Street Carnival in Le Puy-en-Velay

Fête du Roi de l'Oiseau

This weeklong street party harks back to a 16th-century competition in which Le Puy's most skilled archer, the first to shoot a straw bird from a high tower, would be rewarded with year-long tax exemption, dining wi…
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 at the Festival Interceltique over 10 days in early August.
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 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 Music in Belfort

Les Eurockéennes

A huge, three-day open-air alternative rock festival held on the first weekend in July. Three nights of thoughtfully curated music, plus camping, will set you back only €115.
Top Choice Performing Arts in Aix-en-Provence

Festival d’Aix-en-Provence

World-renowned month-long festival of classical music, opera, ballet and buskers.
Religious in Sartène

Procession du Catenacciu

Notorious for its banditry and bloody vendettas in the 19th century, Sartène has more recently found fame thanks to this annual re-enactment of the Passion that has taken place here every Good Friday since the Middl…
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…
Sports in Paris

Tour de France

The last of 21 stages of this prestigious, 3500km-long cycling event finishes with a race up the av des Champs-Élysées on the third or fourth Sunday of July – as it has done since 1975.
Sports in Eiffel Tower & Western Paris

French Open

The glitzy Grand Slam tournament Les Internationaux de France de Tennis hits up from late May to early June at Stade Roland Garros.