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2017 on the French Riviera

St Blaise Festival figure

Now we’ve taken down our Christmas trees and waved goodbye to 2016, Bruce International takes a look ahead to what the French Riviera has to offer in 2017.

The Cote d’Azur proudly hosts a range of unique events throughout the year. This, alongside its year-round blue skies makes it an ideal destination for 2017.


After the fantastic New Year festivities, January on the French Riviera can seem quiet in comparison, but there is still plenty to do to enjoy your stay. The Saint-Blaise Festival takes place just outside of Nice, in Valbonne, and is a great weekend for all ages. Over the last weekend of January, the Saint-Blaise Festival combines tradition and modernity; free tours of the Heritage Museum, farmers markets, cooking demonstrations, folk dances, a grand Carnival Parade and more – all can be enjoyed with a mulled wine or hot chocolate in hand.


Nice carnival floatFebruary is a busy month on the Cote d’Azur! Between the 11th and the 26th February, the Mardi Gras Carnival sees Nice come to life with street processions, flower parades, concerts and fireworks. The Mardi Gras Carnival is one of the largest carnivals in the world, offering an unforgettable experience of the French Rivera. Each year the festival brings a different theme, the theme for this year is ‘King of Energy’.

From mid-February through to March, the Menton’s 84th Annual Lemon Festival is expected to attract upwards of 240,000 visitors to Jardins Biovès. Over 300 professionals will work on the fruity creations and around 145 tonnes of oranges and lemons are used. This year’s theme is Broadway, so expect show-stopping decoration with some designs over 10 metres tall. The festival is the second biggest event on the Riviera – second only to the Carnival of Nice.

Menton Lemon Festival. Lemon castle.


March means magic in Antibes! Top international illusionists and magicians are performing at the Magic Festival (date to be confirmed).

March also brings one of French Riviera’s most popular events – Foire Internationale de Nice (4th– 13th Mar). The International Fair of Nice brings more than 140 000 visitors and over 1000 exhibitors.


Inspired by the “Jardin aux Tuileries” event in Paris in June 2016, Jardins de la Côte d’Azur will be the first garden festival on the Riviera. Running all the way through May, the festival and competition celebrates a few of the most beautiful gardens located in the main towns of the Côte d’Azur: Antibes, Cannes, Grasse, Menton & Nice.


Cannes Film Festival: The world’s most prestigious film festival celebrates its 70th anniversary in Cannes from May 17th– 28th. Be sure to book accommodation and restaurants in advance.

May 31st marks the start of Les Voiles d’Antibes. The French Riviera’s first yachting event of the year and has been running for over a decade. Until the 4th June, a selection of the most beautiful yachts are welcomed to first major event of the Mediterranean season.


June brings festivals of literature and music to the French Riviera. More than 200 writers are to attend Nice’s Book Festival (date tbc), with debates, meetings, lectures and other activities, you’ll come home with more than just an autograph.

La Fête de la Musique is celebrated throughout France on 21st June. Musical artists of all genres give free performances in streets, bars, cafes and more.


The annual Nice Jazz Festival has been held on the French Riviera since 1948. The event features several different performances in Parc de Cimiez from 15th– 22nd July and attracts quests and performers from around the world.

More jazz comes to the French Riviera with the 57th Juan Les Pins Jazz Festival. Running from July 14th-23rd, the seaside festival is the oldest jazz festival in Europe and is set to bring around 200 musicians, filling the stages and the streets of Antibes and Juan-les-Pins. Join and to share jazz in all its forms


Arlette-Grus Circus big top

The Arlette Gruss Circus is bringing its Big Top is back to Valbonne! The French Circus was founded in 1985 and comes to Valbonne every year (dates tbc).


September 2017 brings the 39th Cannes Yachting Festival to the French Riviera. 630 boats took part last year, making the festival the largest in-water boat show in Europe. This year, regular exhibitors are to be joined by new companies, all presenting their latest releases and premiers.

The September Potter’s Markets on the Cote d’Azur showcase unique and beautiful handmade creations. A number of villages on the Cote d’Azur collaborate to bring together French potters to exhibit their creations in the village square, where there will also be demonstrations of turning and carving.


The Olive Harvest Season normally starts around the end of October. If you’re visiting around this time, you are sure to spot large nets hung under the olive trees. The trees are then either shaken or thrashed with bamboo poles before the ripe olives drop. Be sure to taste the freshly-made tapenade.

Various bowls of different olives


If you’re visiting the French Riviera in late November, be sure to attend this chocolate-dedicated event! Taste, try and buy fine chocolate artisans from the Alpes-Maritimes, France and from other places around the world at Salon du Chocolat of Cannes.


And before you know it, it’ll be Christmas 2017! If you missed our blog on Christmas on the French Riviera  be sure to see all that the French Riviera has to offer during the festive period.

2017 on the French Riviera

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