Best time to visit Provence & French Riviera

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Provence & French Riviera

Best time of year to visit Provence & French Riviera

Beach, lavender blooming, and lots of outdoor activities? This is summer, and most people consider it to be the best time to visit Provence. If you are a real lavender lover, you can ignore the crowds and come between June and August to get astonished by the endless purple fields. Summer brings appealing beach season and perfect hiking, just keep in mind packed hotels and higher prices. Warm autumn brings the sweetest grapes and the best olives you've ever tasted. The tourist crowds dissipate, yet in September the days remain long and sunny. December through February is the high time to enjoy extreme price cuts, explore the magnificent Calanques, hunt for truffles, ski in the Southern Alps, and taste great Christmas foods. Spring months are pleasant, villages awaken as it gets warmer, and tourist flocks haven't arrived yet, so you can experience a more authentic life in the region.

5 THINGS TO DO IN PROVENCE & FRENCH RIVIERA (JULY 13 - JULY 22)

Le 14 Juillet​ or Bastille Day

Le 14 Juillet​ or Bastille Day

July 14 • event

This National Holiday is the largest and most important annual celebration in France

Col du Lautaret

Col du Lautaret

all year round • activity

The highest year-round pass in France

Exotic Garden of Monaco

Exotic Garden of Monaco

all year round • nature

Find shelter under the exotic trees of Monaco

Socca

Socca

all year round • food

Discover the south coast of France by tasting local street food

The Cave of Saint-Marcel d’Ardèche

The Cave of Saint-Marcel d’Ardèche

all year round • nature

One of the largest caves in France offers an exceptional show

64 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

Lavender Fields in Bloom

Lavender Fields in Bloom

out of rangeJune–August • nature

One of the first things that come to mind when you think of Provence is a magnificent lavender field

The Gitan Pilgrimage

The Gitan Pilgrimage

out of rangeMay 24–May 25 • event

Watch a small sleepy seaside town of Saintes Maries de la Mer turns into a noisy and wild carnival with Gypsy dancing and music

Exploring the Calanques

Exploring the Calanques

out of rangeOctober–May • nature

This natural treasure of Provence and cousin to the Scandinavian fjords is an essential highlight of any trip to the region

Tour de France

Tour de France

out of rangeJune 29-July 21, 2024 • event

The world's biggest, most challenging, and beautiful cycling event

Fromage de Chèvre or Goat Cheese

Fromage de Chèvre or Goat Cheese

out of rangeApril–October  • food

Wine and cheese are a classic, but in Provence, ​these words have a whole new meaning

Mimosa Route

Mimosa Route

out of rangeJanuary–March • nature

Travel from town to town, visiting the festivities dedicated to the beautiful mimosa blossom

Pétanque World Championship (Mondial La Marseillaise à Pétanque)

Pétanque World Championship (Mondial La Marseillaise à Pétanque)

out of rangeJune 30-July 3, 2024 • event

A sport in which the French are the ultimate champions

Sunflower Fields

Sunflower Fields

out of rangelate June–July • nature

Bright-yellow sunflower fields provide a beautiful contrast to the lush purple rows of lavender

Festival De Cannes

Festival De Cannes

out of rangeMay 14–25, 2024 • event

One of the world's biggest and most important events, the Cannes Film Festival in the French Riviera, speaks for itself

Nice Jazz Festival

Nice Jazz Festival

out of rangeJuly 17–21, 2023 • event

Save the date for the annual Nice Jazz Festival to be spoilt with the best of national and international timeless music

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez

out of rangeSeptember 26-October 6, 2024 • event

The sun, the breeze, the Bay of Saint-Tropez and, of course, the beautiful yachts. All this creates an unforgettable​ spectacle

Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse

out of rangeMay–September • food

Not only the flavour of this fish soup is special, but the method of serving it as well

Feria du Melon and Melon Season

Feria du Melon and Melon Season

out of rangeJuly 6-7, 2024 • event

Visit Cavaillon's most fragrant and sweet festival and taste some Charentais melons—a local speciality

Pain, Amour et Chocolat

Pain, Amour et Chocolat

out of rangeFebruary 14 • event

If you have a great love affair with chocolate, you have to visit Bread, Love, and Chocolate Fair in Antibes for the Valentine's Day weekend

Carnaval de Nice

Carnaval de Nice

out of rangeFebruary 17-March 3, 2024 • event

The most important winter event in the French Riviera and one of the largest Carnivals in the world​​

