Spring Events in Provence Discover What’s On 2022
Spring Events in Provence
Springtime in Provence is lovely. As is the case with most of the year, the sun shines brightly, but expect the odd rainstorm. Moisture in this period is critical for the grapes, olives, and almonds to start their growing cycles. Expect to see the apple, pear, apricot, cherry, and plum trees blooming in March and April. During May and June, watch for poppies, irises and the promise of future sunflowers.
The events listed below are annual happenings in the Provence and the Côte d’Azur. However, the actual dates for these events will change from year-to-year. The websites are listed below to find out the current details. Please note this is not a comprehensive list of all the ongoing events. Check local newspapers, flyers at the grocery stores, and tourism websites for festivals for activities near your location. Please follow Covid-19 protocols.
March Events Provence – Côte d’Azur
Carrières de Lumières (March 4, 2022 – January 2, 2023): Carrières de Lumières combines sound, light and art in Les Baux de Provence, a production by Culturespaces. The quarry reopens with two new exhibitions, Venice, La Serenissima, and Yves Klein Infinite Blue.
This old limestone quarry – Carrières de Lumières – is France’s largest fixed multimedia installation. The 14-metre high walls are the backdrop that 70 video projectors use to broadcast images. So buy your tickets online, and please read our visitor tips for Carrières de Lumières.
The Mimosas are still blooming on the Côte d’Azur. La Route de Mimosa runs 130 km from Bormes-les-Mimosa, a medieval village on the coast to the Grasse, the perfume capital. Along the way, expect many photo opportunities with the beautiful yellow blooms as a backdrop. Eight towns participate in the official festivities from February through March. Look for parades, art exhibits, guided visits and more. Here is the official website. Also, take advantage of guided walks and other ways to enjoy the blooms during the festival.
Read: Route du Mimosa a Yellow Drive on the French Riviera
Festival des Jardins de la Côte d’Azur returns March 25 – May 1, 2023: This garden festival is your chance to view a long list of fabulous gardens. In addition, there is always a judged landscaping contest, free events, and themed gardens. Note: The “Département des Alpes-Maritimes” map (available at tourist offices) includes gardens and parks of the Côte d’Azur that are open to the public.
April in Provence – Côte d’Azur
Wine Tasting (April 1-3, 2022): Les Printemps de Châteuneuf du Pape takes place every year for a weekend in early April. This weekend, winemakers in this renowned appellation introduce their latest wines to the public. There will be 100 wineries showcasing their wine, and in addition, there are workshops, masterclasses, and a gastronomic market. According to Keith Van Sickle, “Want to taste some of the world’s greatest wines for just 10 euro? Then come to the Salon des Vins in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.” Read more about his visit here.
Tennis anyone? (April 9-17, 2022) The Monte-Carlo Country Club hosts the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters part of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000. This tournament has run for over 100 years. Beyond the courts, La Grande Nuit du Tennis is a gala dinner soirée each year in conjunction with the matches. This evening is a treat with exclusive performances by multi-national artists, and the Royal family is typically in attendance.
Strawberries (April 16, 2022)! Yes, it might sound early for those of us who live in other climates, but in Carpentras – Fête de la Fraise happens in April. This festival dedicated to the first crop of strawberries typically lands on a Saturday. Alongside the red berries, expect plenty of family-friendly animation.
For Antique Lovers (April 15-18, 2022), head to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue “Antiques Art and You” fairs happen twice a year – Easter weekend and the 15th of August. This antique fair started over 100 years ago. These two shows are ranked in the top three in Europe, attracting 300+ dealers and 100,000 visitors.
The Sunday morning in L’Isle sur la Sorgue market winds through the old town and along the quay (river walk). There are only a few Sunday markets in the region, and this one is the largest, attracting both locals and visitors. Similar to Apt’s Saturday market, the line between retail and market is blurred as many boutiques add their wares to the overall temptation.
See the bulls in Arles (April 15-18, 2022). Head to the Roman arena in Arles over the Easter weekend to witness the Feria d’Arles. This event kicks off the bullfighting season in the South of France, attracting 500,000 visitors and fans. However, the traditions of the bull ring and the ‘mise à mort’ are not suited for everyone. So, there is plenty of animation outside the arena with a Spanish-style party in this old Roman town, including bodegas, music, sangria and more.
Art in Antibes (April 16 to May 2, 2022): Salon de Antiquités Art Modern is an annual contemporary art fair attracting over 25,000 collectors and potential buyers.
May in Provence and the Côte d’Azur
May 1 – Fête du Travail / Fête des Travailleurs – Labour Day is a public holiday in France.
May 1 – Arles celebrates the talented cowboys and cowgirls who herd the feisty black bulls with their sturdy white horses. Fête des gardians (Festival of the Herdsmen) falls on this date every year. Join the festivities in Arles to witness the Election de la Reine d’Arles, the new queen’s crowning (every three years).
Head to Cap Ferrat for the Roses and Plants Festival at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild (May 14-15, 2022). This two-day event is a chance to meet with professional growers, garden designers, and botanical experts. Take part in a workshop, speak to a floral expert or take time to smell the roses. In addition, discover the Belle Epoque history of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. Here is the official website for more details on Villa Ephrussi de Rothchild.
The red carpet rolls out in Cannes (May 17-28, 2022). Since 1946, the star-studded Festival de Cannes has captured the attention of film buffs around the world. Since its conception in 1938, the film festival’s grounding principles remain consistent and embedded in the regulations. Aim to develop the global reach of cinematic projects by celebrating the international film industry. Which director of the Best Feature Film of the Official Competition will receive the prestigious Palme d’Or? Who will wear the flashiest gown? The festival runs for 12 days. Find all the details on the Cannes Film Festival website.
Grasse, France’s perfume capital, honours local rose growers and their beautiful flowers during ExpoRose (2022 dates are pending). This event typically occurs on the second weekend in May, when 25,000+ roses adorn the town. Check the Grasse tourism office website for details.
Monaco Grand Prix (May 26-29, 2022) weekend is a must for race car fans and the bejewelled crowd. The original Formula 1 race series had seven stops; Britain, France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Indianapolis, and Monaco. Monaco’s racecourse is 3.34 kilometres long, and car enthusiasts only know the track by the names of its corners Tabac, Louis Chiron, and Piscine. After the race, find the models and millionaires (or maybe billionaires) at the Amber Lounge and yachts with prime moorings. Here is the official Formula 1 website for complete details.
St Remy de Provence’s Fête de la Transhumance is a must-see (June 6, 2022). It’s a “river” of sheep and goats while 4,000 animals pass through the Provencal village. Witness the magic of the Fête de la Transhumance de Saint Rémy de Provence happens on the Monday of Pentecost (Pentecôte). Depending on the holiday, the date fluctuates between May and early June. It’s a great day to visit St Remy, watch the animals, browse the brocante (flea market), sample some goat cheese or taste the local wine. The St Remy tourism office website.