19 December 2017 by Jessica Boston
Christmas in France 2017 – why you should visit France during the festive season this year!
There are loads of great reasons to take a festive trip across The Channel to France this year – stroll around the romantic Christmas markets, stock up on great value French wines and delicious cheeses for your Christmas celebrations, find unique gifts for friends and family, enjoy wonderful seasonal events and see landmark historic sites lit for the festive season.
You might even be looking to relax and escape at the end of a busy year by renting a cosy cottage in the French countryside where you can sip Calvados by the fireside and spend some quiet, quality time with the ones you love.
Visit the Christmas Markets in France
Christmas markets are about so much more than just shopping – with twinkling fairy lights, the smell of mulled wine in the air and live music, the atmosphere is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit! Many Christmas markets in France offer ice-skating rinks, fairground rides or a big wheel as part of the celebrations – fun for all the family!
Our favourite Christmas Markets for 2017…
Here are some dates for the best Christmas markets, to help you plan your trip:
- Caen Christmas Market 25th November – 24th December 2017
A bustling market with over 60 chalets selling everything from traditional decorations to delicious gingerbread.
- Falaise Christmas Market 1st December – 2nd January 2018
This exciting market includes festive concerts and fireworks displays.
- Rouen Christmas Market 23rd November – 31st December 2017
Set in the beautiful Cathedral square this market includes an ice rink, big wheel and over 70 chalets.
- Le Havre Christmas Market 1st – 24th December 2017
A lovely market that includes a Father Christmas village, ferris wheel and carriage rides.
- Nantes Christmas Market 24th November – 24th December 2017
This is the biggest Christmas Market in Western France and the whole city is lit up with festive lights and a wonderful atmosphere!
- Bordeaux Christmas Market 24th November – 26th December 2017
A magical market transforming the squares and streets of this beautiful city into a Christmas wonderland!
…and some festive events you won’t want to miss
France takes Christmas seriously and almost every town and city will be festooned with decorations and lights whilst the shops and restaurants are filled with festive specialities almost too pretty to eat!
Check details for events near you with your holiday home owner or the local tourist office; there’s sure to be plenty of celebrations you can enjoy wherever you choose to stay!
Revisit old favourites to see them in their Christmas finery
Most of your favourite French attractions will be dressed in Christmas finery during the festive season.
It’s well worth revisiting chateaux, castles, cathedrals and other historic sites to see them lit up with lights and projections and often playing host to concerts or family events that will get you in the festive mood.
Mont Saint Michel is a particular treat; stunning at any time of year, this beautiful island monastery is transformed with lights, decorations and Christmas trees in December with really magical results.
Have yourself a horsey little Christmas!
The National Stud of Lamballe in Normandy are running their annual Christmas event from 8th to 10th December. It includes a Christmas market, Santa’s grotto, carriage rides, pony rides, horse displays, Christmas crafts and festive fayre all in these stunning historic stables.
Forget queuing at your local garden centre! This is a Father Christmas experience the whole family can enjoy! For further details visit www.haras-lamballe.com
See the lights in Lyon
The Festival of Lights in Lyon runs from 5th-8th December. This religious festival celebrating Jesus’ mother Mary invites every house to place candles at their windows transforming the city with a million twinkling lights. For more information visit www.fetedeslumieres.lyon.fr
Go to the circus!
It’s something of a French tradition to visit the circus around Christmas time and there are lots to choose from all across the country. It’s a fun upgrade to your usual British panto with unique acts and talented performers offering entertainment for all ages that transcends any language barriers. To explore some of the shows on offer visit www.cirque-holiday.com or ask your nearest tourist office to discover shows in the region of your holiday home.