25 May 6 Events in France worth visiting this year
Need a reason to travel to France? From music festivals to sporting occasions and family-friendly events, there’s something for everyone in France this summer.
One of the oldest and one of the best jazz festivals in Europe is due to come back to the French Riviera for five consecutive nights this July. Since 1948, the city of Nice has been host to a variety of international jazz musicians and fans alike. The very first festival was headlined by Louis Armstrong and his All Stars and since then, the festival has gone from strength to strength. Festival-goers can expect a mix of traditional jazz and contemporary elements with the infamous figure of youth jazz, Jamie Cullum, taking to the stage alongside the greats. Taking place in the elegant surroundings of La Place Massena, you can take a break from the festival to take in the Promenade des Anglais and enjoy a quick bite to eat in one of the many cafes facing the seafront.
One of the most well-known sports events in the world, the Tour de France runs through the month of July and will see over 10 million spectators of all ages gather by the roadside to cheer on the hundreds of cyclists. The stages of the Tour de France alternate between the mountains, plains and cities of France but the grand finale returns to Paris again this year. The chance to watch the last leg of the tour draws thousands of crowds to the Champs-Elysées. You can sign up in advance to don the yellow cycling togs and make a celebratory loop along the same route as the pro cyclists, and then grab a prime position to cheer them on as they arrive later in the day.
France’s principal national holiday is certainly one to check out this summer. Large-scale events are set to take place in most towns and cities across France but undoubtedly, the celebrations in the country’s capital are a must-see. During the day, watch a military parade march between the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde via the Champs-Élysées. When the sun sets, you can wonder at the Eiffel Tower as it lights up at the amazing fireworks display. If you don’t feel like facing the large crowds on the streets, you can book a dinner cruise on the Seine and enjoy the display from the deck while finishing your dessert.
Each year, the Cannes Pyrotechnic Art Festival welcomes pyrotechnic artists from across the world on the 14, 21 and 29 July and again on the 7, 15 and 24 August. The show, performed on the sea front is watched by an average of 200,000 people each night and displays a series of scenes through the medium of sound, colour and enchanting fireworks displays. This festival allows spectators to witness the vibrant, musical battle where six guest countries compete in one of the most famous international competitions of its kind.
Provins Medieval Festival takes place in the walled city of Provins, which still radiates its medieval charm. This medieval festival is one of the biggest of its kind in Europe and is one all ages of the family will enjoy. Watch full-scale re-enactments of the historical Champagne fairs and see the locals transform into medieval craftspeople, builders and artists. Since 1984, the festival has attracted a plethora of musicians, acrobats and entertainers. While the adults enjoy sampling the traditional spices or trying on the medieval jewellery, the kids can enjoy medieval games such as quoits, skittles and wooden swords.
Rock en Seine takes place the last weekend in August each year, and is the last big music festival of the summer in France. This year, over 100,000 festival goers will gather at the edge of Paris to see acts such as The Chemical Brothers, Kasabian, Alt-J and Franz Ferdinand perform over the three day event. The majestic gardens in the National Estate of Saint-Cloud form the backdrop for the rock/pop festival, and are well served by metro, bus and tram services.