September events in France
PUBLISHED: 15:21 30 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:21 30 August 2017
Whether it’s running a marathon with wine-tasting stations or hunting for bargains at a giant flea market, there’s plenty to do in France this September...
Marathon du Médoc, Gironde
If you ever needed an excuse to put on your running shoes, the Marathon du Médoc in the Gironde department on 9 September is surely it. Instead of replenishing with water or glucose-filled drinks, runners are invited to refuel along the way with oysters, foie gras and steak, plus 23 Médoc wine-tasting stands to wash down the gourmet snacks. Orchestral bands and entertainment from locals also line the paths to cheer on the costume-clad runners in this fun race.
Braderie de Lille, Lille
Bargain hunters will love La Braderie de Lille, the antique, flea and bric-a-brac market that dates back to the 12th century. Taking place this year from 2-3 September, there will be over 300 professional second-hand goods dealers selling everything from rare books and antique paintings to weird and wonderful household items. Fill up on the event’s traditional meal of moules-frites and a local beer and take part in the annual contest to see which restaurant can amass the highest pile of shells.
Tous au restaurant
France is famous for its world-class food and for a fortnight starting in September, restaurants up and down the country pull out all the stops to encourage customers to dine at their tables. Starting on 18 September until 1 October, Tous au Restaurants involves some 1,000 venues, from Michelin-star eateries to homey bistros offering perks such as culinary demonstrations and special meals.
Journées Européennes du Patrimonie
The European Heritage Days, or Journées du Patrimonie as they are called in France, are a cultural initiative first created in France in 1984. It started as a single day where cultural monuments that were usually closed to the public, opened their doors for visitors to discover and explore. Today, with 50 other countries taking part, the event lasts a whole weekend with many special events created exclusively for that weekend and new openings happening each year. This year’s theme for the 34th edition is ‘Youth and Heritage’ and the event is taking place on 16-17 September 2017.
Festival mondial des théâtres de marionettes, Charleville-Mézières
Founded in 1961, this is the largest puppet theatre festival in the world and a real institution. Every year, over 250 troupes from around the world come to Ardennes to perform puppet shows, in the street or indoors, in front of the 150,000 visitors who flock to the town for 10 days. This year’s festival is taking place from 16-24 September.
Festival du Cinéma Américain de Deauville
The seaside resort of Deauville in Normandy gets its annual sprinkling of Hollywood stardust for the 43rd American Film Festival from 1-10 September. More than 100 films, from blockbusters to documentaries and TV shorts, are shown round the clock in three venues: the International Centre, the Lucien Barrière Casino and the Le Morny Cinema. In addition to the screenings, American-themed events are held in the Festival Village. A day pass costs €35.
Grand Pavois, La Rochelle
Founded in 1973, the Grand Pavois La Rochelle has become one of the major events in the international boat show calendar. Running from 27 September-2 October, in La Rochelle’s famous port, the event will see over 800 international exhibitors arrive at the port where hundreds of boats will be on display.
Evian golf championship, Evian
Every September some of the world’s top female golfers take to the green in Evian in south-east France for the Evian Championship. From 14-17 September famous names will play on the 18-hole golf course against the beautiful backdrop of Lake Geneva. In addition to watching the championship unfold, spectators can also visit the on-site fair where they can talk with experts in the field and test some sporting equipment. Different packages offer the chance to upgrade the experience to enjoy bonuses such as the Evian Resort Golf Club House, a traditional chalet at the heart of the tournament.
If you want to listen to classical music that is a little more modern than what you’re used to then set your sights on Strasbourg where, from 21 September- 7 October, the city plays host to the international festival, Musica. During the fortnight, the festival will present the most significant works of the 20th century alongside performances inspired by modern-day artists, composers and performers Highlights for this year’s edition include interpretations of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. A pass for the festival costs €150.
Vignes Vins Randos, Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is home to some of France’s best-loved wines so why not take some time out to appreciate them at the Vignes Vins Randos from 2-3 September? Now in its 14th year, the event organises walks through the Loire’s vineyards where you can stop for tastings of local products and wines, discover the local heritage and get an insight into the work of a winemaker. There are different trails to suit everyone, whether you want to walk with family, friends, or with fellow solo walkers. Afterwards, you can buy the wine you tasted at the wine market where there will also be live music and entertainment. Remember to hang onto your wine corks too, as there will be a chance to transform them into funny designs and practical objects!
September heralds the start of the grape harvest and every year, thousands of people travel to France to help out with the grape picking. In addition to a small wage, you’ll be given a roof over your head, meals and lots of wine. However, it’s expected that this year’s harvest will be reduced by 17% after an unusually cold spring. If you don’t want to work for your wine, visit one of the many wine festivals, such as Festivini, which takes place around Saumur in the Loire Valley from 2-10 September, and culminates in a party at the spectacular Fontevraud Abbey.
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