September. The grape harvest has started and the tomatoes are so enormous and colourful you’ll think you’ve gone to tomato heaven. Ripe purple figs are falling off the trees, covering the sidewalks, and you’ll start seeing beautiful quince fruit at the market.
I think this is one of the best times of the year to visit Provence. The cool mornings are welcome after the scorching heat of the summer and the sunny evenings are perfect for long apéros in the garden.
I’ve included here a list of the events that I think offer the best of Provence, I hope you get to see some of them and if you do, let me know what you think!
September Events in Provence
Beaucaire à l’Italienne – Beaucaire
This village right across the river from Provence, in the Languedoc- Roussillon region, celebrates everything from neighboring Italy. Expect to find Italian produce, Italian flag throwers, and general conviviality.
Ban des Vendanges – St Maxime
Dancing and fireworks to celebrate the grape harvest. Why not eh?
Cannes Yachting Festival – Cannes
If you’re in the mood for a little glamour then check out this festival in Cannes. Every year, companies showcase their new models and you’ll find many for sale as well.
Feria du Riz / Camargue Gourmande – Arles
This is one of the three biggest Bull Games in Arles all year. The “rice festival” (alluding to the locally produced quality grains) extends out from the Roman arena to the main square where you’ll also find a gourmand market of local specialties.
Vendanges Romaines – Mas des Tourelles
14h-18h Mas des Tourelles will go through the process of the picking and pressing of their grapes using Roman techniques including a wooden press and clay jars. A sight to see!
Festival du Jazz – Saint Remy de Provence
Many Jazz concerts happening in St Remy, open air and inside bars and restaurants as well.
Journées du Patrimoine – all of France
In every city and village, there are seemingly abandoned buildings that are closed to the public, despite their rich heritage, mostly due to a fear of degradation. For a couple weekends every year, these historical monuments are open to the public. There are over 14,000 places to visit. Check out the website to find the monuments closest to you.
Fête des Olives Vertes – Mouriès
This charming festival occurs in the olive capital of France. You’ll find everything olive related from high quality olive oils, to fougasse breads to candies made with the stuff! This is a celebration of the first harvest of olives meant for brining.
Fête de l’Amande et de l’Amandier – Alleins
Celebrate everything ever created with almonds at this festival. You’ll be spoiled with a number of delicious goodies.
Fête Votive des Comité des Fêtes – Saint Remy de Provence
Numerous Abrivado-Bandidos or bull runs in the streets of Saint Remy. If you’re curious about this Provencal tradition, do stay behind the barriers and listen to the safety instructions. Two women were maimed last month in this village alone.
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.
Go to Vide Grenier to find the ones nearest you. See my article about Vide Greniers to learn more about flea markets in Provence.
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 !