This is the month where just about the whole of Northern France descends onto the beaches of the Côte d’Azur. On the radio, they announce “black weekends” which signify lots of Parisians heading south causing a rather lot of traffic. Everyone is finally on vacation. Don’t expect to see a dentist or a lawyer this month. No point trying to get an appointment of any kind. Everyone else being on vacation forces you to relax. Drink rosé, swim in the sea, visit local markets and take long, lazy naps. This is August in Provence. The heat will force you to take it easy as you listen to the loud cigales (locusts) in the trees. And my, has it been hot hot hot recently!
This month there are a few little pottery markets and some annual events that we wait for every year.
Many villages have their own fêtes that generally only the locals know about. You’ll know you’ve stumbled upon one of these when you find the main square full of normally 1-2 glass of wine people drunk off their faces. I even know people that have it written into their work contract that they have to take this specific day off every year for their local village fête.
Make sure to check out some of the ongoing exhibitions before the end of the month. This is my list of some of the most interesting August Events in Provence this year.
August Events in Provence
20 July – 18 August
Festival International Piano – La Roque-d’Anthéron
Large international piano festival in La Roque as well as surrounding towns.
Fête du Jasmin – Grasse
Jasmin festival in this town known for perfume production. The festival also includes an aioli.
Véraison – Châteauneuf-du-Pape
The véraison is the celebration of the ripening of the grapes in this famous wine region. Check out the article I wrote about it on Cookn with Class. Make sure to have a glass offered from barrels carried on donkeys throughout the village. Great atmosphere.
Le Marché Flottant – Isle sur la Sorgue
If you’re a lover of markets, you simply can’t miss this one. This is where, in an effort to replicate the days of old, market stands operate from individual boats on the Sorgue river. Buy some olives from a floating market! Don’t fall in the river though…
Marché Potiers – Mouriès
Small pottery market.
Fête du Vin et l’huile d’Olive – Gordes
Buy a glass for 5 euros and taste to your heart’s content in the centre of this beautiful village.
Foire Brocante & Antiquité – Isle sur Sorgue
International Antique festival. 220 antique vendors take over the already antique infused town of Isle sur la Sorgue. Great fun to see all the objects- also including modern art pieces. Bring a wallet full of cash and your bargaining skills!
Festival Européen de la Vannerie – Vallabrègues
45 professional basket weavers from all over Europe come together to show their ancient craft.
Assomption – Holiday in all of France
A lot of villages wait to have their enormous festival for this day. In St Remy and Maussane, there sill be bull running, a lot of drinking, and music.
Marché Potier – Manosque
22 ceramic artists of all disciplines set up their market stands for an all day pottery market.
Arles is second to Rome as a city with the most Roman ruins. Strongly linked to the ancient empire, this festival celebrates all that is Roman with all kinds of events especially fun for the kids. Click the link for the full program (in French).
Rallye des Vignerons – Les Baux de Provence
Do you have a vintage car like me? I’m considering joining in on this; though my Mini Austin is a little beat up compared to what I image the state the other cars will be in… Car rally of vintage cars touring between vineyards in Les Baux de Provence. Tastings and a great way to meet the locals. A sight to see! 35€ per person if you’d like to join.
Ban des Vendanges – Avignon
Festival that takes place around the Palais des Papes to celebrate the very first ripened grapes of the season.
Fête du Temps Retrouvé : Journée à l’ancienne – Maussane-les-Alpilles
This is where the entirety of the town of Maussane drsses up in costumes or typical clothing of a bygone era.. Many will choose to dress in clothes that reflect the professions of their grandparents. Otherwise, you’ll see lots of Arlesiennes! My neighbour dressed me up as Mireille 2 years ago.
Belle Brocante – Eygalières
All day long antiques festival in the village.
Course Camarguaise – Arles Roman arena
If you’re curious about the French style of bull games (much more humane) attend a course camarguaise at the ancient roman arena in Arles. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Buy tickets online (French only) or directly at the arena.
Make your own Fuseau de Lavande with Elsa, a traditional lavender wand – Alpilles region
Ateliers (workshop) where Elsa comes to your hotel/villa. Make the original, much more beautiful, version of the lavender sachet. Elsa brings fresh lavender from her garden and teaches you how to weave antique ribbons to create a fuseau. Traditional technique we’re lucky Elsa still teaches. The cost is 45€ each and you keep your fuseau. If you book this, tell Elsa you heard about it here! You’ll also find her at Eygalières and St Remy markets. Workshops available until September 15th.
Happy Hour en Musique – Cucuron
Every Thursday night for the summer the tarasse at La Cavale holds a happy hour with music from 18h to 21h. There’s even a food truck too!
See: Multiple Classical concerts at the Chateau de Lourmarin all summer.
Les Good Trucks – Barbentane
Food trucks assemble to give us a little bit of hipster lifestyle in the countryside. Every Tuesday.
I literally tried going to this every Tuesday last summer and couldn’t make it. I will not let it escape me this year!
Picasso – Marseille Mucem
An exhibition celebrating the mastery of Picasso, a common theme this year in museums all around France.
Go to Vide Grenier to find the ones nearest you. See my article about Vide Greniers to learn more about flea markets in Provence.
Tuesday nights. Either enjoy a movie screening outside, live music and have a meal at their chic food truck. This is a stunning property in Les Baux. If you have a flexible budget, tempt yourself by looking at the properties you can rent in this hamlet.
7 août CONCERT
Dos amigos & co : Invitation au voyage avec les grands standards du répertoire latino-americain, une ambiance digne des meilleurs cabarets latinos.
► 14 août CINÉMA
The greatest showman : Film musical de Michael Gracey avec Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams….
► 21 août CINÉMA
The Grand Budapest Hotel : Comédie dramatique de Wes Anderson avec Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori…
2 juillet- 23 septembre
Rencontres d’Arles – Arles
Large photography exhibition (40 exhibits) around the town of Arles. Many of the exhibitions are held in historical buildings. This is a great way to see the city. This year’s theme is the future. Always a must on my list.
See what I’m up to by following me on Instagram @CuriousProvence !
Feel free to add any festivals/events I’ve missed in the comments below.