Beach Season

Beach Season

out of rangeJune–October • activity

Provence is famous not only for wine and lavender ​but also for the beautiful beaches and the bright-blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea

Chestnut Season and Fête de la Châtaigne

Chestnut Season and Fête de la Châtaigne

out of rangeOctober • food

A little province in the South of France is the chestnut capital of the world

Olive Picking

Olive Picking

out of rangeNovember–December • food

In Provence you can still experience traditional farming and take part in olive harvesting

Le Défi de Monte-Cristo or the Monte Cristo Challenge

Le Défi de Monte-Cristo or the Monte Cristo Challenge

out of rangeJune 2–4, 2023 • event

You can either repeat Edmond Dantès' feat or watch the 2-kilometer swimming race and enjoy yourself on the shore

The Rencontres d'Arles

The Rencontres d'Arles

out of rangeJuly 1–September 22, 2024 • event

During this festival, you'll be able not only to admire ​photography but also the architecture of the festival's venues

Hiking in Gorges du Verdon

Hiking in Gorges du Verdon

out of rangemid-April–mid-October • activity

The so-called "Grand Canyon of France" is a beautiful river valley with breathtaking views

Fête De La Véraison

Fête De La Véraison

canceledAugust 5–7, 2022 • event

A traditional celebration of the medieval past and the wine grape harvest in Châteauneuf-du-Pape on the first weekend of August

Cheval Passion

Cheval Passion

out of rangeJanuary 15-19, 2025 • event

This equestrian event in Avignon is an elegant and original spectacle

Strawberry Harvest and Fête de la Fraise

Strawberry Harvest and Fête de la Fraise

out of rangeMay 8 • event

Sweet festivals in beautiful old villages are a sign of spring

Cycling around Mont Ventoux

Cycling around Mont Ventoux

out of rangeMay–October • activity

Explore villages, olive groves, vineyards, and other wonders in the Mont Ventoux region

Millévin

Millévin

out of rangeNovember 21, 2024 • event

A joyous and epicurean celebration of the arrival of the new Côtes du Rhône vintage

Wine Grape Harvest

Wine Grape Harvest

out of rangeSeptember  • food

September is a very special time of the year which every farmer with a vineyard looks forward to

Ironman 70.3

Ironman 70.3

out of rangeMay 19, 2024 • event

The home of a famous triathlon, Aix-en-Provence, annualy gathers triathletes from all over the world for a big race

Centifolia Rose and Jasmine Harvest

Centifolia Rose and Jasmine Harvest

out of rangeMay–mid-June | August–early October • activity

Take a tour into the gardens of Grasse to find out just what it takes to make some of the important ingredients for your favourite fragrances in the capital of the perfume industry

Fête du Citron (Menton Lemon Festival)

Fête du Citron (Menton Lemon Festival)

out of rangeFebruary 17-March 3, 2024 • event

The bright, colourful, and fragrant Lemon Festival is among the most important events of the Riviera

The Long Night of Museums

The Long Night of Museums

out of rangeMay 18, 2024 • event

A perfect opportunity to visit the great museums of Provence for free

Traditional Fishing with Nego-Chin Boats

Traditional Fishing with Nego-Chin Boats

out of rangeJuly 16, 2023 • event

The people in Provence are very protective of their traditions and this annual event is a good examp​le​

Mont Ventoux

Mont Ventoux

out of rangemid-April–mid-November • activity

Take a scenic drive to the highest mountain of Provence

Aïoli

Aïoli

out of rangeJune–September | Christmas | Ash Wednesday • food

You might think it's only mayonnaise but you'll discover that it's the centre piece of delicious provençal cuisine

Saffron Farms

Saffron Farms

out of rangeSeptember–October • activity

A precious spice is made out of the beautiful and tender flowers of saffron in Provence

Fête du Costume in Arles

Fête du Costume in Arles

out of rangeJune 30, 2024 • event

What could be better than lovely Arlesian women dressed in gorgeous costumes walking the streets of beautiful Arles?

Oyster Season

Oyster Season

out of rangeSeptember–April • food

Even if you don't like oysters, you'll love them in France!

