There are a number of festival and events that occur each year on the French Riviera. If you are planning a short holiday or shore excursion to this region you may want to plan your visit around one or two of them. Please note that for some, hotel accommodation is often booked a couple of years in advance – notably for the Cannes Film Festival, Menton Lemon Festival and Nice Mardi Gras Carnival – so don’t wait until the last minute to book your hotel or holiday rental villa.
The Calendar is accurate to the best of our knowledge and research but may not contain every event or festival happening around the French Riviera this year. Please contact the editor should you wish to have your festival mentioned or know of one that should be on this list.
New Year’s Concert - Nice
Held on New Year’s Eve at Nice’s Acropolis, this concert is a great way to celebrate the arrival of a new year.
Nice Carnival - Nice
from 13th February to 1st March
Every year, Nice comes alive with street processions, flower parades, concerts and fireworks. Each year has a special theme, prompting the creation of huge papier mâché figures.
Carnival Run - Nice
Europe’s most festive race takes place on Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Participants choose from 5km or 10km. Children’s race, disguise contest, concert, Carnival obstacles and activities, giant dance and more.
International Games Festival – Cannes
from 27th February to March 1st
Held at the Palais des Festivals de Cannes, this festival will welcome over 270 exhibitors as well as 300 authors and illustrators, showcasing everything from board games to the latest simulation game. Participate in tournaments, discover the game of the year, or meet the person behind your favourite video game.
Napoleon at Golfe-Juan
from 28th February to 1st March
Re-enactment to celebrate the bicentenary of Napoleon’s landing in Golfe-Juan
Fête du Mimosa – Mandelieu-La Napoule
18th to 25th February
Floats, troops of dancers, musicians and street performers take to the streets of Mandelieu-La Napoule with a spectacular Pyro-Aquatique on the edge of the Siagne river in the evening of 20th February.
82nd Annual Lemon Festival – Menton
from 14th February to 4th March
Menton’s Lemon Festival that attracts over 160,000 visitors every year to its Jardins Biovès and surrounding streets. Designs up to 10 metres tall, incredible decorations, floats requiring over 145 tonnes of oranges and lemons.
Grand Mimosa Procession – Bormes-les-Mimosa
from 21st to 22nd February
77th Corso Fleuri that dates back to the 17th century and is one of the town’s most popular events. The parade sees a number of beautifully decorated caravans file through the city, ending in the traditional “bataille de fleur”.
Foire de Nice
from 7th to 15th March
One of the most popular events of the French Riviera with more 140 000 visitors and 1200 exhibitors.
Violet Festival – Tourrettes-sur-Loup
21st and 22nd March
Village streets are full of activity from 9.30 am, with a Floral Procession in the early afternoon and the day ending with the Flower Battle, which everyone can take part in.
17th Annual Printemps des Poètes - Nice
7th to 22nd March
For two weeks, Nice celebrates poetry in its many forms through events held in theatres, schools and cafés.
73rd Annual ‘Race in the Sun’ Paris to Nice Cycling Race
from 8th to 15th March
Covers 1,300km in 8 legs. Col de Vence, La Turbie and Col d’Èze are part of the itinerary of the now essential last leg of this Course au Soleil (Race in the Sun).
Gourd Festival – Nice
Nice’s gourd festival is held in the Cimiez gardens. The event traditionally symbolises the end of winter. As well as gourd-painting events, gourd-based dishes are also served.
Fête des Jardins – Sophia-Antipolis
28th & 29th March
Chance to view an enormous variety of plants, trees and shrubs organised by the Société des Gens de Jardins Méditerranéens.
Antibes Yacht Show – cancelled until 2016
(24th & 25th April)
The City Hall of Antibes has asked ASAP, the association for leisure boating professionals in Antibes, to organise a replacement event for yachting professionals.
Orange Festival – Bar-sur-Loup
Monday 6th April
Orange blossom festival celebrated throughout the village.
Printemps des Musées
Every year museums throughout the French Riviera waive their entry fees for just one day, giving everyone the opportunity to discover for themselves the region’s rich cultural and artistic heritage.
Nice Half Marathon - Nice
from 25th to 26th April
Held end-April along the Promenade des Anglais. Some 4,000 runners compete in this annual sporting event.
Riverdance “20th Anniversary” – Palais Nikaia - Nice
Seen by more than 23 millions spectators in 350 cities around the world – they have chosen France for their 20th anniversary tour. They will be in Nice the 2nd of May. To buy your tickets click here.
Fête des Roses et des Plantes - St Jean-Cap Ferrat
2nd & 3rd May
Surrounded by beautiful gardens, Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is hosting the 6th ‘Fête des Roses et des Plantes’. Some twenty international exhibitors – rose growers, nursery growers and professionals from the gardening world are expected in the villa’s gardens to share their passion.
