What to do, where to go and what to see in France
What to do, where to go and what to see in France
Interceltic Festival, Lorient, August 3–12
The Connexion is proud to be a media partner of the 48th edition of the hugely popular event in Brittany.
It is expected to attract some 750,000 people from all corners of the world to Lorient, as the cream of Celtic music – from Galicia to Scotland – descends on the coastal Morbihan town.
This year, talents from Wales are at the centre of proceedings, with the likes of Manic Street Preachers, Delyth Jenkins, NoGood Boyo, Ofelia, and Yr Hwntws performing in the Pavillon d’honneur.
MiMa – Puppet Art Festival, Mirepoix, Ariège, August 2–5
The 30th MiMa International Festival of Puppet Art, in the medieval town of Mirepoix, will feature more than 100 shows, performed by artists from all corners of France and beyond.
Featuring performances, installations, concerts, workshops, and a creative market.
Festival du bout du Monde, Crozon, Brittany, August 3–5
Billed by organisers as a cultural and musical pic‘n’mix, every August for the last ten years, the Festival du Bout du Monde takes place in the Parc Naturel Régional d’Armorique.
With stunning views of the Breton coastline for a backdrop and in the shade of pretty little houses scattered amongst the grasslands of Landrévarzec, this is a must for lovers of world music. Artists including Rag ‘N’ Bone Man and The Inspector Cluzo are lined-up to feature.
Corso de la Lavande, Dignes les Bains, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, August 3–7
If lavender’s your thing, the five-day Corso de la Lavande, which first took place in Dignes les Bains in 1929, is for you. Every year, tens of thousands of visitors head to the southeastern town for firework displays, concerts, a funfair and an international parade – as the heady aroma of lavender fills the air.
Gay Games, Paris, August 4–12
The 10th quadrennial Gay Games is the world’s largest open-to-all sporting and cultural festival in the world. Some 15,000 participants from 70 countries will take part in 36 sporting events that are open to as wide a public as possible, regardless of age, religion, sexual orientation, health or level of sporting achievement.
Disciplines include diving, swimming, running, badminton, beach volley, boxing, cycling, figure skating, golf, roller skating, squash, tennis and triathlon.
Festival de Montoire, Loir-et-Cher, August 9–15
Every year since 1973, 300 amateur artists from five continents have headed to Montoire-sur-le-Loir to introduce dances, songs and traditional world music to a loyal audience.
There are shows every night under a canvas palace, as well as exhibitions, conferences, courses and discovery sessions, traditional meals with music, crafts, street activities and radio programmes open to the public.
Feria de Dax, Landes, August 11–15
This is one of the biggest festivals in the South West when thousands of people come to the town to party. Bull fighting at the Andalusian-style bullring is central but there are also processions, music, dancing, feasting and sport.
Darc Festival, Châteauroux, Indre, August 12–24
The self-proclaimed ‘biggest dance workshop in Europe’ combines concerts with dance workshops run by internationally famous professionals.
Trainees learn or perfect their technique in Modern Jazz, Classic Dance, Argentine Tango, Hip Hop, Salsa, Tap Dance, Singing, Musical Comedy, Contemporary Dance, Flamenco – and even Sports Dance. At the end of the festival, trainees take part in a big show.
Mirabelle Plum Festival, Metz, August 18–26
For nine days, Metz, in the heart of historic Lorraine, celebrates one of its great agricultural success stories – the sweet, jewel-like Mirabelle plum.
The nine-day festival features concerts, dances, a funfair, and fireworks – while regional products and crafts are on sale at a large market, which also features leading pâtissiers and chocolatiers.
Street Theatre Festival, Aurillac, Cantal, August 22–25
Every year, in the third week of August, the Cantal city morphs into the international capital of street theatre, with about 400 troupes from all over the world taking part in hundreds of outdoor shows, in front of 100,000 visitors.
St Louis Festival, Sète, Hérault, August 23–28
The festival, honouring the patron saint of the Hérault port town celebrates the creation of its port in 1666. On that day, the town held its first ever joust – and the tradition has continued ever since, with tournaments taking place every day along the royal canal, while street shows and events in quayside bars will keep visitors entertained.
Le Cabaret Vert, Charleville-Mézières, Ardennes, August 23–26
Under normal circumstances, few would expect to see Seasick Steve, Travis Scott, Curtis Harding and Derrick Carter on the same bill – even at a music festival.
But La Cabaret Vert is no ordinary music festival. Since it was founded in 2005, it has been recognised for its surprising and varied line-up – and 2018 is no different.
Grand Pruneau Show, Agen, Lot-et-Garonne, August 24–26
Anything Metz can do with Mirabelles, Agen can do with prunes... Since 2005, the prune capital of France, Agen, has held the Big Prune Show, a free culture and gastronomy festival.
For three days, just as the schools’ summer grands vacances draw to a close, the city celebrates its emblematic fruit. On the programme: tasting of the first prunes of the year, a gourmet market with regional products, concerts, street performances and sports activities.
Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, Haute-Savoie, August 27–September 2
Not for the faint-hearted, this is a 170km trail race in which competitors face a cumulative change in altitude of 10,000m, and take in the Grand Col Ferret, at 2,500m above sea level. Expect to see a number of elite ultra-athletes – including France’s world number one Caroline Chaverot – in action.
American Film Festival, Deauville, Calvados, August 31–September 9
This celebration of American cinema, in all its guises – from mainstream Hollywood blockbusters to independent movies – has taken place every year since 1975.
Award-winning French actress Sandrine Kiberlain will be the president of the jury this year, organisers have announced.
Rock en Seine, Saint-Cloud, Paris, August 24–26
The music festival that does exactly what it says on the tin – in the heart of the historic gardens at Domaine National de Saint-Cloud designed by landscape architect and the principal gardener of King Louis XIV, André Le Nôtre...
The format has been much the same since the three-day festival was founded in 2003 – it has just got bigger.
This year, across six stages, it will feature more than 70 performances by a range of rock bands, including – among others – 30 Seconds to Mars, Liam Gallagher, Idles, Macklemore, The Black Angels, Mike Shinoda of Linkin’ Park fame, Black Star, and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Caraïbos Lacanau Pro, Lacanau, Gironde, August 11–19
The best European and international surfers compete on, hopefully, dramatic waves off the central beach in Lacanau as one of the oldest events on the international surfing calendar returns for its 39th annual outing.
The competition starts with the juniors before making way for the professional surfers – who compete in the French stage of the qualifying circuit of the World Surf League. As well as the surfing, landlubbers can enjoy concerts and film screenings, skimboard initiations, a surf simulator, freestyle skate and scooter shows, group yoga and fitness classes.
The Connexion works with local tourist offices for the information on this page. Due to possible last-minute changes to programmes and event timing we recommend that you always check with individual organisers before making a trip.