Spring is Upon us! Or, at least, it is here. I remember growing up in Montréal when you could smell the spring mud and ice thawing, there would always be one last snow generally right before my birthday on April 26th. Urgh. For all of you in colder climes, you’re almost there!
Here is my list of things I deem interesting going on in Provence this month. Enjoy and let me know if you attend any of the events and what you thought! Feel free to add any other suggestions in the comments.
March Events in Provence
Carriers des Lumières – Les Baux de Provence
The new exhibition of Picasso and the Spanish Masters opens for the summer at Carrières de Lumières where people come from all over to witness the projected images on the inside of the quarry’s walls. I suspect this year it will be very popular indeed.
Salon du Vin & des Gourmets -Arles
This is a fun and very dangerous way to spend your Saturday or Sunday. For 4 euros (cost of the wine glass you can take home) you can wine taste and eat gourmet products all day. I did this on my own the first year I went. Not a good idea. Try to cut yourself off. I didn’t…
Fête des Grands-Mères (all of France)
Created in 1987, this is National grandmother’s day. It is taken very seriously in France. The florist will be just as busy as Mother’s day so order your bouquet in advance! Or, plan your home cooked meal for grandma. Take the time to appreciate the elders in your life. It’s nice to see that people in small-town Provence still do.
In Western Europe, it’s traditional to give mimosa to the women you love (or if you’re ambitious, all the women you see! Yes, some people do try to do this) on this day.
38ieme Édition de la Foire aux Chevaux et Métiers Equestres – Fontvieille
This is a fun day out if you’re crazy for horses or looking for a new saddle. See artisan made in Provence anything to do with horse riding.
Carnaval – Saint Remy de Provence
Parades and all kinds of activities for the kids. Also, intriguingly free “carnival soup” I might have to find out what that is… Many small villages have their own carnivals at this time of year. Nothing like the production that Venice put on of course, but still fun!
Provence Prestige – Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
35 stands with high-quality products made in Provence in celebration of Spring.
Course Camarguaise – Saintes Maries de la Mer
15h30, at the arena. French-style bull games. Interesting to see.
Easter Weekend Events in Provence
The kids better watch out. Easter is on the same day as April Fools this year. Pretend to hide the eggs? Surely that’ll keep them busy for a while! There’s lots of events for kids and adults alike during Easter weekend in Provence.
Chasse aux Oeufs – Chateau des Baux de Provence
Join in the Easter egg hunt at the castle ruins of Les Baux de Provence
Adults : 10,50€, Kids (-7 years) : free
Family (2 adults + 2 kids) : 33€
Foire Antiques Art & You – Isle sur la Sorgue
If you love antiques this is an absolute must! Isle sur la Sorgue holds an antique market every Sunday but a few weekends a year the antique markets takes over the town. Easter is one of those weekends. There will be at least 500 antique dealers. March 30-April 2nd. If your habit is to visit the Provencal food market of Isle sur la Sorgue this Sunday it will most likely be much smaller than usual to accommodate the antique stalls.
Bonnieux Céramique Pottery Market – Bonnieux
This is one of my favourite pottery markets in the region. April 1st-2nd. See all kinds of different glazing techniques and types of clay displayed here by local ceramic artists.
Feria de Pâques – Arles
See both Spanish style corrida and French bull games in the Roman arena in Arles.
New Hotel Restaurants
Château de Roussan Restaurant Le Belle Diane – Saint Remy de Provence
With a new crew, this beautiful hotel hopes to dazzle us with their new menu. Bring it on!
Domaine de Manville L’Aupiho Restaurant – Les Baux de Provence
This 5-star hotel is also offering a new dining experience this year. Don’t ask me how to pronounce the Provencal name of the restaurant though. Maybe after an apéritif I could take a stab at it…
Please note to eat here you must be dressed appropriately. I was just in Florida- I don’t think flip flops, athletic wear or Hawaiian shirts would do here. Personally, I love an excuse to dress up!
“Creative and spontaneous, our Chef draws inspiration from his immediate surroundings, from the terroir around him, from the beautiful market in Cavaillon, from his outings in the hills and mountains from the Alpilles to Mont Ventoux, where he finds mint, citronnella, flowering thyme and wild strawberries… and works with devoted local suppliers, to the delight of diners at the Domaine de Manville.”
Sentier de Mimosa – along the coast
Click on the link to find the best places along the coast (130 km of it!) for hikes among the mimosa trails. Although, the recent snow on the coast may have affected the flowers.
Marché aux Truffes
Truffle markets occur normally very early in the morning, and with some secrecy. The best known in the area are Richeranches (great atmosphere) and Carpentras.
Photo Novel – Marseille Mucem
Marseille’s European Civilization museum exhibits Photo Roman. Their description:
“Invented in Italy in 1947, the photo-novel was the greatest editorial success of the post-war period and would remain the best-seller in Mediterranean popular literature for more than two decades. Its readers – for the most part women – numbered in the millions. The magazines in which they were published were passed along from person to person, so it is estimated that one in three French people read photo-novel in the 1960s.
Jealousy and betrayal, tender kisses and broken hearts, convertibles and microwaves, Dolce Vita and class struggle: Photo-novel is a saga full of surprises, twists and love at first sight. An experience not to be missed under any circumstances!”
Lookout for many small exhibitions during the month of February exploring the idea and feelings of love. For Valentines Day-of course!
Until March 11th
You’ll notice the first big vide greniers, or flea markets, of the season happening this month. Go to Vide Grenier to find the ones nearest you. See my article about Vide Greniers to learn more about flea markets in Provence.
Look out for orchids, asparagus, onions and new plants to forage in the countryside. Hint: follow any French people that mysteriously are carrying baskets on small roads…they know where they’re going…
Please add anything I’ve missed in the comments! Anyone else really excited for Spring?