What To Do in France in July 

What To Do in France in July 

Summer is in full swing and France plays host to some of the most important events of the year, including the French national holiday commemorating the taking of the Bastille. Here’s France Today’s selection of events happening in July 2023

SCAD Film Festival, Lacoste – July 1-2 

Join this exciting two-day film festival at SCAD’s picturesque study abroad location in the heart of Provence. Celebrate actor Lesley Manville receiving the SCAD Étoile, explore hit Netflix series costume design, delve into influential French New Wave films, and more. 

The MB Race, Megève – July 1-3 

Known as the toughest mountain bike race in the world, the MB Race challenges participants on every level. The event takes place in the territory of Mont-Blanc and Val d’Arly and offers several other formats so that all mountain bikers can find what they are looking for. 

Voyage à Nantes – July 3 – September 3 

Follow the bright green line traced on the ground in the heart of Nantes and encounter artistic installations overrunning the city, large scale exhibitions and special summer events, including the famous steampunk mechanical elephant which you can even hitch a ride upon! 

Tour de France – July 1-23 

The Tour has captured the imagination of generations since that first Grand Départ in 1903. The three-week race this year takes us across the country, from the start in Bilbao, through the Alps, to the finish in the Champs-Élysées, during its 20-odd stages across every terrain. Hordes of hardcore fans and casual spectators gather by the roadside to cheer on as the teams whizz by in a flash, to catch a glimpse of the coveted yellow jersey of the leader, the green jersey of the fastest sprinter or the spotted jersey of the top climber to the encouraging cries of ‘allez!’ 

Festival de Carcassonne – July 2-29 

In just 10 years, the Carcassonne Festival has become one of the biggest French festivals and is now an unmissable event in the south. Enjoy some 120 shows – dance, theatre, opera, music – held within the walls of the UNESCO-listed city. 

The Grand Colombier pass during the Tour de France © shutterstock

Festival d’Avignon – July 5-25 

The City of Popes comes alive as street performances take over the town and its architectural heritage is transformed into majestic and surprising show venues. Founded in 1947 by Jean Vilar, the Festival d’Avignon is one of the world’s most important contemporary performing arts events.  

Jazz à Juan, Juan-les-Pins – July 10-21 

Get your groove on in Juan-les-Pins, on the French Riviera, for its annual, world-famous jazz festival. Headliners include Thomas Dutronc, Deluxe, Joe Bonamassa and Fatoumata Diawara. 

Francofolies, La Rochelle – July 12-16 

Since 1985, Francofolies in La Rochelle has hosted the best of the French-speaking music scene and promises a fantastic edition for 2023 with the likes of Renaud, Michel Polnareff, Louise Attaque, Shaka Ponk and Izïa, among many others. 

Francopholies on the port of La Rochelle © Aurele Bossan

Fashion Folklore, Marseille – July 12 – November 6 

The Mucem retraces the creative process of fashion designers, from Paul Poiret and Coco Chanel to Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Lacroix, and how they drew inspiration from traditional costumes. 

Les Vieilles Charrues, Carhaix – July 13-17 

France’s largest music festival, attracting more than 200,000 people, is held in Carhaix, Brittany. This edition of Les Vieilles Charrues includes Robbie Williams and Blur. 

National Holiday, France-Wide – July 14 

The celebrations on July 14 feature a military parade from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde via the Champs-Élysées in Paris, with ceremonies also held in various towns across the country to mark France’s national day. As daylight fades, most towns light up with fireworks accompanied by dancing and music, notably the famed firehouse balls, bals des pompiers, with some events even starting the night before, depending on location. 

Les Vieilles Charrues is the biggest music festival of France © Vieilles Charrues

Hier & Aujourd’hui Festival, Chemillé-en-Indrois – July 20-22 

In the heart of rural Touraine, in the Loire Valley, this festival gathers artistic and musical talent from the world over. Set in a stunning 18th-century barn within the Chartreuse du Liget, a beautiful historical monument, the festival brings classical and contemporary music to life.  

Fête de la mer, Boulogne-sur-Mer – July 13-16 

A city of Art and History and first fishing port in France, Boulogne-sur-Mer plays host to festivities celebrating the sea. Gathering of tall ships and traditional boats, sea trips, ships open to visitors, nautical parades, songs and dances, tastings, exhibitions and entertainment for young and old are on the program for these four festive days. 

Fête du Cognac, Cognac – July 27-29 

Held on the port of Cognac, in Charente, this event celebrates Cognac in every shape and form. There are 6 bars taking part of the event and all will offer special cocktails as well as tastings of Charentais wines, Pineau and of course Cognac while free concerts. 

See what else is on in France on our Events Page

Lead photo credit : Bastille Day in Paris © Yiven on Unsplash

Share to:  Facebook  Twitter   LinkedIn   Email

More in events in France, Festivals, festivals in France, summer events, summer in France, What's on

Previous Article Will this Be the Most Exciting Tour de France Yet? 
Next Article Carnet de Voyage: Connecting with my Breton Ancestry for Healing

Related Articles

Sophie is Digital Editor for France Today. Raised in Burgundy to British parents, she grew up bilingual in a small village where summers were about forest walks and lazy swims in the river. A Franco-British citizen, she studied literature, then journalism in Paris and Cardiff before quickly dipping her toes (and quill) into travel writing. She’s been specialised and writing about France since 2016 and now works from her home office in north-east France.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *