Octobre en Provence
With the grape harvest long done due to a very dry summer, locals are concentrating on the olive harvest this month. You’ll drive by olive groves and see wooden ladders hidden among the trees. Furthermore, the olives vertes cassées made by many people still at home have appeared in supermarkets and every store. Due to the dry weather, the harvest will be smaller this year. Some people are picking just with buckets rather than using the traditional method of laying nets around the trees to gather the fruit.
In October, we celebrate the arrival of squash and the beginning of the soup season. The weekly markets are slowing down, but there’s still plenty to see and do in Provence. If it’s a sunny day, temperatures can easily get up to the high 20’s so if you’re visiting, bring attire for all eventualities.
Here is my list of the October Events in Provence. Please feel free to add any events in the comments section from your area of France, or even abroad!
La Foire de la Sainte Thérèse – Eygalières
This is similar to the August event in Maussane-les-Alpilles. Locals dress in the attire of the year 1900. The traditional trades are celebrated and you’ll most likely catch sight of some Arlésiennes.
Parcours de l’Art – Avignon
Contemporary artists all throughout Avignon open their ateliers/workshops and galleries to the public. Walk around Avignon and admire the local imagination! A great day out. Printed maps are available at the tourist office.
Buenos Arles Tango – Arles
Argentinian Tango competition takes over Arles. See the site for tickets.
7 – 5 Nov
L’Été Indien des Portraits – Sanary sur Mer
300 different photographer are exhibition 100 portraits of all kinds to celebrate the art of the portrait. All exhibitions are free.
Fête de la Courge – Rians This is the best gourd festival I’ve been to here in Provence. There’s provencal beef stew with squash cooking in enormous pots, pottery demonstrations, candy with pumpkin flavours and everything you can imagine to do with gourds!
Blues Festival – Avignon
Various artists playing throughout this week in Avignon. See the ite for ticket details.
Fête des Champignons – Saint Trinit
A Market where you’ll be able to see 100 different varieties of mushrooms, a day in honour of that delicious fungus with lots of information on how to consume them.
12h30 : repas champêtre (rustic meal) for 18€ per person
Call to reserve: 04 90 75 01 85
Carrément à l’Ouest – Port Saint Louis
A festival dedicated to art in the street where you’ll find spectacles involving poetry, emotion, and humour. Free festival starting at 11 am. I’m assuming the name comes from the much-used French expression of “être à l’ouest” which means to be daydreaming. Love this poster!
15, 22, 29
La Fête des Châtaignes – Collobrières
Chestnut festival celebrating the harvest in an area dominated by these beautiful trees.
Fiesta des Suds – Marseille
Large Music and Cultural Festival in Marseille with many performing artists. Click the link for tickets.
Pelerinage des Saintes Maries – Saintes Maries de la Mer
This is the Autumn version of the enormous pilgrimage made to this seaside town. Gypsies from all around the world descend upon this small town. Locals take advantage of the festival to drink a rather lot of rosé and eat together in the public square. Fantastic ambiance. Book a hotel room- you’ll be drinking a lot!
Festival des Soupes – Vaison la Romaine (et environs/and around)
It doesn’t get more country than this. In various villages in the Vaucluse, there are soup competitions held in the evenings. Taste the local’s 200 versions of all kinds of flavours to celebrate the harvest. If you dare, enter yourself- you might even win…
What soup recipe would you cook if you had to compete??!
Floralies d’automne – Sénas
30 vendors gather for a day-long flower market in Sénas where you’ll find seasonal autumn flowers.
Ongoing Events in October
Every Tuesday at Barbentane you’ll find an assembly of Food trucks. The hipsters have finally found Provence!! Starts at 18h.
Vide Greniers (village flea markets)- many throughout the month
Carrieres des Lumieres – Les Baux de Provence
This show projects the painting of different artists every year. A unique experience and all-pervasive experience not to be missed. This year showcases Bosch, Brueghel and Archimboldo. REALLY worth a visit this year.
Feel free to add any events I missed in the comments section!