Carolyne Kauser-AbbottInspireWhat's On Provence & Cote d'Azur

Spring Events in Provence Discover What’s On 2019

Spring Events in Provence

Spring in Provence is absolutely lovely. As is the case with most of the year, the sun shines brightly, but expect the odd rain storm. Moisture in this period is critical for the grapes, olives, and almonds to start their growing cycles. In March and April, expect to see the apple, pear, apricot, cherry, and plum trees blooming. 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 so that you can find out the current details. Please note this is not a comprehensive list of all the current events. For activities near to your location, check local newspapers, flyers at the grocery stores and tourism websites for festivals.

March in Provence – Côte d’Azur

Sound, Light and Art (until January 5, 2020): Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux de Provence, a production by Culturespaces, reopens early March with the new program. This old limestone quarry – Carrières de Lumières – is the largest fixed multimedia installation in France. The 14-metre high walls are the backdrop that 70 video projectors use to broadcast images. Read our visitor tips for Carrières de Lumières.

Carrieres de Lumieres

Fête du Citron in Menton typically wraps up in the first few days of March. Discover more about Menton and the event here.

Fete du citron Menton Lemon Festival

Everyone should plan to visit the Carnaval de Nice at least once. This annual carnival rivals events in Brazil and Venice, Italy for outrageous floats and frivolity. Typically, the Carnival festivities in Nice wrap up in the first days of March. Here, are some local’s tips for your next visit to Nice.

Route du Mimosa Cote d'Azur

The Mimosas are still blooming on the Côte d’Azur. La Route de Mimosa runs 130km from Bormes-les-Mimosa a medieval village on the coast to the perfume capital of Grasse. Along the way expect many photo opportunities with the beautiful yellow blooms as a backdrop. Eight towns participate in the official agenda which runs from January through the end of March. Look for parades, art exhibits, guided visits and more. Here, is the official website.

April in Provence – Côte d’Azur

Wine Tasting (April 6-7, 2019): Les Printemps de Châteuneuf du Pape takes place every year for a weekend in early April. For over a decade, winemakers in this renowned appellation present their latest wines to the public. Typically, 85-90 wineries showcase their wine. In addition, there are workshops, master classes 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.

Salle Dufays Salon des Vins at Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Strawberries (April 13, 2019)! Yes, it might sound early for those of us who live in other climates but in CarpentrasFête 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.

Market Strawberries Provence @PerfProvence

For Antique Lovers (April 19-22, 2019). 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. Need a place to stay near to Isle sur la Sorgue? Read about Le Domaine de Palerme for a Poetic Stay in Provence.

l’Isle sur la Sorgue Provence

See the bulls in Arles (April 19-22, 2019). 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. The traditions of the bull ring and the ‘mise à mort’ are not suited for everyone. However, there is plenty of animation outside the arena with a Spanish-style party in the streets of this old Roman town. Bodegas, music, sangria and more.

Aix-en-Provence (April 23-27, 2019) honours a traditional musical instrument during the Festival du Tambourin (a drum and pipe combination). Musicians gathered from around the region parade through Aix’s old town performing for the crowd.

May in Provence and the Côte d’Azur

Head to Cap Ferrat (May 4-5, 2019) for the Roses and Plants Festival at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. 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. Discover the Belle Epoque history of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. For more details on Villa Ephrussi de Rothchild, here is the official website.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild Fete de Roses @Culturespaces

The red carpet rolls out in Cannes (May 14-25, 2019). Since 1946, the star-studded Festival de Cannes captures the attention of film buffs around the world. Since its initial conception, in 1938, the film festival’s grounding principals remain consistent and are embedded in the regulations. Aim to develop the global reach of cinematic projects through a celebration of 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 nine (9) days in May. Find all the details on the Cannes Film Festival website.

Cannes Film Festival

Grasse the perfume capital of France honours local rose growers and their beautiful flowers during Expo Rose (May 10-12, 2019). This event typically occurs on the second weekend in May, when the town is festooned with 25,000+ roses. Grasse tourism office website.

Monaco Grand Prix (May 23-26, 2019)  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. The race course, in Monaco, is 3.34 kilometres long and car aficionados 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 that is billionaires) at the Amber Lounge and yachts with prime moorings. Here, is the official Formula 1 website for full details.

Transhumance St Remy de Provence

St Remy de Provence’s transhumance is a must-see (June 10, 2019). It’s a river of sheep and goats when 4,000 animals pass through the Provencal village. Fête de la Transhumance de Saint Rémy de Provence happens on the Monday of Pentecost (Pentecôte). Depending on the holiday, the date fluctuates between the end of 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.

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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