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French Riviera Annual Events

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French Riviera: Annual Events

The French Riviera has some wonderful annual events to excite visitors and locals alike. One of the most famous is the Cannes Film Festival, but there also are saints' holidays, jazz festivals, annual affairs to honor the neighborhoods in various towns and yacht festivals. There are so many of them that keeping tabs on them can be a dizzying affair.

Holidays in France have special meaning. You can expect shops, restaurants, museums and banks to close down to honor them. There are a total of 11 national French holidays called jours feries, and residents here enjoy five weeks of paid vacation!

Here’s a glance at some of the most popular French Riviera annual events.  For a complete calendar of events visit our Event Calendar:

January

  • International Circus Festival - Monaco
  • Monte-Carlo Rally in late January - Monaco
  • Festival of St. Devote includes fireworks and a boat burning to honor a patron saint - Monaco

February

  • Lemon Festival - Menton, France
  • Naval Parade with Flowers - Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
  • Carnaval de Nice; Feb. 17-March 4, 2012 - Nice, France
  • La Route d'Or - Grasse, France

Spring

  • Nice Carnival and the Festival of Flowers (Batailles de Fleurs), which takes place for two weeks around Mardi Gras - Nice, France
  • Easter - expect many celebrations across France and the French Riviera in every city and town on both Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

March

  • Gourd Festival (end of March) - Nice, France

April

  • Spring Arts Festival (Printemps des arts), which runs until May - Monaco
  • International tennis tournament - both Monaco and Nice, France
  • Antibes Yacht Show; April 12-15, 2012 - Antibes, France

May

  • Cannes Film Festival (only open to those in the industry); May 16-27, 2012- Cannes, France
  • La Fête de mai is held in the gardens of Cimiez with food and dancing - Nice, France
  • Formula One Grand Prix; May 24-27, 2012 - Monaco
  • Rose Festival - Grasse, France

June

  • Saint Torpes of Pisa Festival, honoring the patron saint of St. Tropez - Saint-Tropez, France

July

  • Le Suquet festival of music - Cannes, France
  • Fisherman’s Festival (La Garoupe) - Cap d’Antibes
  • St. Peter’s Festival to honor fishermen, which is held the first weekend of July - Villefranche-sur-Mer
  • Jazz Festival of Nice - Nice, France

Summer

  • Saint-Tropez festival of dance, music and theater - St. Tropez
  • Theater Festival, held the first two weeks of August - Ramatuelle, France
  • Fete du Jasmin, August - Grasse, France

September

  • Vintage Car Festival, which is held the third weekend of September - Monaco
  • France Heritage Days, which is the third weekend of September. All historic buildings are open to the public - all of France
  • Monaco Yacht Show; Sept. 19-22, 2012 - Monaco
  • Cannes Yacht Show, Sept. 11-16, 2012 - Cannes, France

October

  • St. Tropez Sailing Regattas; Oct. 1-7, 2012 - St. Tropez, France

Winter

  • Nov. 19 Monaco Day - Monaco
  • ILTM - International Luxury Travel Market Show; Dec. 3-Dec.6, 2012 - Cannes, France
  • Christmas, Dec. 25
  • New Year’s, Dec. 31-Jan. 1
  • International Dance Fest of December - Cannes, France
  • Capital of Culture; January 12-13, 2013 - Marseille, France
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Nice Carnival and the Festival of Flowers

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