France: Festivals

Festivals throughout the year in France

By TTM on 11 October 2007 in Destination Guides

What: French Open
Where: Roland Garros Stadium, Paris
When: Last week of May and the first week of June

Tennis is played on a stadium named for a World War I hero - tRoland Garros. The dusty, tough clay is arguably the most challenging court of all the Grand Slams

What: Christmas Markets
Where: Throughout France ( the largest market is in Lille)
When: From November leading up to Christmas

What better way to do your Christmas shopping than at a market that is over four centuries old? No matter your budget or taste, the legendary Christmas markets of France will satisfy every shopper – and there is plenty to amuse the rest of your group.

What: Paris Fete de la Musique
Where: Paris
When: 21 June – The Summer Solstice

How could you resist a pagan festival in the ancient tradition of St Johns feast when Paris simply overflows with music – from Opera to Chamber Music, Rock, Rap and Jazz … Pick your poison and plan to enjoy it all night long.

What: Cannes Film Festival
Where: Cannes
When: May

It might be the most difficult film festival to infiltrate – but if you only ever plan to go to one, the Cannes should be it.

Tour De France
Where: Throughout France and occasionally also neighbouring countries
When: July

This is the world's largest cycling race with the winner of each stage donning the distinctive maillot jaune (yellow jersey). The entire event is surrounded by a carnival atomosphere.

What: Tombées de la nuit - Experience Rennes at night
Where: Rennes
When: 1- 6 July

Every year the streets of Rennes come to life through this delightful festival of music, folklore, poetry and dance. Completely free of charge the festival is an interesting mix of traditional Breton culture and modern contemporary France. Visitors can take in performances at their leisure while strolling down the many bustling thoroughfare.

What: International Maritime Festival
Where: Brest 08
When: 11 - 17 July

Every four years Brest plays host to a truly international celebration of the nautical heritage of this key port. Thousands of boats from over 30 countries ranging from tall ships (of which there are around 60) to fishing boats will be on show and taking part in the various regattas and events over the six days. Throughout the duration there are evening festivities as well as free entry to the National Navy Museum.

What: Festival de Cornouaille - A celebration of Brittany's Celtic heritage
Where: Quimper
When: 19 - 28 July

Brittany's largest folk festival is a showcase of Celtic culture, which remains at the heart of Brittany today. Folk artists, dancers and singers from across Europe descend on the rustic capital of "La Cornouaille" for nine days of revelry.

What: Fête des ramparts
Where: Dinan
When: 19 - 20 July

The medieval coastal town of Dinan holds a massive celebration of the region's medieval heritage including jousting, drama, ancient crafts, dance and music. With nightly processions, horseback displays, a medieval market and concerts hosted in the cathedral, this walled town truly embodies the spirit of medieval Brittany.

What: Fetes des filets bleus
Where: Concarneau
When: 16 - 17 August

This is a traditional fishing and culture event which translates as the 'festival of blue fishing nets' An abundance of fresh seafood and local cider is available at this celebration of Breton culture. Experience the fishing displays, Celtic music, costumes and fishing displays over the two day event, all set on the stunning Finistère coastline.

What: Sainte Savine Street Theatre Festival
Where: Sainte Savine
When: September

An international celebration of theatre and performance, the small town near Troyes will surprise you with spectacles ranging from the bizarre through the sublime to the conventional.

Phone: +33 (0) 3 25 71 39 50


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