Culture Trips & Events in the South of France

You’ll always find something happening in Provence. If it isn’t a local market, then it’s a celebration of a saint, a firework competition or an international festival. Whatever the time of year, the South of France offers some of Europe's most exciting events.

Culture and events

Renowned for its vibrant events and activities, from the Cannes Film Festival to local music and art experiences, the Provence region in the South of France offers the ideal location for a luxury trip that's steeped in culture.

Book your South of France culture trip with us and immerse yourself in the region while savouring the finest cuisine and staying in hand-picked accommodation. Our travel experts will curate a bespoke trip that includes the many cultural highlights of the South of France.

To start planning your Scott Dunn trip to Provence, speak with our team of specialists and we'll create an unforgettable, tailor-made itinerary based on your interests.

Provence Events Throughout The Year

While there's plenty to enjoy all year, the spring and summer months offer a bustling selection of festivals and celebrations with events taking place across a variety of locations in Provence.

Cirque de soleil performance in France

The year kicks off with the Festival International du Cirque de Monte Carlo which awards the best circus performers, while the Rallye Monte Carlo is a thrilling car race that features multiple stages across a range of terrains and varying weather conditions.

Caranaval in Nice

The Carnaval de Nice is a colourful and vibrant event in the South of France, featuring an international and diverse selection of floats, parades, music and art. Over two weeks, the carnival boasts opening and closing ceremonies and a family-friendly atmosphere.

Installation at the garden festival in France
March & April

March through April offers a cultural highlight in the Provence event calendar with the Côte d’Azur Garden Festival. This is when public gardens showcase incredible landscaping and design, while the festival also includes workshops, exhibitions and garden tours.

The Grand Prix in Monaco

May events in the South of France kick off in Cannes with the Film Festival. But unless you’re starring in one of the films, or know a producer, you won’t find tickets to previews. What you can do is wander along the Corniche and soak up the atmosphere, possibly glimpsing an A-lister or two!

An hour's drive to the east in Monaco, the Grand Prix takes place in late May. Set in a location as thrilling as it is glamorous, this F1 race, around hairpin bends and with a backdrop of steep hills and yachts in the bay, is something to behold.

If you prefer to take part in something more low-key on your culture trip to Provence, then the Grasse Rose Festival offers a five-day event all in the name of the eponymous flower. The perfume capital of the world celebrates with colourful floral displays and parades of floats....

a display of fireworks in the night sky

June is the start of summer and this is celebrated in style in Provence with the Fête de la Saint-Jean event, commemorating the birth of John the Baptist. Fireworks, bonfires, bull running and concerts are held throughout the area. In several resorts, including Cassis, Nice and St Tropez, the Fête de la Mer, also known as the Fête de la Saint-Pierre, remembers sailors lost at sea with a mass, folk music and communal meals.

Mount Ventroux in France

A highlight in the calendar of Provence events, July marks the official start of the holiday season. Arts festivals are plentiful and one of the most popular is the Festival d’Avignon. This annual arts festival, the oldest of its kind in France, is held in the courtyard of the Popes’ Palace and other atmospheric locations in Avignon. Here you’ll see proper productions as well as street theatre. Bastille Day on 14th July is a public holiday in France and is celebrated with music, dancing and fireworks.

In July, the Tour de France passes through different parts of the South of France and often includes an ascent of Mont Ventoux. You must line the route if your visit coincides, just to be part of this incredible cycling race.

A view of Antibes coast with boats in the water

The Nice Jazz Festival, an eclectic event held in an outdoor Gallo-Roman site, features over 800 musicians playing anything from blues to gospel and traditional jazz.

The French are famous for their fireworks, and nowhere better is this witnessed than at the Pyromelodic Festival held off the shores of Antibes Juan les Pins. Several countries compete with fireworks set to music, and there are weekly shows throughout August. A quieter event in Provence is the colourful Lavender Festival in Digne les Bains, where the lavender harvest is celebrated. Parades and folkloric events take place during the first weekend of the month.

les voiles de saint tropez boat race

Visitors spending time on the Cote d’Azur in late September and early October can catch a glimpse of some of the world’s most amazing superyachts, as they take part in Les Voiles de St Tropez, a famous regatta in the Bay of Cannes. Modern and classic boats compete in this atmospheric event in the South of France with the Rolex Trophy up for grabs as its ultimate prize.

Marseille France coastline

The three-day festival of La Fiesta des Suds takes place every October in Marseille, showcasing cultural diversity and featuring music acts from around the world.

Aerial view of Monaco's coast

November sees the Marathon de Nice-Cannes, France's second-largest, that starts on the Promenade des Anglais. La Fête du Prince (National Day of Monaco) is also held in November and is celebrated in the square outside the palace, culminating in a firework display and music.

Christmas ornaments

Each year, Nice hosts the popular Provence Christmas market event when Le Village de Noel is held at Jardin Albert 1er. It features an ice rink, a Ferris wheel and a wonderful selection of festive food and drink. December temperatures are still fairly mild, so winter is an ideal time to enjoy the vibrant culture of the Provence region.

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Provence Cultural Trips FAQs

  • When is the best time to take a culture trip to the Provence region?

    The Provence region has cultural events and activities throughout the year so when you should travel depends on what you wish to experience. The summer months, particularly July and August, offer a wealth of activities when there are average temperatures of 28°C with around 11 hours of daily sunshine.

    Spring and autumn have a less hectic atmosphere but there are still plenty of cultural events throughout the region, while Christmas festivities bring winter months to life in the form of markets and celebrations.

  • Can I book events in the South of France with Scott Dunn

    Yes! Tell us what you would like to see and experience, and we'll curate a South of France culture trip to suit your needs. Alternatively, we'll be happy to recommend activities and events that we think will make your trip truly memorable.

  • What should I wear on a South of France culture tour?

    What you wear in Provence in summer will differ from other seasons due to the high average temperatures and dry, sunny days. If you're taking a cultural tour of the region in the hotter months, take cool clothing including a hat and appropriate footwear. While winters in the South of France are typically mild, you'll still want to take a jacket and waterproof clothing for any rainy days.

Lavender fields in the South of France
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