Overview of tourist activities in France in 2018.
June 16-17 – The rally at Le Mans, near the Loire Valley. This is the world’s oldest 24-hour endurance racing, held annually since 1923. The race starts in the middle of the day and ends the next day at the same hour. More than 60 cars take part in these exciting competitions.
June 20-August 4 – Chorégies d’Orange. This is a significant event in the world of art, the summer opera festival, which is held in this ancient Roman theater, preserved to this day. It is located about 21 km north of Avignon in the south of France and accommodates an audience of 9,000 people.
June 21 is the Day of Music. The annual music festival, which has been celebrated since 1982 with performances by artists in the halls and on the street – in parks and public places. Free concerts are organized in which musicians play for fun, not for the sake of payment. Now the Day of Music has become popular in more than 120 countries around the world.
June 28-July 13 – Jazz à Vienne, south of Lyon. The festival has been held since 1981 for two weeks in the ancient Roman theater of Vienna. Every evening during the festival concerts of world stars take place. In addition to the main performances, small concerts are held in other cities, as well as concerts in pubs and music halls.
July-August – Festival of pyrotechnic art, Cannes. The annual international festival of fireworks, which is held in the Gulf of Cannes. Competitions are held for prizes in two nominations “Vestale d’Argent” and “Vestale d’Or”. This is a multi-day extravaganza of aesthetics, staging, synchronization, rhythm, which is attended by the most eminent artists representing the latest developments in the field of pyrotechnics.
July 3-31 – Carcassonne Festival. A unique festival that unites artists of world scale. In just 10 years, the festival has become a cultural event attended by more than 200,000 spectators. It is held in the medieval city in the ancient theater and more than 120 different shows, 2/3 of which are free. The theme of the festival – theatrical performances, music concerts, dances, as well as knightly matches and medieval holidays.
July 6-29 – Beaune International Festival of Baroque Opera. This is an international festival of baroque opera, founded in 1982. As part of his program, Mozart plays works on original instruments, as well as more than 80 other operas, and give more than 100 concerts of sacred music. In addition to this, the festival also hosts various music classes and workshops.
July 4-14 – Colmar International Festival. This is a popular annual summer festival of classical music, founded in 1979. Every year the festival is dedicated to the creativity and merit of a musician, composer, soloist or conductor who has made his own significant contribution to the history of music.
July 4-24 – Aix Festival. This is an annual international music festival, founded in 1948. It is mainly devoted to opera music, but also includes concerts of orchestral, chamber, vocal and solo instrumental music. Performances are held at several venues, including the Archbishop’s Theater, the Archbishop’s Palace courtyard, the Great Theater of Provence, Jeu de Palumes — the restored 18th-century theater, the Maynier d’Oppède’s courtyard, the Theater du Saint-Jean and the grounds Castle near Aix.
July 6-24 – Avignon Festival. The annual festival of arts, founded in 1947, which is held in Avignon in the courtyard of the Papal Palace and other urban venues. The festival is the oldest surviving festival in France and one of the largest in the world – about 1,000 shows are held over three weeks. Along with the official festival, a series of shows are being held simultaneously, which are called “Off”.
July 7-29 – Tour de France. Popular annual men’s cycling race, first organized in 1903, taking place mainly in France, as well as in neighboring countries. The competition consists of 21 stages, lasts 23 days and covers about 3,500 kilometers. The Tour de France ends on the Champs Elysées in Paris with awards and feast.
July 8 – September 3 – Paris Plage. During this period, temporary beaches artificially created by the City Hall along the River Seine and in the north-east of the city work in Paris. Every July and August, roads on the banks of the Seine close and become a venue for various events on the shores of sandy beaches with palm trees. There is a ferry linking the two banks of the river, as well as a swimming pool. The number of visitors exceeds 4 million people.
July 14 – Bastille Day. National holiday, marking the unity of the French people. On this day in the capital of the state on the Champs Elysées held the largest military parade in Europe. The guests of the parade are the President of the Republic, state officials and numerous foreign guests. The celebration is accompanied by mass folk festivals and large-scale fireworks.
July 14-22 – Jazz à Juan, in Antibes and Juan-les-Pénes. The annual jazz festival, which is accompanied by colorful street carnival processions and celebrations, as well as performances of both local and foreign jazz orchestras. Along the street where the festival takes place, there is a gallery of ceramic tiles laid in the pavement, with handprints of more than 50 world-class musicians who took part in it.
