France’s Olympic torch relay begins: who carries it next and where?

These are the first three stages of the torch’s epic 68-step journey

Stade de Marseille will be holding a public celebration from 15:30 to 19:45 to herald the arrival of the Olympic torch on its first stage of its epic journey (seen here: The arrival of the historic Belem ship in Marseille)
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The Olympic torch is now beginning its three-month journey across the whole of France, including the overseas territories, having arrived from Greece to a huge welcoming crowd. Here is where it is going next…

The torch arrived in the city of Marseille on May 8 after travelling from Greece on board the historical ship the Belem and more than 230,000 are reported to have turned out to share the event.

Read also: Olympic torch arrives in Marseille: see its route on tour of France
Read also: PHOTOS: Olympic Flame travels to France on beautiful historic ship

The flame will now travel to 400 towns in France - also including French Guiana, La Réunion, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, and Martinique - before arriving in Paris for the 2024 Opening Ceremony on July 26. 

It will then go on another 50-town journey from August 25-28, before arriving in Paris once again for the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony on August 28.

More than 10,000 people will help to carry it through its epic 68-stage journey.

Over the next three days, the flame will complete the first three stages of its journey. Each stage is mapped on the official Olympics website.

Stage 1, May 8-9: Marseille

An aerial view of Marseille

The full route features:

  • Notre-Dame de la Garde

  • Parc Borély - Palais du Pharo

  • Lettres Marseille

  • Palais du Pharo - Internationale de Marseille

  • Parc de Font Obscure

  • Dome - Palais Longchamp

  • Parc de la Moline

  • Périer - Stade de Marseille

Stade de Marseille will be holding a public celebration from 15:30 to 19:45, including stands, music, and events from the Olympic Games partners.

Among the torchbearers in Marseille are sports journalist Benoit Gilles, eco-responsible sports ambassador Lambert Sylvain, runner Zeroual Zeroual, and blind activist Dorothée Lombard.

Stage 2, May 9-10: Var

A view of the city of Toulon

This stage includes routes in:

  • Saint-Raphaël

  • Hyères

  • Brignoles

  • Flassans-sur-Issole

  • La Seyne-due-Mer

  • Les Salles-sur-Verdon

  • Toulon

Toulon will host its own celebration to welcome the flame. Among the torchbearers in Var will be Florent Danays, a three-time French champion in para-adapted swimming.

Stage 3, May 10-11: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

A view of the cathedral in Dignes-les-Bains

This stage includes routes in: 

  • Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

  • Sisteron

  • Digne-les-Bains

  • Colmars-les-Alpes

  • Forcalquier

  • Barcelonnette

  • Manosque

Manosque will hold its own celebration, with the Olympic partners, from 15:30 to 19:45 at Stade Jean Salobert, to welcome the last torchbearer.

Torchbearers in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence will include para-triathlon champion Adeline Billal, cystic fibrosis campaigner David Fiant, and former swimmer for France, Esther Baron. 

‘The stories of each torchbearer’

“The Flame Relay is above all a human adventure, embodied in the stories of each torchbearer,” said Tony Estanguet, president of Paris 2024. 

“Whether they're athletes or sports enthusiasts, committed to their local communities, or involved in meaningful community projects, the people we call ‘Pathfinders’ (Les Eclaireurs) represent the richness and diversity of our society. 

“With them, the Torch Relay will be a magnificent moment of openness, exchange, and sharing. Congratulations to all our torchbearers, and we look forward to seeing you on the roads of France, from May 8, 2024, as we embark on this fabulous adventure together!”