Crossover Festival – Nice
from 5th to 9th May
Crossover didn’t get its name by chance: the festival highlights artistic fusions, with invited groups at the “crossroads” of trends and generations.
51st Croisière Bleu, Régate – Antibes (Port Vauban)
from 13th to 17th May
The Croisière Bleu was the first sailboat cruising race in Mediterranean. A lot of Regatta men are looking forward to this fantastic event that will bring opponents for the race to Calvi in Corsica.
International Rose Exhibition, Grasse
from 8th to 10th May
The exhibition is considered to be the leading annual European show of the cut rose. More than 50,000 roses are displayed in bouquets of 60 to 300 flowers. The rose, whether cut or a bush, is in the spotlight for the whole duration of the exhibition.
68th Cannes Film Festival - Cannes
from 13th to 24th May
12 days of the world’s most prestigious film festival and much sought-after Palme d’Or.
La Fête de Mai – Nice
Every Sunday in May, held in the Arènes de Jardins de Cimiez. Nice celebrates is history through a series of free events, refreshments featuring locally produced food and children’s entertainment.
Open de Nice Côte d’Azur
from 17th to 23rd May
The most important tennis tournament held on the French Riviera and part of the ATP World Tour. For more information about Nice Open 2015 schedule and tickets.
Latin Sails – St Tropez
29th to 31st May
Sailboats, regatta and exhibitions.
from 3rd to 7th June
Marking the opening of the Mediterranean regatta circuit, the first stage of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge or Trophée Panerai. It’s a stunning regatta drawing some of the world’s rarest vintage and classic yachts.
Promenades des Anglais Exhibition
12th June to 4th October
Nice presents a new international exhibition in all the city’s museums. The theme is Promenade des Anglais, echoing the City’s initiative to submit its candidature to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to the city’s municipal institutions, three of the national museums which are situated in and around Nice will participate in the event.
Giraglia Rolex Cup – St. Tropez
12th to 20th June
One of the most renowned offshore races in the Mediterranean. The fleet gathers in the harbour of Saint-Tropez for three days of inshore competition before embarking on a 241-nautical mile offshore race to Monte-Carlo via the Giraglia, a rocky outcrop off the northern tip of Corsica.
Fête de la Music – Nationwide
Since 1982 the Fête de la Musique has been held throughout the whole of France – and the world – and reunites amateur and professional musicians with an appreciative audience.
International Young Soloists Festival – Antibes
from 24th to 28th June
Offering a stage, a symphonic orchestra to young musicians that have won great international prizes and sponsored by great artists… such is the vocation of this internationally renowned festival.
11th Annual Ironman France Championship – Nice
Nice will be hosting the legendary Ironman triathlon attracting athletes and spectators alike. The participants swim in the Mediterranean, bike through the challenging course in the Alps and run along Promenade des Anglais.
Nice en roller
The Promenade des Anglais is taken over once a year by rollerbladers. As well as fun and games for all the family, there are also demonstrations and the staging of the French national cup race. The course is laid out over 2.5km and is open to all.
Les Nuits Guitares – Beaulieu-sur-Mer
from 2nd to 4th July
A not-to-be-missed event for guitar lovers held in the jardin de l’Olivaie in Beaulieu-sur-Mer.
Festival of Pyrotechnic Art – Cannes.
For seven nights throughout July and August, different countries take on the challenge to produce the most spectacular firework display. Each display is a minimum of 25 minutes. Can be seen from various vantage points.
Ma Ville Est Tango – Menton
For 4 days Menton lives to the beat of Tango with a series of concerts, entertainment, exhibitions, cinema, dance classes, balls and street entertainment.
Festival of St Pierre and The Sea – Cagnes-sur-Mer
4th to 5th July
Events, sea trips, nocturnes piétonnes, sardinade at Cros-de-Cagnes.
Les Nuits du Sud Festival – Vence
from 9th to 25th July
A key music event on the French Riviera combining diversity, discovery and good music with affordable prices. Open to all musics of the world.
Nice Jazz Festival
from 7th to 12th July
Parc de Cimiez. Staged since the 1940s, this long-standing festival attracts jazz aficionados from all over the world.
Bastille Day – National Holiday in France
This is a national holiday in France and many businesses, schools and banks may close and public transport services will be reduced. A great day to take it easy on the beach perhaps and end the evening admiring the magnificent firework display in Cannes and elsewhere throughout the Côte d’Azur.
from 10th to 19th July
55th Annual Jazz at Juan-les-Pins Europe’s oldest jazz festival. Stunning setting overlooking the bay and always brings top acts. In 2015 it starts with the great Carlos Santana.
Les Nuits Musicales du Suquet – Cannes
from 18th to 23rd July
In front of Notre-Dame d’Espérance church, in the lovely setting of Old Cannes, a programme of chamber music associating the talent of young musicians and famous artists from France and abroad.