July 17-21 – Nice Jazz Festival. It has been held annually since 1948 on the French Riviera and is a European festival of jazz music of international importance. This is a large, bright and prestigious event, which takes place in the large garden of the Jardins de Cimiez and includes several stages, where groups perform at the same time every evening.
July 17-August 5 – Paris Neighborhoods Festival. This is a celebration of culture, theater, dance and music. The festival includes numerous performances, incredible shows and exhibitions – the Museum of the Moon, Japanese dance and martial arts, air gymnastics performances and much more.
July 27-August 15 – Jazz in Marciac. Jazz Festival in the south-west of France, held since 1978, was originally devoted to traditional jazz, but later diversified, its program was enriched and the festival became one of the most important in Europe. It has a budget of 3.3 million euros and is visited by about 230,000 spectators annually. The concerts are free; they take place at night on the main square, which has preserved medieval arcades, under a giant tent with 5-6 thousand seats. Local restaurants and taverns offer their festive dishes to visitors.
3-5 August – Jasmine Festival in Grasse. Flower festival, in which the main role is played by white jasmine flowers – for example, they give gifts to those who come in white. The program includes a variety of entertainment and games, animation, processions, watering a fire hose with jasmine water, music shows, a parade of sailing yachts and much more.
August 3-7 – Lavender parade in Digne-les-Bains. This is an outdoor festival dedicated to the main symbol and economic base of the Provence region – lavender. It was first held in 1929, today it is a big festival with free access, open to all. During the festival, day and night parades, processions, fireworks, music, a ball, a grand concert of world performers. Viewers are presented with thousands of bags filled with dried lavender flowers.
August 15 – Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. A large Catholic holiday in France is considered the second most important religious holiday after Christmas. On this day, the French attend services in the church, participate in Christian celebrations, street processions. For the French, this holiday is joyous, and is perceived not as the demise of the Virgin Mary, but as her bodily ascension to heaven.
August 23-28 – Fête de la Saint-Louis, Seth near Montpellier. This is a large-scale sea competition, leading its history since 1666. The tournament is the most important competition in its discipline, a kind of unofficial world championship. It takes place along the Royal Canal for six days. This is a great celebration and colorful show, including parades, fireworks and other entertainment.
August 31-September 13 – Jazz at La Villette, Paris. This is a jazz festival, created in 2002 and is a continuation of the festival Halle That Jazz, which has been held since 1986. Concerts are held at several venues, including the Philharmonie de Paris, Grand Al, Cabaret Sauvage, Trabendo, Dinamo de Pantin and Atelier du Plateau. The festival has a wide musical program and consists of performances of the most prestigious names of jazz, soul, hip-hop, funk and other similar trends.
September – Wine and Viticulture festivals in France. These are large-scale events and celebrations that are held throughout the country – fairs, tastings, entertainment and master classes for children and adults, concerts and performances by artists of various genres. The celebration in the villages is very colorful, they suggest costumed parties in the old traditions, with treats, games and shows that recreate the historical atmosphere of previous years.
September 1-2 – Braderie de Lille. These days Lille hosts the largest flea market in Europe and in the world, where you can buy antiquities, rare preserved rarities and antiques. The tradition of its holding begins from the XII century, today more than 10,000 vendors and several million visitors take part in it.
Mid September-December 31 – Autumn Festival in Paris. It is a modern multi-profile art festival, held annually in Paris since 1972. This is a series of great art exhibitions, theater performances, dance shows, music concerts and film screenings.
September 15-16 – Heritage days. A joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission with the participation of all 50 states that have signed the European Cultural Convention under the motto “Europe: a common heritage”. In France, the program offers to visit monuments and objects of culture and art, many of which are usually not accessible to the public. It is also a series of excursions to industrial sites and other special sites and historical sites throughout the country.
September 21-October 6 – Music Festival in Strasbourg. This is an international festival of contemporary classical music, which has been held since 1983. The festival hosts more than 30 large-scale concerts, the number of spectators reaches 17,000 people, and the festival budget exceeds 2 million euros.
September 22 – Technoparad in Paris. This is the annual holiday of rave and hardcore, which is played by DJs on trucks converted to music platforms. The deafening sounds of electronic music attract up to 400,000 visitors. In 2018, the parade will begin in Port-Royal, and will end at the Republic Square.
September 26-29 – Monaco Yacht Show. Europe’s largest exhibition of large expensive yachts on the water. The event was first organized in 1991 and focused on super-yachts over 20 meters long. The exhibition features more than 120 yachts, as well as almost 600 representative offices of other companies, including brokerage companies, yacht designers, luxury car companies. Over 4 days, over 150 private events are held, including press conferences and presentations.
