July is one of the busiest months of the year in Provence in terms of events and things to do, as well as the number of visitors that come to this vast region.
There are literally hundreds of events to choose from each week, from the north of Vaucluse to the furthest reaches of the Bouches du Rhone, the Var and the French Riviera. We've picked out some of the ones we think you should definitely try and attend this month to help you make the most of your visit here.
What's the weather like in Provence in July?
July is the hottest, driest month and is the height of the season. Average temperatures generally sit between a low of 18ºC in the evenings and a high of 29ºC during the day, averaging out at 24ºC. There is very little chance of rain and the sun shines for roughly 15 hours a day, with sunrise around 06:00 and sunset after 21:00. You get the picture: it's hot - day and night!
What's on in Provence in July?
Tour de France
The biggest cycling event in Europe and the most-watched on the planet kicks off in July. Whilst this year's route doesn't include Provence, it will be avidly watched throughout the country on TVs in bars and cafes.
The town of Vaison la Romaine hosts the annual Vaison Danses Festival, a huge international gathering of performers from around the world. Expect a broad mix of dance styles from street dance and contemporary to classical ballet.
Festival Off d'Avignon
In Avignon, you can enjoy dance performances among many other theatre shows and living arts at this international cultural event that has over 1,000 different shows, so expect to see something happening all the time: theatre, readings and recitals, café-theatre, circus, dance, music and street theatre all feature in the extensive programme.
DJs and VJs take to the stage during the Festival Voies Off in Arles, the alternative festival of the celebrated Rencontres d'Arles.
Bastille Day is celebrated across the whole of France with a bang. Well, several bangs in fact, as fireworks always feature heavily. Many towns, like Saint Remy de Provence celebrate throughout the evening with live music, dancing and much more.
The Caumont Centre d'Art in Aix en Provence organises a world-class exhibition every summer.
Les Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles is probably the biggest and most well-known photography exhibition in Provence. With over 140,000 visitors, this is a must for all art lovers. The sideshow Festival Voies Off showcases some of the best of upcoming talent in photography and runs on the same dates as the main exhibition and features a hand-picked selection of emerging artists and photographers from around the world. Screening nights take place throughout the event under the starry sky of the Courtyard of the Archbishop's Palace in Arles.
The Festival de Lacoste takes place on selected dates and is based at the wonderful Chateau de Lacoste owned by famous French fashion designer, Pierre Cardin. This festival offers classical music concerts as well as opera, theatre and dance performances. Situated further up north, in the very unique location of the grounds of the citadel in Sisteron, the Nuits de la Citadelle Festival will host performances from renowned artists and new talents in the world of classical music, theatre and dance perform.
Things to Do
The charming town of Isle sur la Sorgue is famous for its canals and waterways. On the third Sunday of July each year, you can come and see the traditional fishermen and their Nego-Chin boats demonstrating their age-old fishing techniques. A procession through the town, a mass at church and distribution of fish completes the day.
Les Fetes de la Madeleine is a large traditional festival which takes places on the streets of Beaucaire. Parades of people in traditional dress carrying statues of Mary Magdalene can be seen, with live music concerts, a celebratory feast and singing. Check local information for dates and times.
Route des Artistes
In Saint Rémy you can pick up a piece of artwork at the Route des Artistes market. Over 100 artists display their work, including contemporary paintings, sculptures and photographs.
Cafes & Restaurants
Food and gastronomy in Provence play a tremendous part in the culture and daily life, from the fresh seafood markets to the abundance of locally grown fruit and vegetables. This huge Mediterranean region is widely renowned to offer healthy, flavoursome and colourful cuisine, as well as traditional dishes; take a look a some of Provence's local dishes with our guides.
Find more events in Provence from July through to the end of the year accommodation, travel and search for sights & attractions to visit during your stay. If you're looking for things to do on the Riviera, take a look at our separate event calendars for Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Saint Tropez and Monaco.