Festival of Chamber Music – St Paul de Vence
from 22nd to 31st July
Saint-Paul de Vence welcomes you to its very first chamber music festival on Place de la Courtine, at the foot of the village ramparts.
Les Plages Electroniques – Cannes
10th, 17th, 30th July & 6th and 14th August.
Go to the beaches and the Terrasses du Palais des Festivals in Cannes for seats to an electronic music festival that takes over the beach.
La Castellada – Nice
held from the start of July in the Parc du Château, this event runs through to end of September. Actors in costume recount the story of Nice’s past in a three-hour guided tour.
Musicalia – held on the promenade des Anglais, this series of concerts features a range of music from all over the world. The programme also offers dance performances and short film screenings.
Jazz at Domergue – Cannes
from 2nd to 5th August
Over five consecutive days, during the course of its program the festival reveals the Russian cultural identity through its various forms of artistic expression.
35th Annual Boules Carrée World Championships – Cagnes-sur-Mer
16th & 17th August
Original championship held in the Montée de la Bourgade, a lane running up to the Château du Haut-de-Cagnes.
Festival de Ramatuelle – St Tropez
Created in 1985 as a tribute to the French actor Gérard Philipe. The festival, held during the first half of August, allows for a cultural holiday in a place where historic monuments are included with many other things to see and do.
Les Concerts du Cloitre – Nice
from 15th July to 14th August
Series of classical concerts held at the Opéra de Nice and the Clôitre du Monastère de Cimiez during the summer.
Les Grimaldines – Gulf of St Tropez
from 15th July to 14th August
World music festival, which has become an essential event in the Gulf of Saint Tropez and beyond bringing thousands of spectators to the village’s alleys and the medieval castle’s steps, yearning to discover new horizons in songs and music. Every Tuesday from mid-July to mid-August, this event takes you from one continent to another, offering an exceptional cultural world tour in five concerts
Menton Music Festival – Menton
from 31st July through to 13th August
At the Parvis Saint-Michel Archange and other venues, Menton puts on the oldest classical music festival in Europe. Started in 1949 and continues to be one of the most important in Europe.
Jasmine Festival – Grasse
from 31st July to 2nd August
Traditional festival which marks the beginning of the jasmine harvest, so important to this town of perfumes.
Catherine Segurane ceremony
held in the Sainte Réparate Cathedral. Nice’s patron saint is commemorated with a special mass and wreath-laying ceremony at the Catherine Segurane memorial.
Voiles de Saint-Tropez
from 27th Sept to 5th October
The famous “Voiles de Saint Tropez” – modern and more traditional sail boats have united here for more than fifteen years, putting on an astounding show for nautical sports amateurs. Even non-experts can appreciate the beauty of boats on land or on the water.
From Nice to Villefrance-sur-Mer. Details to follow.
12th Annual Lou Festin dou Pouort (Fête du Port) – Nice
September – details to follow.
10th Annual International Festival of Gastronomy - Mougins
18th, 19th & 20th September
Also known as ‘Les Etoiles de Mougins’ this is a great weekend for anyone who loves good food and wine in a fabulous setting
Festival Internationale de Musique Militaire
Biennial military tattoo that takes place over the course of a weekend. This popular festival of military music also includes a grand parade.
Fête Patronale de la Ville de Nice Sainte Réparate
Colourful traditional Niçois festival that takes place in the streets of Vieux Nice.
Extreme Sailing Series – International Regatta
Hosted and supported since 2011 by the City of Nice. Key landmark in the sporting calendar of Nice.
European Masters Games - Nice
1st to 11th October
Nice has been chosen to organise and host the European Masters Games from 1 to 11 October 2015. Every edition, this big multi-sport competition brings together over 10,000 seasoned and senior athletes from around the world.
Salon du Chocolat – Cannes
World’s largest event dedicated to chocolate with dozens of fine chocolate artisans from the Alpes-Maritimes, France and even from around the world.
The Marathon of Alpes-Maritimes, also known as the Nice-Cannes Marathon, is another high-profile sporting event held regularly on the French Riviera. The run between Nice and Canes, first organized in 2008, regularly reaches the full capacity of participants.
Festival Manca – Nice and around the region
International festival featuring a broad repertoire of contemporary music performed by world renowned musicians.
Challenge de Lutte Henri Deglane
International wrestling contest, with some of the world’s Olympic champions competing for this prestigious prize.
International Rowing Regatta - Nice
Held in the Baie des Anges, this regatta brings together the world’s best rowers to compete in pairs, eights and fours events.
Christmas Day Swim – Nice
Every year, swimmers take to the rather chilly waters of the Mediterranean from Nice’s Ruhl Plage.
Christmas Village – Nice
Traditional festive market held at the Place Masséna. Forty wooden chalets are set up in the square, selling typical Provençal gifts. There is also an ice-skating rink and children’s entertainment.