Top Choice Street Carnival in Le Puy-en-Velay

Fête du Roi de l'Oiseau

This Renaissance-themed street party dates back to a competition first recorded in 1524. Le Puy's most skilled archer, the first to shoot a straw bird from a high tower, was rewarded with year-long tax exemption, di…
Top Choice Music in Aix-en-Provence

Festival d’Aix-en-Provence

Established in the spirit of rebirth following WWII, this world-renowned festival brings opera, orchestral works, chamber music and even buskers to Aix throughout July. The wonderfully atmospheric Théâtre de l’Arche…
Top Choice Winter Festival in Lyon

Fête des Lumières

Over four days around the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (8 December), magnificent sound-and-light shows are projected onto key buildings, while locals illuminate window sills with candles. This is Lyon's premie…
Top Choice Celtic Festival in Carnac

Festival Interceltique de Lorient

Celtic communities from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Isle of Man and Galicia in northwest Spain congregate with Bretons for 10 days at the Festival Interceltique. Upwards of 750,000 people descend on the city…
Top Choice Performing Arts in Avignon

Festival d'Avignon

The three-week annual Festival d’Avignon is one of the world’s great performing-arts festivals. Over 40 international works of dance and drama play to 100,000-plus spectators at venues around town. Tickets don't go …
Top Choice Carnival in Nice

Carnaval de Nice

Held over a two-week period in late February and early March since 1294. Highlights include the batailles de fleurs (battles of flowers) and the ceremonial burning of the carnival king on Promenade des Anglais, foll…
Top Choice Music in Belfort

Les Eurockéennes

A huge, three-day open-air alternative rock festival held on the first weekend in July. Its varied, international line-up of electronic, metal, pop, jazz and indie artists, plus camping, will set you back only €122.
Top Choice Carnival in Annecy

Carnaval Vénitien

Revellers clad in ballgowns and masks flood the streets of Annecy's Vieille Ville (Old Town) for this two-day event, creating a surreal and beautiful atmosphere in the so-called 'Alpine Venice'.
Religious in Sartène

Procession du Catenacciu

Every Good Friday since the Middle Ages, a chained, barefoot penitent has re-enacted Christ’s journey to Calvary by lugging a massive oak cross on a 1.8km circuit through the streets of Sartène. Wearing red robes an…
Christmas in Colmar

Marché de Noël

Colmar’s snow globe of a Marché de Noël glitters from late November to 31 December. The entire city goes to town with festive sparkle, and five markets brim with gifts, hand-crafted decorations and gingerbread heart…