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Names of larger supermarket chains in Southern England, France, and Switzerland

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
I have decided to do the Via Francigena this summer from Canterbury to St Bernard's pass. I have special dietary needs and found it was easier to shop in the bigger supermarket chains on both of my Caminos, as well as during other travels in Europe. I do love to visit the local markets too - but they just don't carry what I need most of the time and I end up buying food that is not supposed to be part of my diet way too often. Also - there open hours are more reliable than little corner markers. Don't worry - I will shop in the little places too - but I need to find the bigger stores so I don't end up sick.

Can anyone help me identify the names of some of the bigger supermarket chains that I might find near Canterbury/Dover and in France and Switzerland? I want to look for them in google maps and mark the the ones that are close to the trail on the VF in "My Google Maps". I think I saw some Aldi and Lidl supermarkets in France and have seen them before in Southern Italy - any other big chain supermarkets I can look for?

THANKS!
 
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FireDragon

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
mid-April 2023 Via Tolosana to Pamplona, Sept CF
In Switzerland, you might add DENNER which sells items usually not found in Migros. You will find a chain that often has a food outlet and a market, PLACETTE and or MANOR.
 
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HikingGeo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2017-Sarria to Santiago and Lires to Finisterre
In the two adjacent smaller towns we stayed in in Switzerland (Fluelen and Altdorf in Canton Uri), there were Aldi, Lidl, Migros and Coop. Lidl was in Fluelen, the other three in Altdorf.
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
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In the UK there is also Waitrose, an upmarket chain, and Marks and Spencers. The latter has both food halls in its larger department stores as well as stand alone units. Also upmarket.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
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France is complicated, as some brand name supermarkets in the smaller villages and towns are actually run under concession, so that they are more costly through the multiplication of middlemen.

As to Italy, the supermarkets there very frequently use some extremely local distributors, even some black market, so that you would be better advised to just look at quality within your dietary needs rather than this brand name or that.
 
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TravellingMan2022

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
In the UK there is also Waitrose, an upmarket chain, and Marks and Spencers. The latter has both food halls in its larger department stores as well as stand alone units. Also upmarket.
I was going to mention Waitrose too for the more discerning customer, which sadly isn’t me! Probably a good option for special dietary needs. Tend to be in more upmarket towns.
 
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Harington

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
I have decided to do the Via Francigena this summer from Canterbury to St Bernard's pass. I have special dietary needs and found it was easier to shop in the bigger supermarket chains on both of my Caminos, as well as during other travels in Europe. I do love to visit the local markets too - but they just don't carry what I need most of the time and I end up buying food that is not supposed to be part of my diet way too often. Also - there open hours are more reliable than little corner markers. Don't worry - I will shop in the little places too - but I need to find the bigger stores so I don't end up sick.

Can anyone help me identify the names of some of the bigger supermarket chains that I might find near Canterbury/Dover and in France and Switzerland? I want to look for them in google maps and mark the the ones that are close to the trail on the VF in "My Google Maps". I think I saw some Aldi and Lidl supermarkets in France and have seen them before in Southern Italy - any other big chain supermarkets I can look for?

THANKS!
In England: Tesco, Aldi, Lidl,Sainsburys, Waitrose (there's one in the centre of Canterbury), Asda, Coop. I think they're all in Dover as well, except Waitrose, but it's easily checked.
 

Roland49

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2023!
In France: Casino, Super U
In Italy: Conad, Eurospin, Coop, Penny, Ekom, Ipermercato (by Carrefour)

The german brands Lidl and Aldi offering most of the time very good value for the money but they are likely to be found in the bigger cities and most likely not in the centers. Use the possibility to get cash w/o surcharge as you pay your goods with card.
 
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Friend from Barquinha

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
France : Lerclerc/ Auchan/Carrefour and my favourite : Intermarché but that is because I am biased and once bought the best merguez sausages ever in one of their stores!
I can vouch for both Leclerc and Intermarché, as both have presence in Portugal as well and I shop at both regularly. Both provide high-qualify food under their own labels, including organic and otherwise healthier foods.

Intermarchés tend to be present in smaller towns, while Leclercs (at least in Portugal) are hypermarkets in bigger places, selling electronics and appliances, clothes, hardware and housewares as well as all kinds of food. Intermarché tends to be a bit cheaper.
 
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jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
Use the possibility to get cash w/o surcharge as you pay your goods with card.
Is this with Lidl and Aldi specifically, or others? I love doing this in the US but have never had the option to do it in Europe - would love it if I can!
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
Thanks everyone for the helpful replies! So much easier to find when I know names to look for on maps rather than trying to search in other ways.
 

Roland49

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2023!
Is this with Lidl and Aldi specifically, or others? I love doing this in the US but have never had the option to do it in Europe - would love it if I can!
In Germany you can withdraw cash in most bigger supermarkets. Sometime they promote it and sometimes you will have to ask. I withdraw cash in the Dia in Sarria while I payed my goods.
 
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