August is a month in Provence where everyone believes it to be their right to do absolutely nothing (farniente) that requires any energy (other than catching up with friends, sunbathing by the pool or on the beach)
In September, there are plenty of festivals to attend and there’s a new crowd of tourists. 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?
Fête du Village – Paradou
The yearly village festival of this small, but thriving, community in les Alpilles. Visit the village for the Abrivado, vide-grenier, Paella, live music and general ambiance. You may be forced to drink rosé…
Foire du Miel – Arles
10h-19h Salle Henri Comte
Producers from Camargue and the Provence region come together to educate the public on this gorgeous product- bio Provencal honey. You’ll see demonstrations on beekeeping and taste varying types of honey that are all incredibly different depending on which pollen they are made from. I’ve got the whole range at home!
Foire aux Tissus – Fontvieille
9h-18h in the main square.
If you’re looking for traditional Provencal fabrics, originally influenced by Indian fabric, then look no further. Here, you’ll find everything to do with sewing, embroidery and adorable vintage buttons. Also great for finding that romantic Provencal white nightgown.
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.
Time Break – Saint Remy de Provence
Dance show at the Alpillium. 20h30
Ongoing Events in September
This is the last month for many ongoing expositions in the area to make sure to make the time!
Every Thursday (until 28th of September)
Moulin à Huile d’Olive St Jean – Fontvieille
10h Tour of the olive mill with explanations on how the oil is made, tastings and how to recognize a quality olive oil.
Every Friday morning at 10 am in Les Baux de Provence:
Go on a tour with Bruno, a real Paysan, who will show you the local countryside and explain local flaura and fauna. Leave from the Tourism Office of Les Baux de Provence.
Every Tuesday at Barbentane you’ll find an assembly of Food trucks. The hipsters have finally found Provence!! Starts at 18h.
Every Tuesday evening from 7pm-12am in St Remy de Provence there is an artisan market that winds throughout the old town. These markets are called Marché de Createurs.
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.
Until 24 Sept
Annie Leibovitz Archive Project #1: The Early Years – Arles
Annie Leibovotz is the first exhibition at the new artist building in Arles. You can buy tickets that couple the exhibition with a dance show. à faire!