October 4-13 – Oktoberfest, Paris. This is an analogue of the famous beer festival, involving mass folk festivals and entertainment, as well as tastings and drinking beer in huge tents for several thousand people.
October 6 – White night in Paris. This is a night marathon of entertainment and unforgettable shows, an arts festival. On this night, museums, private and public art galleries and other cultural institutions are open for visiting, and the center of Paris turns into an art gallery, providing space for art installations, performances, concerts, thematic social gatherings and other events.
October 10-14 – Harvest Festival. This is a celebration of the harvest of grapes, annually celebrated since 1934. About 200,000 people take part in the parade, a children’s day is held, numerous restaurants and cafes work, various cultural events await guests, and at the end of the day the night sky blooms with fireworks fire colors.
October 28 – Apple Holiday, Trevier. This is an apple harvest festival near Honfleur, there is a big fair where you can buy all sorts of apples, as well as products from apples. You can see with your own eyes the process of processing apples and making juice, apple cider and apple vodka – calvados. Numerous cafes offer dishes and desserts from apples.
November 1-11 – International gastronomic fair in Dijon. The fair is held for the 87th consecutive year and gathers over 200,000 visitors. It presents about 580 stands and tents, offering a wide selection of products for professionals and amateur chefs. The fair presents new foods and wines, as well as new trends in the restaurant and hotel industry. Chefs organize culinary demonstrations, various contests for chefs and wine conferences are held.
November 1 – All Saints Day. In France, this day is called Toussaint and it is a public holiday. Family members usually get together to go to the cemetery to lay flowers on the graves of the dead, light candles, attend special church services.
November 11 – Armistice Day. This is a day honoring the memory of those killed in the First World War and other wars. In France, it is a public holiday, so official institutions, as well as some commercial facilities may be closed. The leadership of the state lays flowers on the grave of the unknown soldier at the Triumphal Arch, solemn divine services are held in churches.
November 17-19 – The Three Glorious. Annual festival of St. Vincent, patron saint of winegrowers in Burgundy. It starts with a morning procession, in which about 100 Burgundian wine-making companies take part. The local church holds a festive mass. The basements are open all Saturday and Sunday, where artisans display their art, and there are also cafes that represent local cuisine. The village is decorated with a lot of hand-made paper flowers, and if the sun is shining you might think that June is on the street, and not January.
End of November-December 24 – Christmas markets. The most significant are organized in Strasbourg, Colmar and Sarlat-la-Canéda. Here you can buy gifts and souvenirs for relatives and friends for the upcoming holidays, as well as get a lot of positive emotions from the performances of street performers, food and drinks.
December – Christmas carousels, ice rinks and Christmas trees. All December France is waiting for the New Year holidays and having fun in the winter squares of their cities.
December 5-9 – Les Rencontres Trans Musicales. This is an annual pop and rock music festival in Rennes, Brittany. This is one of the most significant musical events in Europe, in which more than 62,000 people take part, more than 80 groups and professionals of the music industry from more than 26 countries of the world from all continents.
December 6-9 – Fête des Lumières. This is the festival of lights in Lyon, expressing gratitude to the Virgin Mary. According to this unique tradition, candles are lit in every house along the outside of the windows, which has a very impressive effect. The facades and streets are colorfully illuminated, the Fourviere Basilica is lit with colorful lights, and a variety of light shows are held on the Place Terro.
December 15-22 – Rise Festival. This is a music festival in the Alpine ski resort of Les de Alpes, at an altitude of 1,650 meters. Here you can have a great time, skiing or spending time at noisy day and night parties in clubs to the music in the style of grunge, house, dance and techno.
December 25th is Christmas. This is the main holiday of the year for the French, they prepare for it for a long time and celebrate with a big scale and fun. Numerous street fairs are arranged with nativity scenes depicting scenes of the birth of Jesus Christ, tents with treats are set up on the streets, and festive concerts are held.
December 26 – Second Christmas Day. On this day, grandiose fireworks, parades and numerous entertainment shows that create a unique magical festive atmosphere are arranged on the central squares of French cities.
December 31 New Year. December 31, almost in France, celebrate St. Sylvestre Day. On this holiday, the French are very noisy walking, eating a lot, having fun and waiting for the arrival of the New Year, which is usually celebrated in a large company of friends in restaurants and cafes of the city.