffle-centric restaurants.

The truffle season in Provence begins in early December and extends through March, with the peak quality typically seen from January onwards. Join us as we embark on a journey through the truffle-rich landscapes in Provence.

The best time to purchase fresh truffles

The peak season for black truffles, or "Tuber melanosporum," in Provence runs from November to March. This is when the truffles are at their most aromatic and flavourful. White truffles, while less common in Provence, can also be found from September to December. For the truffle enthusiasts amongst us, planning your visit during these months will ensure the freshest and most fragrant truffles.

When and where truffles grow in Provence

Truffles thrive in the limestone-rich soil of Provence, particularly in the oak forests of the Vaucluse and the Luberon regions. These areas provide the ideal conditions for truffle growth and the lush, wooded landscapes of these regions are perfect for a truffle hunting adventure.
The northern part of the Vaucluse region in Provence is particularly famous, selling over 70% per cent of French truffles, often referred to as "black diamonds." While the "Perigord" truffle is a botanical designation, the Perigord region itself produces only about 15% of French truffles. Interestingly, many of these so-called "Perigord" truffles actually originate in Provence. Of course, this means that many restaurants in the region serve truffle inspired dishes.

Vaucluse

The Vaucluse region is one of the most prolific truffle-producing areas in Provence. The northern part of Vaucluse, in particular, is famous for its truffle markets and truffle farms. The combination of rich limestone soil and extensive oak forests creates an ideal environment for truffles. Here, the truffles are known for their intense aroma and robust flavour, making them highly sought after by chefs and food lovers.

Luberon

The Luberon region is another significant area for truffle growth. The oak forests in Luberon are home to some of the finest truffles in Provence. This region's diverse ecosystem and favourable soil conditions make it a perfect place for truffle hunting. The lush, wooded landscapes of Luberon not only provide the right environment for truffles but also offer a beautiful backdrop for truffle hunting adventures.

truffle on plate

The best place to buy fresh truffles

For those seeking to purchase fresh truffles, the markets of Richerenches, Carpentras, and Aups are legendary. These markets are full of local truffle hunters selling their finest finds.

Richerenches market in Vaucluse

Richerenches market is particularly notable as it is one of the largest truffle markets in Europe. This market offers a unique opportunity to buy directly from the source, ensuring the freshest and most aromatic truffles. The wholesale market is held on Cours du Mistral, but if you just want to buy one or two truffles, or are keen to pick up some regional and artisan produce, head to Avenue de la Rabasse. Operating every Saturday from mid-November to mid-March, here you can find truffles in various forms, from whole truffles to truffle-infused products. The market's atmosphere is electric, with vendors proudly displaying their "black diamonds" and sharing their knowledge with eager buyers. Every year, its official opening is heralded with the Ban des Truffes inauguration ceremony and procession of the very-select Confrérie du Diamant Noir guild, bringing together representatives from various sectors of the truffle world.
Locals’ secret: truffle omelette at the Richerenches market

Most Saturday’s the school associations in Richerenches hold a "Truffle Omelette" lunch, for the unbeatable price of only €21 per person. It is held in a very nice, modern village meeting hall, with seating on long, communal tables, and provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere to meet the locals and enjoy the regional specialty. Your meal will include an aperitif, a three-egg omelette with a generous ten grams of truffle, salad, cheese, dessert, and all the Côtes du Rhône wine you can drink. It is best to reserve in advance to secure your place.

Carpentras market

Carpentras market, another prime location, is held every Friday morning from late November through March. It is one of the oldest truffle markets in Provence and not only offers an array of fresh truffles but also features local produce and artisan goods, too.

Aups market

While you’re visiting Aups, make sure you schedule time to wander the town’s fabulous truffle market – it’s the perfect place to hunt down black diamonds every week from November to late February. The Aups truffle market, held every Thursday morning from late November to February, is renowned for its quality and variety.

Arriving early at these markets is crucial to securing the best truffles, as they are highly sought after and can sell out quickly. Engaging with the vendors can also enhance your experience, as many are passionate about their truffles and eager to share tips on storage and preparation.

fresh truffles

The best restaurants in Provence for fresh truffles

La Beaugravière in Mondragon

When it comes to experiencing truffles, La Beaugravière in Mondragon is a culinary masterpiece. Renowned for its dedication to truffle cuisine, this restaurant offers a menu that celebrates the truffle in various quirky and delicious dishes. The chef’s expertise in integrating the earthy flavour of truffles is renowned and pays homage to the flavours of Provence.

L’Oustalet, Gigondas

L’Oustalet is one of our top places to eat in the northern Vaucluse region. It is set in an utterly romantic setting in a restored historic house in the village centre. In good weather, you can enjoy lunch or dinner outside under the plane trees; everyone adores the setting in the village square. The truffle dishes are exquisite, showcasing the rich and earthy flavours of the truffles without overwhelming the palate. The restaurant’s commitment to using high-quality, local ingredients shines through in every bite.

Chez Bruno, Lorgues

Chez Bruno is a paradise for truffle enthusiasts, set in a charming 19th-century building surrounded by vineyards. This family-run institution is renowned for its exceptional truffle dishes, where the passion for truffles permeates every aspect of the dining experience. From truffle-stuffed meats to decadent truffle risottos, the menu is a celebration of this prized ingredient.

Chez bruno truffle

Contact our concierge team

If you need any help with booking experiences on your trip with us at Provence Holidays, our dedicated concierge team is here to curate your perfect holiday.

We hope you can see by reading this article that exploring the world of truffles in Provence is more than just indulging in their rich flavors; it is an immersive experience that caters to both seasoned truffle enthusiasts and curious newcomers. Provence opens a gateway to truffle heaven, especially during the peak truffle season from November to March, when the freshest and most aromatic truffles are at their prime. Imagine dining under the serene plane trees in Gigondas or savoring a delectable truffle omelette at the vibrant Richerenches market. Truffle lovers, are you ready to dive in?

A bientôt,

The Provence Holidays team