Top 10 exciting events and unmissable celebrations in France in 2017

If you are visiting France this year, you’ll be spoilt for choice with wonderful music, sport and cultural festivals and events going on all over the country.

Make sure you ask your holiday property owner about local events during your stay and check social media and the tourist office for more advice that will help you get the most from your holiday!

Here’s our Top 10 pick of the 2017 calendar…


Our favourite food & wine events in France 2017


Sarlat Fest’Oie

What: A foodie festival celebrating the wonderful Sarlat goose!

When: 4th and 5th March 2017.

Where: Sarlat, Dordogne, Aquitaine.

What happens: As you’d expect at a goose festival there’s plenty to eat! The main market at Place de la Liberte offers all the region’s specialities including goose, foie gras and Perigord truffles. Everyone at the market is offered traditional goose soup and there are cooking demonstrations, music and a fabulous goose banquet! The geese not yet on the table are guided in flocks around the city as part of the parades and celebrations.

Who should go: Gourmet lovers, cooks and gastronomes – the perfect Spring break for a foodie adventure.



What: A free event dedicated to promoting Loire Valley wines.

When: 27th and 28th May 2017.

Where: Tours city centre and throughout the vineyards of the Loire Valley.

What happens: The festival includes markets, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting sessions, dinners and planned excursions on foot or by bike to explore the vineyards and discover the secrets of local wine production. Over 150 vintners from the region get involved and there is a huge range of different wines to try.

Who should go: Wine lovers – anyone from an amateur to an expert will enjoy this wine festival that makes learning fun and lets you see the passion of the local wine producers first hand.


Vines, wines and hikes in the Loire Valley

What: A lovely festival combining wine and walking.

When: 3rd and 4th September 2017.

Where: Nantes and the vineyards of Touraine, Anjou and the Loire Valley.

What happens: More than fifteen routes for guided walks are hosted by wine growers who take you on a tour of their vineyards and the wine producing process. Each excursion lasts around three hours and includes scheduled breaks to enjoy delicious local produce and, of course, try the wines! The main festival in Nantes includes entertainment for all the family and a wine sales area where you can try and buy featured local wines.

Who should go: Wine lovers, nature lovers, ramblers and Francophiles. It’s a lovely event for all the family and a great way to see this beautiful part of France (and the wine is pretty good too!).


Our favourite sporting events in France 2017


The Kite and Wind Festival

What: An exciting celebration of wind based sports and kites on the beach.

When: 15th-17th April 2017.

Where: Chatelaillon-Plage, Charente-Maritime, Poitou Charentes.

What happens: Watch amazing displays of kite flying, kite fighting (Rokkaku), kite surfing, land sailing and more! Try your hand at some of these exciting sports, go on a hot-air balloon flight and take the chance to craft your own kite. There’s food, entertainment and fun for all the family!

Who should go: Ideal for families, this festival is a great chance to see amazing spectacles and try new things, if you are in the area on holiday don’t miss it!


The Tour de France

What: The greatest cycling road race in the world returns for 2017!

Where: The route this year includes stages in the Alps and Pyrenees, the Dordogne and Auvergne before the grand finale in Paris.

When: 1st–23rd July 2017.

What happens: The world’s top cyclists compete in teams in this test of strength, speed and endurance that includes mountains, time trials and sprints through beautiful French towns, villages and countryside. Eager spectators line the route to cheer on their champions and there are many festivals and celebrations held throughout the country to honour the riders and the historic race.

Who should go: Whether you love cycling or not this iconic race must be seen to be believed – a wonderful sporting spectacle that’s exciting and inspiring – a treat for all the family.


The Soöruz Lacanau Pro

What: An international pro-surfing competition with festival events.

Where: Lacanau, Gironde, Aquitaine.

When: 11th–21st August 2017.

What happens: Spectators can watch as surfers battle it out on the waves and get involved in watersports, dance workshops and cultural events including cinema, concerts and surf memorabilia exhibitions.

Who should go: A fun beach festival for people of all ages and a great chance to see some truly breathtaking surfing.


Our favourite history and culture events in France 2017


The Great Roman Games

What: An exciting historical re-enactment festival bringing Roman times to life!

Where: Nimes, Gard, Languedoc Roussillion.

When: 29th April – 1st May 2017.

What happens: A huge cast of actors from all over Europe get together to perform chariot races, gladiator combat and grand parades in a Roman show that takes place in the atmospheric amphitheatre in Nimes. The stadium is 2,000 years old and has space for 24,000 spectators! As well as the main show, there is street entertainment, parades, exhibitions and workshops with a Roman theme throughout the city.

Who should go: Not just for historians this exciting event is great for everyone – you can’t fail to be impressed!


Lorient Interceltic festival

What: A celebration of Breton culture.

When: 4th -13th August 2017.

Where: Lorient, Morbihan, Brittany.

What happens: An extravaganza of traditional music, dancing, exhibitions and food – over 5,000 performers come to play at more than 200 shows during the festival and the atmosphere throughout the city is electric!

Who should go: Fun for all the family – a great way to experience the proud history of Celtic culture and tradition in Brittany.


Our favourite art and music events in France 2017


Jazz under the Apple Trees

What: An eclectic celebration of all things Jazz.

When: 20th–27th May 2017.

Where: Coutances, Manche, Normandy.

What happens: Eight days of live music that spans seven official stages, numerous venues in the town and even impromptu street performances – Coutances is alive with Jazz!

Who should go: Music lovers won’t want to miss this vibrant Jazz festival – discover new sounds, get involved and celebrate Jazz with talented performers from international stars to passionate amateur musicians.


The Voyage à Nantes trail

What: A new event offering an urban art trail throughout the city.

When: 1st July–22nd August 2017.

Where: Nantes, Loire Atlantique, Western Loire.

What happens: Contemporary art celebrating travel and poetry is positioned around the city of Nantes in a trail that will allow you to discover not only the works themselves but the historic sights and hidden corners of this wonderful city.

Who should go: A fun, free way to see the city – let the kids lead the way following the green line to discover the next ‘treasure’ on the trail.


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