Festivals in France 2012 - Barge Connection

Festivals in France 2012

Eiffel Tower Bastille DayFrench cuisine and fine wines draw tourists from around the globe to the boutique restaurants, vineyards and festivals of France to fill their bodies and enrich their souls with this country’s delightful fare. While food and wine are highlighted at almost every festival in France, harvest season focuses the spotlight directly on cuisine and wine. During the months of September, October and early November, wine harvest festivals occur throughout the grape growing regions of France to celebrate the end of the season and the gathering of the harvest. Whether you are seeking an intimate festival in a medieval village or one that draws thousands of visitors to savor the offerings, harvest festivals abound.

Two of the most well known festivals are the Grape Harvest Festival in Montmartre in early October and the Dijon International and Gastronomic Fair in Dijon, Foire Internationale et Gastronomique de Dijon, occurring from the end of October through the first eleven days of November. Highlights of the Montmartre festival include a day of fun specifically designated for children and a spice market.

Celebrating its 81st year of providing the most exquisite foods and wines to visitors, the 2012 Dijon GastronomyCulinary Delights in France Fair is held in the town famed for its delectable mustard. But oh, the 500-600 booths of fabulous foods and wines offer so much more than just mustard! This gastronomy festival ranks among the top festivals in France, for both attendance and pleasurable experiences. Not only does the festival promise to delight the taste buds, visitors will also find crafts from around the world, household products and leisure activities. Dijon is located in the famed Burgundy region of France, so expect to sample a variety of superb red wines. In addition to the regional fare, each year a different international location is highlighted, with this year’s country being Mauritius. Expect to find plenty of food and entertainment from this exotic location.

Exploring the French Riviera
The month of May is an incredible time to visit the French Rivera. Along with the delightful weather, two of France’s most famous events take place. The Cannes Film Festival draws film professionals and enthusiasts from around the globe. While the main events are not open to tourists, many flock to Cannes during the festival to catch a glimpse of the famous. This is an elegant town, set on the shore of the Mediterranean and there is plenty to do during the festival week, including exploring the surrounding areas, strolling the magnificent streets of Cannes and glorying in the glitter that accompanies the cinematic world. For those who really want to enjoy film while in Cannes, check out the Cinema de la Plage, an enormous screen set outdoors that shows exciting new films right on the beach in the evenings.

While you are visiting the Riviera, do not miss the thrills offered by the Formula One Grand Prix race in Monaco, occurring at the end of May. Some of the same jet-setting crowd that visits the Cannes Film festival will also be seen in attendance at this world-renowned racing event.

World Class Pyrotechnics
The Cannes International Fireworks Festival, Festival d’Art Pyrotechnique, is so much more than just spectacular fireworks. Since 1967, teams of fireworksFrench Mardi Gras masters are invited to beautiful Cannes each summer to produce incredible shows of pyrotechnics combined with music, thrilling audiences of thousands of people. The amazing show takes place over the scenic bay, magnifying the visual effects of the fireworks. Each display is set to music and actually tells a story fitting with the year’s theme. This is truly an experience you will never forget. The festival electrifies visitors in 2012 during the months of July and August.

Antique Lover’s Delight
Find an abundance of open markets and special festivals featuring antiques throughout the year in quaint villages and fascinating cities. Strasbourg is the host for the European Bric-A-Brac and Antiques Fair four times each year at the Parc des Expositions. Antique lovers flock to this fair to browse for unusual and rare treasures from France and Europe. Rather than buying mass-produced souvenirs for friends and family, pick up a one-of-a-kind antique that they could never find back home. The fair is scheduled for February 4 and 5, April 7 and 8, September 22 and 23 and November 17 and 18 of 2012.

The annual Salon des Antiquaires et de l'Art Contemporain, Antiques and Contemporary Art Fair, in Bordeaux offers the visitor the finest in antique furniture, jewelry and decorative items. An unusual twist to this exquisite antique festival is the addition of contemporary artwork by many of France’s current artists. The festival runs from January 28 through February 5 and is held at Bordeaux’s Parc de Expositions. Beware of sipping too much local wine before this festival, as you might be tempted to purchase a rare 18th century dining table that will look perfect in your home but definitely will not fit in your return luggage!

For something that certainly will fit in your baggage, the annual Paris Antiques Book Fair, Brocante de Livres Anciens, intrigues shoppers with its massive collection of rare literary treasures. The festival runs for ten days in February. For the young at heart Toulouse hosts the monthly Paper and Toy Market featuring antique toys, posters, books and other ephemera. This enjoyable antique festival is held on the second Monday of every month.

C'est la Vie Hotel Barge in Burgundy FranceTake Time to Relax Aboard a Barge
Attending world-class festivals and events, though exciting, can be tiring, so at the end of your tour of festivals why not delight in luxurious relaxation aboard a leisurely barge journey? The Barge Connection offers a wide range of tours, taking the traveler along the scenic canals and waterways of France for an intimate experience that only a slow-moving barge can provide. Just imagine floating mere feet from the ancient stone buildings at the heart of medieval towns or passing serenely through the sun-drenched countryside. The Barge Connection, experts in barge cruising since 1998, provides self-drive tours for the adventuresome as well as deluxe hotel barge cruises where travelers experience the ultimate in luxurious cruising.

To find out more, here is a wonderful link to many of the major festivals during 2012 in France.

Romantic Barge Cruise in Burgundy
New Barge Apres Tout Cruising in Burgundy for 2012

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