Col d'Izoard

Col d'Izoard

out of rangemid-June–October  • activity

An iconic high mountain pass featured in the iconic Tour de France race

Les Bravades de Fréjus

Les Bravades de Fréjus

out of rangeApril 20–22, 2024 • event

A traditional feast day in the lovely little town of Fréjus

Floating Market

Floating Market

out of rangeAugust 4, 2024 • event

In l'Isle sur la Sorgue, you'll find a very unusual way to buy fresh vegetables, fruits, or seafood from the local farmers

Birdwatching in Camargue Natural Park

Birdwatching in Camargue Natural Park

out of rangeMarch–May | September–November • nature

Admire thousands of pink flamingos and other migrating birds on the waters of Camargue

Tourrette-Levens Medieval Festival

Tourrette-Levens Medieval Festival

on holdApril 5, 2020 • event

Discover the medieval world of Tourrette-Levens

White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting

out of rangeApril–September  • activity

The mix of adrenaline pumping in your blood and the terrific scenery is unforgettable

Ratatouille

Ratatouille

out of rangeJune–September  • food

Not the Disney movie, but the mouthwatering stewed vegetable dish from Nice

L'entre-Deux Biennales Circus Festival

L'entre-Deux Biennales Circus Festival

out of rangeJanuary 25 - February 25 • event

This contemporary circus brings true aesthetic pleasure

Christmas

Christmas

out of rangeDecember 4–February 2 • event

Visit Provence during the winter holidays and you won't regret it

Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Grand Prix

out of rangeMay 25, 2025 • event

Formula One race time is nothing but speed, glamour, passion, noise, and a hint of danger because the cars are never too far away from the barriers

Fête de la Saint-Jean​ or St. John Feast

Fête de la Saint-Jean​ or St. John Feast

out of rangeJune 21–24, 2024 • event

These beautiful bonfire nights are held in every town and village of Provence

Festival Jazz à Juan

Festival Jazz à Juan

out of rangeJuly 8–18, 2024 • event

Europe's oldest jazz festival at an iconic Mediterranean seaside location

Alpine Via Ferr​ata

Alpine Via Ferr​ata

out of rangeApril–September  • activity

A system of cables and ladders that Italian soldiers use​d for crossing the Dolomites is now a fun playground

Foire Internationale Art et Antiquités

Foire Internationale Art et Antiquités

out of rangeMarch 29–April 1, 2024 • event

A great opportunity for antiquity lovers to find something special

Sailing

Sailing

out of rangeMay–October • activity

Glamorous resorts, small old port towns, magnificent landscapes and, of course, the azure water. The French Riviera is truly a sailor's paradise!

Fiesta des Suds

Fiesta des Suds

out of rangeOctober 10-13, 2024 • event

This international music festival is an essential part of Marseille's cultural identity

Black Truffle

Black Truffle

out of rangemid-November–mid-March • food

You'll be able to not just taste some black tr​uffles, but also hunt them, visit the truffle fair, or try out other interesting activities offered by local farmers

Kitesurfing and Windsurfing

Kitesurfing and Windsurfing

out of rangeOctober–April  • activity

The sea and the wind of Provence make it one of the world's best spots for kitesurfing

The Thirteen Christmas Desserts

The Thirteen Christmas Desserts

out of rangeDecember 24–December 25 • food

The sweetest Provençal tradition—lei tretze dessèrts

Diving

Diving

out of rangeMay–September  • activity

Plunge into clear turquoise water and explore the unique marine life of the Blue Coast

Charlie Jazz Festival

Charlie Jazz Festival

out of rangeJuly 5-7, 2024 • event

Save the date for one one-of-a-kind jazz festival with a French charm

Les Hivernales

Les Hivernales

out of rangeFebruary 14-March 2, 2024 • event

A joyful and spectacular even​t, which those in love with dance shouldn't miss

Saint Tulle's May Day in Cucuron

Saint Tulle's May Day in Cucuron

out of rangeMay 25, 2024 • event

A creative tradition to celebrate the patron of the village of Cucuron

Snowattack

Snowattack

out of rangeJanuary 20 - January 27 • event

A week-long snowboarding and music extravaganza

Les Oursinades

Les Oursinades

out of rangeFebruary • food

A perfect place to taste some famous hand-picked sea urchins

New Year's Eve in France

New Year's Eve in France

out of rangeDecember 31 • event

Welcome the new beginning shouting out "Bonne année!" at midnight

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

out of rangeMay–October • activity

Provence is blessed with hundreds of kilometres of world-class mountain bike trails

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