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. Just like Sundays throughout the year here. 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.
This month there’s many of the first wine festivals of the season. Make sure to check out some of the ongoing exhibitions before the end of the month. This is my list of August Events in Provence.
August/Août Events in Provence
Festival International Piano – La Roque-d’Anthéron
Large piano festival in La Roque as well as surrounding towns.
Fête du Jasmin – Grasse
Jasmin festival in the birthplace of perfume. 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. 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!
Fête des Vignerons – Valréas
Village wine festival with lots of tastings.
Marché Potiers – Mouries
30 Cermanic artists show their techniques and works
Foire Brocante & Antiquité – Isle sur Sorgue
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.
Ban des Vendanges – Avignon
Festival that takes place around the Palais des Papes to celebrate the very first ripened grapes of the season.
August in Provence: Ongoing Events and Exhibitions
Les Rencontres de la Photographie – Arles
Fantastic photography exhibition that is dotted throughout the town of Arles in historic buildings. Until the 25th of September
Chagall, songes d’une nuit d’été – Les Baux de Provence
Light projections within the old bauxite quarry of Les Baux de Provence. A unique experience.
Open until December
“Picasso un génie sans piédestal” – Mucem de Marseille
270 works of Picasso exhibited at Marseille’s Mucem Museum
Until August 29th
Les Médiévales au Château – Baux de Provence
Various spectacles, great for the kids, taking place in the Castle of Les Baux de Provence, including demonstrations of canon balls and other medieval French fare. Don’t miss the spectacular view of Les Alpilles from the castle walls.
Until the end of August
Le Caumont Centre d’Art – Aix-en-Provence
Rétrospective of works by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 – 1857) in this recently restored stunning building.
Marché Truffes – Carpentras
Even in the summer this town is the king of truffles!
Every Friday morning in August
There’s particularly a lot of music festivals and events in and surrounding Nice this year such as: Plages Electroniques in Cannes or the Tango Festival in Nice from the 4-7th of August, or the Jazz Up Festival Opio. If you’re staying in Provence, a great place to find accommodation is through Stayyna where you’ll find a large selection of self-catering apartments and villas for all budgets. They also have last minute deals too!
Let me know if you attend any of these events! Enjoy!