Greetings dear readers and friends. Well, it’s certainly starting to look a lot like Christmas around here and I’d like to share with you today what’s happening around the region during the holiday season. I’ve particularly got my sights on an overnight trip to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue to visit their Christmas market and perhaps stay for the Festival of Lights celebrations.
If you’re in the South of France over Christmas, you’re sure to find a magical “ambiance” and an event (market / concert / theater / mass) – that will put you in the holiday spirit.
There are many events taking place in Avignon over the holidays. The association of merchants and artisans, “Autour des Carmes”, is proposing a series of workshops, tastings, shows and concerts at the Place des Carmes. Events include: “Christmas Storytelling around the World”, circus acts, a “giant” puppet show, and a musical concert by Coco Sunshine (Cumbias, Biguines, Rumbas, Marineras).
This is just the start of Christmas activities that take place all over the city. You can download a complete program from the tourist office.
The Christmas activites in Aix-en-Provence gets going at the end of November with a very full calender straight into the new year. The Christmas market on Cours Mirabeau is always a seasonal favorite, as is the “13 desserts of Christmas” market (a Provençal tradition), and the santons fair (handcrafted Nativity characters on display and for sale).
Other events include Christmas concerts, shows, parades, and a traditional Provençal mass. Discover all of the listings on the “Aix-en-Provence fête Noel” page.
The enchanting town of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue also comes alive with holiday spirit. The traditional Christmas market is held in the Jardin Public with several events happening over the holiday weekends – concerts, children’s shows, and tastings. You can find the events’ listing here.
The well-known lights festival, La Fête des Lumières, takes place the weekend of December 8th and, like every year, promises to be a magical event for all involved. Village homes are lit up around the town and there are concerts, tastings, performances, and light shows thoughout the day.
Find out the town’s full Christmas program on the tourist office site.
The famous Provençal crèche starts on December 7th at the Misericorde Chapel. Also on December 7th, the “Chalets Gourmands” opens – stands dedicated to Christmas food specialties like hot chocolate, hot wine, crêpes and waffles. You can also find traditional Provençal Santons (nativity figures) on sale there.
For €2, you can enjoy the ice rink that is open until January 6th, 2019 on the Place des Lices (normally the site of the open-air market).
Santa Claus cruises into the port of St. Tropez and debarks to greet young and old alike on December 24th.
A traditional Provençal mass is celebrated at 11:30pm on Christmas Eve at the Eglise Paroissiale.
Learn all about Christmas in St. Tropez from their official tourist website – in English no less!
Finally, there are a lot of Christmas events taking place in our town / village, Ollioules, but our favorite “local” spot to visit is the Toulon Christmas market on the Place de la Liberté. What I love about this market is 1) there are loads of Christmas specialties, ie. hot chocolate, German pretzels, hot wine… and even an oyster bar (& beer on tap from local breweries) and 2) it’s a 2-minute walk from my work… which means you’ll know where I’ll be spending my lunch breaks come December.
Wishing you a trés bon weekend and fantastic start to your holiday season!