French travel ideas tend to revolve around two things: charming cities and great food and wine. Most of us who would travel from abroad view the whole of France as a beautiful, charmed, and romantic destination. And this, in a way, leads us to want to simply hang out there – to stroll through the streets of Paris, drive in the countryside, stroll the riviera, etc. Any or all of these activities, non-specific as they may be, can lead to a wonderful vacation. However, you also shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that like most other major European countries, France is home to a lot of specific events worth traveling for as well. Particularly if you’re just looking for the right time, or a good excuse to go, these are some of these events you might just decide you want to attend.
Tour de France
The Tour de France is arguably the most famous event the country hosts on an annual basis, but it’s not something too many people think about actually attending. It’s the sort of thing that can simply occupy casual TV time for the better part of a month, like the Olympics or the World Cup except that it happens every year. Furthermore, watching cross-country road cycling live can seem inherently limiting (in that you can only stand in one place at a time). The reality though is that it’s a wonderful vacation experience. You can research the best stages of the race to watch live and set yourself up to see the packs of riders pedal by. And as you move from one stage to the next, you’re effectively giving yourself a tour of France! You’ll see a great deal of what the country has to offer, well beyond the typical highlights of Paris and the Mediterranean coastline.
French Grand Prix
The French Grand Prix is part of the annual Formula 1 circuit, and is another great sporting occasion in the country. And actually, as it’s now structured, it’s a newer event. An overseas site posting strategy and tips for sports fans regarding major occasions looked into this year’s French Grand Prix, and pointed out that it marked Formula 1’s first return to the Circuit Paul Ricard since 1990. It’s a fun and festive occasion that hopefully will become a mainstay on the F1 calendar, and it gives you a chance to explore nearby Marseille, which is ultimately one of the most charming destinations in all of France.
Cirque de Demain
This stands for “Circus of Tomorrow,” and it’s quite literally a circus event. Held every January at the Cirque Phenix (a wonderful venue in Paris), it’s a sort of competition between performers. It amounts to an unusual but thrilling circus featuring some of the best talent in the world, and the crowds of spectators that show up in Paris for it always get quite into it. Needless to say, the event is also valuable simply because it gives you an excuse to visit Paris!
Bastille Day is really one of the more festive national holidays anywhere in the world. Occurring each year on July 14th, it’s a celebration to commemorate the famous storming of the Bastille, which was a powder keg moment for the French Revolution. Bastille Day is a day off work, and often inspires a party-like atmosphere that starts the day before and goes nonstop. The celebrations involve fireworks shows, military parades, balls, and general revelry, and certainly makes for a great excuse to find a city to visit.
If you’re ever looking for event-based travel opportunities, you should keep music festivals in mind. They’re usually a ton of fun, and they bring out eclectic mixes of locals and tourists all enjoying a carefree, fun and festive mood. There are a lot of music festivals to choose from in France, but Electrobeach is arguably the most special of the bunch. Granted, it’s almost entirely EDM, so you have to be a fan of the genre to fully enjoy it. But the festival attracts some of the biggest names in the genre, and happens to take place right on the Mediterranean in the South of France.