Rail Europe: Celebrations and Festivals in France
Summer in France is all about celebrations and festivals. Wherever you go, you will find a festival that combines food, art, music, and merriment. While athletes are cycling around the country, epicureans can take the train and enjoy all these festivals…
Let’s start in Paris with the Paris Summer Stage of La Villette (July 5 – August 24). Just a short train ride away is Versailles, where you can enjoy The Fountains Night Show until September – not to mention a 40 minutes stroll around the King’s Grand Apartments with the Dance Company L’Eventail and the Amarillis Ensemble.
From Paris, it’s just a quick train ride down to Burgundy’s capital Dijon for International Organ week (July 16 - 27). The music continues with the Roman Amphitheatre of Orange and its “Choregies” from July 9 through August 5.
Next on the list is Avignon, capital of the Cotes du Rhone region, where you can not only taste wines in the Popes’ Palace’s cellar but also meet actors and artists gathering for this internationally famous Festival (from July 4 – July 27). Still in the Cotes du Rhone area, and just 19 minutes away by train from Avignon, you will find Nimes – with the best kept Roman ruins in the world. Every Thursday from July 3 through August 28, the entire city comes to life with dancing, music, local food, and wines during the “jeux divins aux jeudis vins”, holorhyme meaning “divine games on Thursday wines.”
If you still haven’t had enough dancing, the Cannes Electronic Beaches festivals continue on through August 14. These are the only electronic music festivals in France to take over a public beach. All electronic lovers will feel at home on this paradisiac site. And since there is something for everybody on the Riviera, only few minutes away in Beaulieu sur Mer is the Villa Ephrussi de Rotschild, which offers operas in its gardens from August 20 through August 24.
To plan your festival hopping between each of these destinations, check on raileurope.com for your rail passes or train tickets and reservations. Wishing you a marvelous summer.