Hello from a sunny South of France! Like every year, summer in Provence is a very busy period and it’s hard to even keep track of all the festivals and events that take place.
We try to take advantage of local events happening in our town (Toulon), but there are some “must-do” favorites that really cap off this lovely season. (Another favorite is just around the corner – the Olive Festival in Ollioules village the 30th of September.)
One of the highlights of August, and something we look forward to all summer long, is the Fig Festival in Solliès-Pont village. The village is only about 15 minutes from us by car, but you’ll find yourself transported to another time and space.
Not only are you smack-dab in the middle of a typical Provençal village (literally just off the highway), but the residents do as much as they can to preserve their local heritage.
The fig festival takes place the last weekend of August (the 25, 26, & 27 in 2017), and is in its 21st year . And Solliès-Pont seems to have perfected the art of the festival – they go all out.
There is an opening dinner (see menu above) for €35 that is pretty spectacular. On Saturday and Sunday morning you are invited on “hikes” to the famous fig fields (Solliès is renowned throughout France for the quality of their figs which hold a special appellation – similar to wine – the AOP) to take a tour with the producers.
On both days you’ll find the market “All about Figs” , which takes up the entire historic center of the village, from 9am to 8pm. Here you can find everything you ever wanted fig-wise. There is fig liqueur, fig jam, fig breads and tarts, fig ice cream, and of course, just plain old figs themselves.
We picked up a basket of “bio” (organic) figs for €5, incredibly fresh and sweet. In front of the village’s church, you even have the possibility to purchase fig trees to plant in your own garden.
And when we were just in front of the bio-fig stand, what did we find but a mardi-gras style band, trailed by the “Chavaliers de la Figue” (Knights of the Fig), about to cross our path. We stayed for the “parade”, and wow, what a happy group of people.
My absolute favorite association had to be the “Amis du Vin et du Cochon” – Friends of Wine & Pig. And let me tell you, those folks had smiles from ear to ear.
Other not-to-miss events at the festival included a pétanque competition, a singing competition, election of the “La Figue en Blanche” – ladies in bridal dresses, and election of Baby Fig 2017.
We had a fantastic time at the fig festival and I highly recommend attending if you find yourself near Solliès-Pont in August. To learn more, please visit the fig festival website.