Greetings dear readers and friends. We’re enjoying a lovely start to October here in the South of France. And one of our favorite events of fall is taking place this weekend, the Olive Festival in Ollioules. One of the “classic” events of the season, people come from near and far to this small, picturesque village about 10 minutes from Sanary-sur-Mer and the Mediterranean coastline.
I should have some nice photos to share in an upcoming post, and I’ve also collected a few other “must-do” festivals to visit if you’re in Provence at this time of year. Nothing beats eating & drinking under the changing colors that make the season so spectacular in this corner of the world.
The Olive Festival in Ollioules, Oct. 6-7
The olive, one of Provence’s most famous products, is on display in all its glory. Expositions, conferences, concerts, guided visits, olive-tree cutting demonstrations, and folkloric groups will be present. Games and activities for the kids are scheduled, as is a guided visit to the olive oil mill of Ollioules.
-Find all the festival details here.
The Mushroom Festival, Saint-Trinit, Oct. 14
At an altitude of 859 meters, the village of St. Trinit welcomes mushroom-lovers for a day of conferences and tastings, along with an artisanal market, games for the kids, and several dining options where the mushroom is “at honor”.
-To learn more about the festival, see the Provence Guide website.
The Chestnut Festival in Collobrières, Oct. 14, 21, 28
Each year, at harvest-time, the Chestnut Festival is organized in the village of Collobrières. In honor of one of the area’s most famous products, 100-150 stands are set-up displaying everything from raw & roasted chestnuts to chestnut beer, candied chestnuts, chestnut ice cream, and chestnut spread. If it’s anything to do with chestnuts, they’ve got it covered. More than 30,000 people attend this festival every year.
-All the details on the Collobrières tourism site.
Les Rencontres Gourmands (gourmet get-togethers) in Vaison-La-Romaine, Oct. 26-28
A real gourmet “blow-out” if there ever was one. Over three days, you can enjoy numerous gastronomique activities: a soup bar, wine-tastings, cooking demonstrations, meet-ups with “les Meilleurs ouvriers de France Région Sud” (best chefs of southern France), and many cooking workshops for adults and children. Sample adult workshops include: Cheese & Wine Pairings, Wine & Fish Pairings, Everything Coffee, and Everything Spelt. For the kids: Molten Chocolate Halloween Cake, Banana Jam, and Choco-Chocolate Cookies. Two free music concerts are offered in the evening.
-More on the Provence Guide site.
The Soup Festival of the Pays Vaison Ventoux, Oct. 6 – Nov. 24
Fourteen village participate in the Soup Festival which takes place over fifteen evenings and sees more than 200 soups in competition. Each village hosts an evening in which all the soups in competition are judged and rated by a jury to select the 14 finalists soups.
Tastings start in the villages at 7:30pm. Soup-tasting is free, followed by village meals at €8.
-Learn more on the Ventoux Magazine website.
Millévin – Fête des Côtes du Rhône et du Millésime in Avignon, Nov. 15
Wineries from the region descend on the town for a moment of celebration after the wine harvest. On l’Horloge square, you can meet the wine-makers and enjoy wine-tastings, concerts, and other festival activities.
-Event program on Provence Guide.
Week-end Gastronomique in Avignon, Nov. 17-19
Farmers from the network “Bienvenue à la Ferme”, coming from different regions all over France, will be at l’Horloge square for le Week-end Gastronomique. They will present their products as well and offer tastings of wines, meats, cheeses, salamis, and truffles – to name a few.
-Find all the details on Provence Guide.
La Fête du Millésime (vintage wine festival) in Bandol, 1st Sunday in December
The Bandol wine-makers present their 2018 vintages and numerous activities are proposed – cooking workshops, auctions, and games for young and old. €5 buys you a wine glass and unlimited wine-tasting along the port of Bandol.
-Learn more about the Millésime on the Bandol Wines official site.