Despite it being February, the coast of France bordering on the Mediterranean becomes bright yellow during this time of year. Acacia dealbata. Or, known in the florist trade as Mimosa. If you’ve never seen this growing in the wild, now is your chance. This spectacular shrub can grow to 30 metres high. It is often one of the first plants to grow after a fire, a common occurrence on the dry coasts in the summer.
Synonymous with the Mediterranean, I’ll never forget when I was in Italy during International Women’s Day. It’s the custom there to hand out Mimosa to every woman you see in the streets. I had quite the bouquet by the time I got back to my apartment!
Otherwise, this is also the month of sea urchins (oursins).
Most of the action in Provence is on the coast in February. Comment below if you’ve ever been to any of these events, or if you have any more suggestions.
February Events in Provence
Salon du Chocolat – Marseille
A salon celebrating the fine art of chocolate confectionary. A great excuse to get out on a February day. I think it’s chocolate that gets me through the winter.
Fête du Mimosa – St Maxime
One of the many Mimosa festivals on the coast this month. Celebrate carnival style this yelllow flower.
Mid-February – mid-March
11 February – 1st of March
84ème Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival) – Menton
Another event with all kinds of activities including parades, gastronomy, films and more. Celebrate the lemon! Something that I must always have in my kitchen.
Oursinades (Sea Urchin Festival) – Carry le Rouet
In the town centre on the 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th.
Since 1960, this small town has been paying homage to the artisanal fishing, as they call it, of the sea urchin. With each sea urchin picked by hand, by experienced divers, it’s impossible not to appreciate their luxuriousness. Are you a fan? Here, you’ll find flea markets as well as be able to buy large platters of all kinds of seafood to eat at long communal tables.
Sentier de Mimosa – along the coast
Click on the link to find the best places along the coast for hikes among the mimosa trails.
Marché aux Truffes
Truffle markets happen normally very early in the morning, and with some secrecy. The best known in the area are Richeranches (great atmosphere) and Carpentras.
Until 1st of May
MARILYN I WANNA BE LOVED BY YOU – Aix en Provence
The beautiful Centre Caumont is offering an exhibition on Marilyn Monroe. This exhibition, interestingly for me, focuses on the photographers that immortalised her beauty. You’ll find photos from her entire life, with special emphasis on the last photo shoot before she died.