The unique culture and beauty of France makes it the perfect holiday destination for 2018. Take a look at our guide to next year’s biggest and best events…
Nice Carnival, Cote d’Azur: 17 February – 3 March
One of the largest carnivals in the world takes over Nice for 2 weeks.
The daily parades are a feast for the senses with fantastically decorated floats, huge figurines and over 1000 musicians, dancers and performers throughout the day and night.
The famous flower battles see elaborately dressed figures throwing flowers into the crowd.
Dragon Festival, Mondragon, Provence: 11 & 12 May
The annual Fête du Drac takes place at night with a huge dragon procession, fireworks, medieval market and a carnival atmosphere.
The festival pays homage to an old legend that a dragon appears on the banks of the River Rhone to catch unsuspecting villagers!
Carcassonne Festival, Languedoc-Roussillon: June
The amazingly preserved medieval city and UNESCO site hosts this culturally diverse festival.
One of France’s most popular events, it offers over 120 shows in and around the stunning historic streets of Carcassonne.
International stars rub shoulders with emerging talent and local artists. Previous acts have included Bob Dylan, The Pixies, Diana Ross, Arctic Monkeys and more!
Nice Jazz Festival, Cote d’Azur: 17-21 July
One of the best known international jazz gatherings that has showcased the talent of Louis Armstrong, B.B. King and Erykah Badu to name but a few.
The event dates back to 1948 and is now one of the French Riviera’s most popular events, and with jazz undergoing a Renaissance and the event’s 70th anniversary taking place in 2018, there’s never been a better time to visit.
Menton Lemon Festival, Cote d’Azur: 17 Feb – 4 March
Lemonade, lemon vinegar, lemon trees, lemon statues and lemon decorated floats; 145 tons of citrus fruit are worked into models and art in the centre of Menton to celebrate the lovely lemon!
This unique event is over 80 years old and has a wonderful carnival atmosphere with parades and street performers.
International Garden Festival, Chateau Chaumont-Sur-Loire, Loire Valley: Apr to Nov
The chateau estate is transformed into an open air landscape art museum, showcasing the work of 30 landscape artists from around the world.
Each year the gardens offer a new theme and transform beautifully throughout the spring, summer and autumn seasons.
The gardens are lit at night using candles and beautifully bright LEDs, creating a magical visitor experience.
32nd Berck-Sur-Mer Kite Festival, Pas de Calais: 14-22 April
Put your feet on the sand and your head in the sky at this International Kite Festival!
The huge beach at Berck has hosted all kinds of spectacular and colourful kites for over 25 years.
Learn to fly and make kites for the first time or watch the biennial (falling on even years) world team championships.
Chorégies d’Orange, Provence: 20 June – 4 August
This classical music and operatic spectacular dates back to 1860 and takes place in the magnificently preserved Roman theatre in Orange.
The theatre’s original stone stage provides exceptional acoustics and atmosphere for the audience of 9,000, enjoying performances of classic works.
Le Tour de France: 7-29 July
The world’s most prestigious bike race occurs over 3 weeks in July, taking in mountains, flats and road race sprints.
Over 10 million people cheer on the race, enjoying the carnival atmosphere, the official promotional caravan and the grand spectacle.
The 105th edition begins on the island of Noirmoutier before winding its way to Paris.
World Music Day, Nationwide: 21 June
La Fête de la Musique is held annually on the summer solstice and is a celebration of all types of amateur music.
Across France musicians gather in the streets, bars and cafes to perform for free so you can enjoy a wonderfully festive atmosphere wherever you choose!
Bastille Day, nationwide: 13 & 14 July
This national holiday is celebrated across France with fireworks, singing, dancing and a party atmosphere.
The storming of the Bastille was the start of the French revolution and many towns and cities, including Paris, also host a military parade.
10th Annual Gay Games, Paris: 4-12 August
A vast cultural program and a huge celebration of diversity, the 10th Gay Games promises to be the biggest and best yet!
Up to 15,000 competitors from over 70 countries will be visiting Paris to compete and celebrate across 36 different disciplines.
In addition there are 14 official events, ceremonies and conferences to accompany the amazing spectacle.
The Festival of Lights, Lyon, Alps: early December
This beautiful night time spectacle sees Lyon awash with light.
Candles are placed outside every window in the city and, buildings, streets and squares are lit by artists and light installations are showcased.
The festival has a magical atmosphere, celebrating the creation of light.
Braderie de Lille, Pas de Calais: September
The Lille Street market is one of the world’s largest flea markets and one of France’s most famous events, dating back to medieval times.
Lille is transformed into a bustling, pedestrian friendly home to 100km of stalls.
Traditionally moules-frites is eaten by visitors, and the local restaurants compete to build the highest pile of empty shells in the street.