Summer Festivals in Provence

Dignes-les-Bains, photo by Allie_Caulfied on Flickr

Provence is mild in winter, fresh and fragrant in spring and blazing in wild colors in autumn, but it’s in summer that this picturesque part of France is really at its best. Summer is the season when Provence is pervaded with the smell of lavender and ripening grapes, and if you don’t mind the often scorching Mediterranean sun, spending your summer months in Province is the best holiday anyone could wish for. But it’s not just sweet idleness and rural tranquility in southern France this time of the year, because summer is also the time for festivals. Street shows, fairs, theater, music and food all come together at the summer festivals in Provence – a genuine traveler’s dream!

Aix-en-Provence Festival, Aix-en-Province

In July, the scenic town of Aix-en-Provence becomes the scene of the international festival of lyrical arts, the Aix-en-Provence Festival that draws artists from all over the world. The festival is mainly dedicated to opera music, but other types of classical music are also well represented. You can listen to concerts of baroque and contemporary music (and even mixes thereof), attend opera and theater performances and mingle with the creme de la creme of the French and international art world.

Nice Jazz Festival

Aix-en-Provence, photo b Ell Brown on Flickr

The Nice Jazz Festival has been one of the city’s yearly traditions for decades – the first festival, held shortly after the end of WWII, had Louis Armstrong and his band as main guests. This is the kind of event that no jazz fan should miss. The programme is an eclectic mix of classic and modern jazz, marching band music on the streets and stages set up in the city’s parks.

Music in the Vineyards Festival, Vaison la Romaine

If you want a festival that will be a delight for the palate as well as for the ears, head to the village of Vaison la Romaine to enjoy evenings of live classical music concerts and copious amounts of wine. You will be able to taste some of the best vintages of the region right in the vineyards where they were produced. Part of the festival take place in Vaison la Romaine, and other sections in the neighboring villages of Cairanne and S├ęguret.

Festival de la Lavande, Dignes-les-Bains

Vaison la Romaine, photo by http2007 on Flickr

Apart from gravines, lavander is one of the most emblematic plants growing in Provence, and there are several festivals held in the honor of these fragrant flowers. The first week of August in the charming spa town of Dignes-les-Bains is the time when the locals celebrate the Lavender Festival, a four day event with elaborate floats, folklore performances and a fancy ball at the end.


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