Not-to-be-missed events in the South of France

All the months of the year are ideal for getting together again in the South of France. They are colourful and filled with flavours and scents, and the South is good for making merry, dancing and laughing whatever the season.

January: snow & mimosa

For Epiphany following tradition in the South, we don’t share almond pie but instead the King’s brioche to name the lucky person of the day. And because, in Provence, the beginning of the year is synonymous with the mimosa harvest, let’s head for Mimosalia in Bormes-les-Mimosas. A weekend where keen gardeners who want to make their garden their nature bubble, convene. Meanwhile, in the Hautes-Alpes, the Outdoor Mix Winter Festival is back and promises a vitamin-packed cocktail of differoutdoor sports and free concerts for fun in the snow.

February: deep blue & golden yellow

It’s the start of Oursinades season. A great opportunity to enjoy the sea-urchins fished in the calanques of the Côte Bleue. At the same time, mimosa is in flower on the Côte d’Azur. It perfumes and gives colour to the landscapes of the Var. In Bormes-les-Mimosas, floats covered in yellow flowers and fronds parade in the streets during the Corso Fleuri while in Menton, another yellow treasure is in the limelight La Fête du Citron (lemon festival). This event which is the only one of its kind in the world uses tons of citrus fruit for monumental designs. The carnival corsos continue for the two weeks of festivities in the Carnaval de Nice, and the colourfully costumed town hums to the rhythm of the shows.

March: life in violet

In Tourrettes-sur-Loup, each first weekend in March announces the Fête des Violettes. Which means the end of the season for the producers and the arrival of spring. You can’t miss what has become, thanks to its corso fleuri, a real institution! The village is clothed in gorgeous colours and flowers, a photo exhibition reminds us of pretty local tradition, not forgetting guided tours on the themes of violets and the emblematic village buildings. A Provencal market and a traditional meal will provide our taste buds with some delicious sweets and indulgences. On the following March 8, we celebrate Womens’ Day, and women get free ski passes, so what are you waiting for? Get on the slopes! And for men, you can also make the most of the last descents. Hop on your skis and head for the sunny runs of the South.

April: vintage cars & retro deco

In the Var in springtime, the Grand Prix de France Historique is back again in Le Castellet. Pilots congregate behind the wheels of Formula 1s from the 50s, 60s and 70s, tearing at top speed around the Circuit Paul Ricard. An event which still gives its spectators a thrill. For those who prefer antiques to racing cars, the Foire Internationale Art & You awaits you in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue where updated vintage rubs shoulders with contemporary art and design.

May: roll out the red carpet & extreme sports

Every year, the official selection and the stars walking up its steps make the headlines. The Festival de Cannes lights up the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès and the whole town. The prize distribution announces a plethora of artists who have come to pose on the red carpet. And if you can’t wait for an autograph, the Outdoor Spring Festival promises some great moments in Embrun. Extreme sports and concerts in the Hautes-Alpes to set your hearts on fire!

June: Lavender, the star

In the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the Valensole plateau is clothed in shades of violet-blue. Lavender starts blooming in the middle of June and perfumes the roads with its woody, aromatic, fresh and floral notes. Take a drive along the Routes de la Lavande to meet keen cultivators who grow and process the blue gold of Provence.


July: sunflower season

In the Luberon, the myriad of fields of sunflowers takes on a lovely yellow-ochre colour. These stretches of sun-kissed sunflowers in full bloom announce a rich vegetable oil. While we wait to taste it, the Festival d’Art Lyrique in Aix-en-Provence echoes on the walls of the town. As for the Rencontres d’Arles, they offer lots of highly photogenic discoveries. Lastly, the Festival d’Avignon continues to give room to the performing arts with an even more surprising programme.

August: markets & traditional parades

The Corso de la Lavande, the biggest festival in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, returns each year to Digne-les-Bains. It’s an outdoor festival to celebrate the delightfully scented plant which is part of the region’s economy. In L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, the – is the most emblematic one. As they used to do in olden times, people come to buy good, fresh local products from the merchants dressed in period costume and who glide from one bank to the other on the traditional little “Nègo Chin” boats.

September: land & sea

The harvest is starting in the South of France and the clusters of sun-packed red and green grapes are being picked. In Cassis, the Vendanges Étoilées devote three days to gourmet food, the art of the table and AOC wines in a good atmosphere. At the same time, the Voiles de Saint-Tropez are heading out to sea. From classic, often hundred-year old boats to the ultra-modern ones which are among the most beautiful in the world, here again it’s a passion shared in a good atmosphere on land and at sea.

October: Chestnuts as a speciality

In the autumn, the emblem of Collobrières is once again in the limelight for the Fête de la Châtaigne. Producers and artisans introduce the chestnut in all its forms – grilled, pureed or iced – thanks to their work all year round, which is well worth celebrating. At the same time in Hyères, 300 creators compete and present their world during the Festival de la Mode, de la Photographie et des Accessoires.

November: a thrill for your taste buds and your eyes

The truffle is back on the market stalls and at truffle producers. As we get near Christmas, this is a great opportunity to indulge yourself and embellish your dishes. There are many much sought-after regional truffle markets that are an invitation to enjoy it. From fine gourmets to budding chefs, the choice is yours! And at the same time, we meet the manadiers at the Festival Abrivado des Plages in Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer with lovely demonstrations of their magnificent bulls and Camargue horses.

December: love & the Christmas spirit

With their traditional wooden chalets, Provencal sweets, hand-made soaps and ceramics, cribs and santons, Provencal Christmas markets have people of all ages dreaming! We recommend the  foires aux santons in Marseille and Aubagne. In Sanary-sur-Mer, the town is lit up and promises a light-filled trip to the harbour where the yachts twinkle magically. December is also flamingo mating season. In the Camargue, if you’re patient you might be able to watch their courtship ritual to find female companion.

to discover