French Festivals you won't want to miss

The best time to visit France is when the sun is out and all things outdoorsy is on-trend. Indeed, the spring and summer months are jam-packed with many activities that require advanced booking! Here are some of our favourite events.

Cannes Festival
The Cannes Film Festival (External link) is no doubt one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Founded in 1946, this is where the who’s who in film converge every year to enjoy the showcase of international films. Not only is the event about the art of film making and story-telling, it is also very much about the fashion as the world’s biggest names strut across the red carpet showing off the latest or upcoming fashion trends. The highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival is the magnificent Palme d’Or (Golden Palm). This year, the festival dates are 14-25 May.

Tennis in France
One of the biggest events in French sports is the French Open, a major international tennis tournament usually held between late May and early June at the Roland-Garros stadium in Paris. This year, the two-week event will begin on 26 May and conclude on 9 June. With 126 years of history, the tournament first began as a local championship, which later opened up to international players in 1925 and since then, it’s seen the world’s greatest sportsmen play, welcomed thousands of fans, well-known celebrities and the crème de la crème of the well-heeled society.

Fireworks in Paris
Bastille Day
A very special day in France, the 14th of July is the day the French celebrate and commemorate the storming of the Bastille. Considered a salute to the birth of French Democracy, this is one of the country’s most important national holidays. If you’re in Paris during this time, then consider joining the massive dance party at Place de la Bastille (External link) . Over at Champs-Elysées (External link) , you’ll see the largest military parade. And before the night is over, the entire French sky will light up with a spectacular firework display!

Food & Wine in France
Food & Wine
From the country that brings us some of the world’s best food and wines, there is only one way to further connect with the folk that bring us such joyous treats. And that’s to celebrate with them during their harvest seasons and fairs! Food wise, you can pick from anything under the sky you’d like to celebrate and there will be a fairs or festivals that celebrates it - cheese, honey, garlic, snails, cherries, carrots, lemons, shrimp, oysters, beef, truffles, you name it.
For wines, some of our favourite ones include Beaujolais, Bordeaux (External link) , Loire Valley (External link) , Chablis and Cote d’Or. These wine festivals are massive productions so expect endless music, dance, tastings, stalls, plays, art and craft and lots of cheer!

  • Paris – Beaujolais takes 3h 13min via Lyon
  • Paris – Bordeaux takes 2h 4min
  • Paris – Loire Valley takes 1h 31min
  • Paris – Chablis takes 3h 17min by train and bus
  • Paris – Cote d’Or takes 2h 20min by train and a taxi ride.

For more travel inspiration and information on France Rail Passes and tickets, head to (External link) , where you can use the destination guide (External link) and interactive map to help with the trip planning.