Firefighters, fêtes and forms: Key dates to know this July in France

From culture to community events, here is our wrap of what is happening next month

Our round-up of key dates in July should help you plan the month ahead
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July 1: Tourist quotas, Tour de France, Gas tariffs changes

The first day of the month sees the start of tourist quotas in the Calanques de Sugiton and Pierres Tombées areas of southern France.

Only a certain number of people will be granted entry to the areas, and visitors will have to book in advance (for free) here; the limits will last until September 3.

The day will also see the start of the iconic Tour de France cycle race, which will kick off in Bilbao before finishing on July 23 in Paris.

Finally, from this date gas contracts in France will no longer be regulated, with all homes switching to a market contract.

Read more: Tips and help on navigating the changes coming to France’s gas market

July 2: Fête du Cinéma

France’s Fête du Cinéma will run from July 2 - July 5 and see tickets reduced to €5 across cinemas in the country.

Read more: Money-saver: Find discount cinema tickets in France

July 8: First day of school holidays, Paris Plages

Saturday (July 8) is the first official day of school holidays in France, although many will break up a day earlier.

The holidays will last until Monday, September 4, when children return to school for the 2023 - 2024 year.

July 8 is also the first day of the Paris Plages, which will see various events and activities along the banks of the Seine and at La Villette basin, running until August 27.

Read more: Reminder: The dates of France's 2023 holidays and days off

July 13: Lyon-Barcelona train line begins

Spain’s state-owned rail operator Renfe will begin running its Lyon-Barcelona trains on this day, before a Marseille-Madrid service starts on July 28.

Promotional tickets for as little as €19 (for domestic routes) and €29 (if travelling across the border from France) are available

Read more: Boost for southern France as launch dates set for new ‘TGV’ routes

July 13 - 14: Bal des Pompiers

Firefighters across France open their casernes (fire stations) and host the annual fireman’s ball (bal des pompiers).

Music, a bar, ballroom-style dancing and other events are held in the fire stations, with people of all ages invited to join.

Some events are hosted on the evening of July 13, the eve of France’s national holiday. Others are held on July 14 itself.

Read more: What is the origin of France's July 14 bal des pompiers?

July 14: Fête Nationale

France’s national day (which is also a public holiday across the country) will see a number of events take place, including the traditional military parade on the Champs-Elysées.

Even though it is known as Bastille Day in the anglophone world, the French call it the Fête Nationale, or national day

Read more: La Fête Nationale: 14 facts to know about le quatorze juillet

July 24: Tax assessments begin to arrive

The first tax assessments will arrive by post (those who requested a paper copy should receive it by August 25).

Tax assessments will become available in people’s online accounts between July 26 and August 4, detailing whether you have tax to pay, a tax refund owed to you, or nothing.

Last year, tax refunds were paid between July 21 - August 1, and it is likely payments will be made before August again this year.

If you have extra tax to pay, this should come out of your account in September, or in staggered payments between September and December if you owe more than €300.

Read more: You have filed your French tax return. What happens next?

July 25: End of summer sales

Summer sales – which began on June 28 – will end on July 25.

Shops across France will look to sell off old stock during the month, meaning you could grab yourself a bargain – provided you find what you are looking for.

Read more: When is the best time to shop for deals in France?

July 31: New deadline for mandatory property form

The deadline for the mandatory property declaration (biens immobiliers) – which was originally June 30 – has now been postponed a month.

Homeowners will now have until July 31 to complete the declaration, with tax authorities urging the almost 50% of people yet to submit it to do so.

The declaration can only be made via your personal space on the tax site, or by calling the tax services on 0809 401 401 (if currently in France).

Read more: Why has the mandatory property tax form deadline been extended?