Tour France: Best Summer Festivals in Provence (with schedule)

Tour France: Best Summer Festivals in Provence and Festival Schedule.

Schedule:

Cherry Festivals in mid and late June

Melon Festival in July

Lavender festivals in late July and August

Bastille Day –July 14

Tour de France –July 14 in Provence

Wine and art festivals…July etc.

Fete Votives: late June, July and August.

Summer is festival season. Provence is full of a huge variety of festivals.

There are themed festivals. There is a honey festival, several wine festivals, art festivals, a melon festival, a cherry festival…and pretty much a celebration of any food product you can think of. Below are some photos of past festivals.

Being inducted into the “royal order of the melon”. Really.
A special melon dish. Lobster or prawns are baked in this one of a kind “plat”. We have been privileged to do this with the chef several times.The meal following the festival celebrating the town’s release from the dragon.

Walking around the Lavender festival last August.

There are “fetes votives” in each village. Those include things like dancing in the town square to live music, Champagne “stands”, carnival games and perhaps even a special market. I love these local festivals. They bring such romance to a Provencal night.

The cafes take advantage of the closed roads to set up table everywhere. Bands play on the side walk –trumpets and all!

Evening fireworks over a Mediterranean village.

There is Bastille Day. This brings a weekend full of festivities. In Paris, it is dominated by parades andfireworks over the Eiffel Tower. In Provence, it is marked by celebratory town wide meals (Pistous and Aiolis), dancing and fireworks in the town centers and huge, luscious markets full of tantalizing treats and products.

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5 Reasons Why July 10-20 Are the Best Summer Weeks in Provence!

The best time to go to Provence. People always ask me that. The answer –well, apart from “anytime” –might not surprise you. For summer time, the best time is July 10-20. And here are my  top reasons:

1. Bastille Day in Provence! Paris is Paris. And Bastille Day is quite an event. But, in Provence, in certain towns and small cities, they have the running of the bulls through the streets. Imagine sitting at a cafe, having a rose, or coffee, and watching the French cowboys herd bulls through the Medieval streets. The boys and young men jump the barrier and chase the bull trying to hold onto his tail. And there are bull fights (the kind where the bull is not hurt.)

2. Fireworks over a castle or ancient fort. When the night sky lights up a castle and then the fireworks pop up over that, that might even be better than the Eiffel Tower. (This is a hard choice to make!)

3. It’s prime festival season. There are wine festivals, village fetes and all manner of special celebrations. Even a melon festival! That means there are parades, special markets, special tastings and lit up village squares where you dance the night away!

4. The best beach weather! The Mediterranean is great in July. The weather is great. The excitement level is wonderful. The sky is blue. And there are street shows to watch almost every evening -as you have your dinner outside looking at the sparkling sea.
5. Lavender. Need I say more? You are assured of lavender all July –and first half of August (depending upon the weather that season. And you are assured of lavender related festivals and special events!

Of course, we love Provence almost all year round! It’s Bliss!

5 Things To Do and Appreciate in Provence!

What do you do in Provence? Lots. What make the top of the “Bliss” list?

1. Festivals. Of the local kind. We have our favorites, built around our favorite foods or products. The French celebrate every quality crop and artisan product from cherries to melon to wines….Find the best of the local festivals and street fairs and enjoy the pomp and the weekend.

2. Bulls. (No not that kind!) Not many people know about the bull fights, the running of the bulls and the other “cowboy” activities. Find the best time and spot to combine all of these. And see something most people don’t ever get to see!

3. Roman ruins. Most people don’t realize that France has ruins of many thousands of years of age. And, they aren’t behind glass, walled off, or patrolled by park guards. They are a wide open part of the countryside and landscape and they can be built into your daily experience. For example, we often take the 2,000 year old Roman road (or the ruins of that road) on our walk into the village for market day. We picnic on a more than 2,000 year old Roman bridge –and go swimming in a hidden swimming hole that’s part of a more than 2,000 year old Roman aquaduct.

4. Art. Practically every major painter lived and/or painted in this area. Renoir had a home here. Van Gogh lived here. Cezanne too. Chagall. Yep. Cocteau painted, or rather, drew, a chapel. Matisse. Picasso. Leger. The list is endless. Being able literally “see” what they “saw” is eye opening and helps you to both appreciate and understand their art.


4. Nature.  For seasonal wonders, spring might even outdo summer –though it’s a close call! Poppies and cherry blossoms are ethereal. But, lavender is pretty remarkable too! You decide!

5. And nature’s bounty! Nowhere else can you eat like you do in France. The simplest things will shock you with the intensity of their flavor. Knowing the origin of your cherry or egg or tomato was only a few yards away, and picked moments earlier only adds to the enjoyment.

And that’s just for starters. Hope your spring or summer vacation is Blissful.