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What's on in Provence July 2019

Our pick of the best events this month

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| Ana Hernández, Provence Editor | Published

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What's on in Provence July 2019

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. 

Tour de France – La Boucle Romaine

The biggest cycling event in Europe and the most-watched on the planet kicks off this weekend, with the Grand Depart of the 2019 Tour de France in Brussels on July 6th. The race will arrive in Provence on July 22nd for a rest day at the city of Nimes, and then two stages in the region. In what's been called the 'Boucle Romaine' or the 'Roman Loop', the Tour de France will showcase some of Provence's most iconic Roman monuments through stages 16 and 17. On Tuesday 23rd, cyclists will ride over the stunning Pont du Gard before returning to Nimes while, on the next day, the route will take them from the Roman bridge to Gap via the antique towns of Orange and Vaison la Romaine. There will also be plenty of activities for the whole family in Nimes on the 22nd... not to be missed!

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Dance

The aforementioned town of Vaison la Romaine hosts the annual Vaison Danses Festival, a huge international gathering of performers from around the world from July 4th to 27th. Expect a broad mix of dance styles from street dance and contemporary to classical ballet.

In Avignon, you can enjoy dance performances among many other theatres shows and living arts in the Festival Off d'Avignon, which takes place from July 5th to 28th. This international cultural event has over 1000 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.

Events Calendar for Provence

Traditional festivals

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. Also on July 21st 2019, 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. 

Towns & Villages in Provence

Bastille Day

Most, if not all, of the cities, towns and villages across Provence will have celebrations, street parties and fireworks for the national holiday on July 14th, Bastille Day or the 'Fête Nationale'. Many towns, like Saint Remy de Provence celebrate throughout the evening with live music, dancing and much more.

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Art

The Caumont Centre d'Art in Aix en Provence organises a world-class exhibition every summer. This year, they've gathered masterpieces from the Justin K. Tannhauser collection, as a loan from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Over 50 masterpieces by Picasso, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Matisse, Braque, Degas or Manet will be on show until September 29th. Picasso will also be the main focus of this summer's exhibition at the Musée Angladon-Collection Jacques Doucet, in Avignon. Engravings showcasing the Spanish master's love for the performing arts will be on display from Tuesday to Sundays through July and August. 

Over in Carpentras, the streets will be home to a large open-air exhibition, Les Papillons, for the whole of July and August. Large original canvases from more than 200 international artists will hang above the walkways of the town for you to enjoy.

Museums & Galleries in Provence

Photography

Les Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles is probably the biggest and most well-known photography exhibition in Provence, running from July 1st to September 22nd this year. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, this prestigious festival will once more combine exhibitions, talks, performances and so much more. With over 140,000 visitors last year, this is a must for all art lovers. The alternative photography festival in Arles, Festival Voies Off, runs concurrently to 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.

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Classical music

The Festival de Lacoste takes place on selected dates between July 26th and August 11th. Housed in 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 takes place from July 20th to August 13th. Renowned artists and new talents in the world of classical music, theatre and dance perform here each summer.

Castles in Provence

Horse shows

Enjoy some incredible displays of equestrian skills, watch horses from a number of different countries compete and get involved yourselves at Les Rencontres Equestres in Beaucaire on July 12th-14th. Another horse's show with the beautiful white horses from the Camargue, Reves de Camargue, takes place in Arles on Tuesdays in July and August and offers a Provencal-Andalusian horse show with tapas and wine.

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More inspiration...

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.

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Events Calendar for Provence