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The Paris Olympic Torch Relay Begins in Provence in May 2024

On May 8, 2024, the Olympic Torch Relay begins in Marseille before heading around France toward its destination at the opening ceremony in Paris for the XXXIII Olympiad. It’s fitting that the Olympic Flame will arrive on French soil in – Massalia (ΜΑΣΣΑΛΙΑ) – the city the Greeks founded in 600 BC.

History of the Olympic Flame

Per the tradition from the ancient Olympic games, the Flame is lit by the sun’s rays in Olympia, Greece and transported to the departure point for the relay. The element fire was considered divine by the Ancient Greeks (and other civilizations). The Greeks, like Native Americans, believed that the flame should not be extinguished and the fire-keeping role was essential.

Olympia was the location of the Ancient Olympic Games. So, lighting the Flame for the contemporary Olympics in front of the old temples links the Modern games to the Ancient events.

Olympic Torch Relay in Provence

©Département Bouches-du-Rhône Torch Relay

Paris Olympics Torch Relay

On April 16, the first torch for the Paris 2024 Olympics will be lit by the sun in Olympia and then travel to Athens. Belem, a three-masted ship, will sail into Marseille’s Vieux Port on May 8, 2024. After that, the Olympic Flame heads to Toulon in the Var and Manosque in the Alpes de Haute Provence. On May 12, the Torch Relay travels through seven (7) communes in the Bouches du Rhône before heading to other parts of the country. These cities and towns represent a cross-section of large and small venues. The locations are as follows: Cassis, Aix-en-Provence, Miramas, Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône, Eygalières, Istres, and the Roman arena in Arles. As the Torch Relay approaches, there will be plenty of details on the timing and how to watch the event. For now, enjoy this video describing the Flame’s journey:

Find details for the Olympic Torch Relay in France and the French island territories here.

Olympic Events in Provence

From July 26 to August 8, the Bouches-du-Rhône will host sailing and soccer events in Marseille for both Olympic and Paralympic Games. You can view the full schedule and event details here.

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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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