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.

24 THINGS TO DO IN PROVENCE & FRENCH RIVIERA (AUGUST 04 - AUGUST 13)

Lavender Fields in Bloom

Lavender Fields in Bloom

June–August • nature

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

Fromage de Chèvre or Goat Cheese

Fromage de Chèvre or Goat Cheese

April–October  • food

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

Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse

May–September • food

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

Beach Season

Beach Season

June–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

Hiking in Gorges du Verdon

Hiking in Gorges du Verdon

mid-April–mid-October • activity

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

Cycling around Mont Ventoux

Cycling around Mont Ventoux

May–October • activity

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

Aïoli

Aïoli

June–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

Centifolia Rose and Jasmine Harvest

Centifolia Rose and Jasmine Harvest

May–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 De La Véraison

Fête De La Véraison

August 6–8, 2021 • event

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

Col d'Izoard

Col d'Izoard

mid-June–October  • activity

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

Ratatouille

Ratatouille

June–September  • food

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

Mont Ventoux

Mont Ventoux

mid-April–mid-November • activity

Take a scenic drive to the highest mountain of Provence

White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting

April–September  • activity

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

Canoeing and Kayaking

Canoeing and Kayaking

June–September • activity

If rafting seems too extreme and simple​ paddling is too boring, you might want to try some mixed water activities like canoe or kayak-rafting​

Alpine Via Ferr​ata

Alpine Via Ferr​ata

April–September  • activity

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

Sailing

Sailing

May–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!

Diving

Diving

May–September  • activity

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

The Rencontres d'Arles

The Rencontres d'Arles

July 4–September 26, 2021 • event

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

Pastis

Pastis

May–September • food

The favourite apéritif of Provence

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

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

May–October • activity

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

Chateau d'If

Chateau d'If

year round • activity

Visit the dungeon from the Count of Monte Cristo novel

Socca

Socca

all year round • food

Discover the south coast of France by tasting local street food

46 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

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 26–July 18, 2021 • event

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

Festival De Cannes

Festival De Cannes

out of rangeJuly 6–17, 2021 • event

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

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 rangeJuly 4–7, 2021 • event

A sport in which the French are the ultimate champions

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

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

Feria du Melon and Melon Season

Feria du Melon and Melon Season

out of rangeJuly 10–11, 2021 • event

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

Le Défi de Monte-Cristo or the Monte Cristo Challenge

Le Défi de Monte-Cristo or the Monte Cristo Challenge

out of rangeJuly 8–11, 2021 | September 10–12, 2021 • event

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

Carnaval de Nice

Carnaval de Nice

canceledFebruary 13–27, 2021 • event

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

Nice Jazz Festival

Nice Jazz Festival

out of rangeJuly 12–17, 2021 • 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 9, 2020 • event

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

Ironman 70.3

Ironman 70.3

out of rangeMay 16, 2021 • event

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

Millévin

Millévin

out of rangeNovember 19, 2020 • event

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

Cheval Passion

Cheval Passion

out of rangeJanuary 20–24, 2021 • event

This equestrian event in Avignon is an elegant and original spectacle

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

Olive Picking

Olive Picking

out of rangeNovember–December • food

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

The Long Night of Museums

The Long Night of Museums

out of rangeNovember 14, 2020 • event

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

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

Traditional Fishing with Nego-Chin Boats

Traditional Fishing with Nego-Chin Boats

out of rangeJuly 18, 2021 • event

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

Fête du Costume in Arles

Fête du Costume in Arles

out of rangeJuly 4, 2021 • event

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

Skiing in the Southern Alps

Skiing in the Southern Alps

out of rangeDecember–April • activity

Discover the other side of Provence in small village ski resorts

Le 14 Juillet​ or Bastille Day

Le 14 Juillet​ or Bastille Day

canceledJuly 14 • event

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

Fête du Citron (Menton Lemon Festival)

Fête du Citron (Menton Lemon Festival)

unconfirmedlate February–early March 2022 • event

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

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

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

Les Bravades de Fréjus

Les Bravades de Fréjus

out of rangeApril 23–26, 2021 • event

A traditional feast day in the lovely little town of Fréjus

L'entre-Deux Biennales Circus Festival

L'entre-Deux Biennales Circus Festival

out of rangeJanuary 21–February 21, 2021 • event

This contemporary circus brings true aesthetic pleasure

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

Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Grand Prix

out of rangeMay 20–23, 2021 • 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

Oyster Season

Oyster Season

out of rangeSeptember–April • food

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

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

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

out of rangeJune 23–June 25 • event

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

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

Christmas

Christmas

out of rangeDecember 4–February 2 • event

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

The Thirteen Christmas Desserts

The Thirteen Christmas Desserts

out of rangeDecember 24–December 25 • food

The sweetest Provençal tradition—lei tretze dessèrts

Les Hivernales

Les Hivernales

out of rangeFebruary 10–28, 2021 • event

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

Foire Internationale Art et Antiquités

Foire Internationale Art et Antiquités

out of rangeOctober 29–November 1, 2021 • event

A great opportunity for antiquity lovers to find something special

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

Floating Market

Floating Market

out of rangeAugust 1, 2021 • event

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

Saint Tulle's May Day in Cucuron

Saint Tulle's May Day in Cucuron

out of rangeMay 22, 2021 • event

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

Daube

Daube

out of rangeOctober–April • food

A tender and aromatic beef stew

Tourrette-Levens Medieval Festival

Tourrette-Levens Medieval Festival

on holdApril 2022 • event

Discover the medieval world of Tourrette-Levens

Les Oursinades

Les Oursinades

out of rangeFebruary • food

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

Brioche des Rois

Brioche des Rois

out of rangeDecember–February • food

The true food of kings, a traditional winter dessert in Provence

Snowattack

Snowattack

out of rangeFebruary 2–7, 2021 • event

A week-long snowboarding and music extravaganza

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