June 2015: events in France
PUBLISHED: 11:02 03 June 2015 | UPDATED: 10:20 11 January 2016
Discover 10 major events happening in France in June 2015, including the nationwide Rendez-vous aux Jardins and Fête de la Musique events, the French Open, D-Day commemorations and a vintage bike ride in the Loire
French Open, Paris
until 7 June
The second grand slam tennis tournament of the year takes place in the Roland-Garros stadium near Paris from 19 May until 7 June, when Rafael Nadal will be aiming to win his 10th French Open title on his favourite clay surface. Tickets are available to buy in advance or last-minute tickets can be purchased online.
D-Day Festival, Normandy
30 May-7 June
To commemorate the infamous D-Day landings by Allied troops on Normandy’s beaches 71 years ago, the area holds the D-Day Festival from 30 May until 7 June. There are several events happening during the festival including re-enactments of the parachute drops, parades of military vehicles, releasing Chinese lanterns in honour of the men who disappeared during the landings,and services at the memorials and town halls. All of this takes place in the towns and beaches that witnessed the landings in 1944, including Arromanches and Omaha beach.
Rendez-vous aux Jardins, France
The annual Rendez-vous aux Jardins event returns for its 13th edition from 5-7 June. Thousands of private and public gardens across France open their gates for free to visitors for the weekend and many put on special events including guided tours, workshops and concerts. In the Vaucluse department in Provence the newly created medieval-style garden of the Notre-Dame d’Aubune in Beaumes-de-Venise will be opening for the first time on 6 June to show off its olive trees, vineyards and cypresses. There will also be a guided tour of the Canal de Carpentras, also in Vaucluse, on 7 June. Check the website and with individual gardens to find out what’s happening near you.
Fête du Vélo, France
If you are looking for an excuse to get your family out on their bikes then you are in luck! On 6-7 June the annual Fête du Vélo takes place across France with free festivals and events organised in a number of towns and villages around the country. This year the focus is on cycling as a family and cycling in a city, to encourage children out on their bikes and persuade commuters to go green. With the miles of cycle lanes and empty roads and the popular bike-hire schemes available in many cities, there’s no excuse not to dust off your helmet and take to two wheels this month.
Francos Gourmandes, Burgundy
Home to iconic dishes including boeuf bourguignon, Burgundy is rightly famed for its gastronomy and celebrates accordingly with the Francos Gourmandes festival from 12-13 June. Chefs from across France flock to Tournus to take part in demonstrations on stage and there is a food village with stalls, vans and pop-up wine bars all selling local specialities. The festival also celebrates music with performances from French and international stars.
Rouen en Lumières, Rouen
13 June-21 September
Colourful light shows are popular in France during the summer but one of the most striking starts on 13 June at Rouen cathedral. Rouen en Lumières continues until 21 September and includes projections about Impressionism and the legend of Joan of Arc on the beautiful western facade of the cathedral. The show starts at 11pm until the end of July, at 10.30pm from 1-15 August, from 10pm from 16-31 August and from 9.30pm from 1-21 September.
24 Heures du Mans, Le Mans
Beginning at 3pm on Saturday 13 June and finishing exactly 24 hours later, the 24 Heures du Mans motor race is the ultimate test of endurance for both car and drivers. pit lanes are open to the public the week before the race, and there is a drivers’ parade through Le Mans town centre on Friday 12 June.
Anjou Vélo Vintage, Anjou
Cycling enthusiasts and lovers of all things vintage flock to the town of Saumur in the Loire Valley for the Anjou Vélo Vintage cycling event, held this year on the weekend of 13-14 June. There are four routes on offer, ranging from a sedate 30 kilometres along the Loire River, to a challenging 90-kilometre ride. Bicycles must be pre-1987 and riders need to dress in an appropriately vintage outfit. For those not taking part in the cycle rides, there will be a vintage fair in Saumur selling retro clothes and bicycles, and performances throughout the weekend with Loire Valley wines and produce flowing freely!
Médiévales Provins festival, Provins
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town of Provins in Île-de-France was once home to international trading fairs in the Middle ages and celebrates its medieval heritage with the Médiévales Provins festival from 13-14 June. one of the biggest medieval festivals in Europe, the festivities include a re-enactment of the trading fairs, with craftspeople, jugglers, costumes and entertainers. The theme this year is ‘childhood and games in the Middle ages’, so expect plenty of games of ninepins and wooden sword fighting.
Fête de la Musique, France
Free and open to all, the Fête de la Musique on 21 June is designed to include as many musicians and spectators as possible. Launched in 1982 to mark the summer solstice, the Fête de la Musique encourages amateur and professional musicians to perform in unusual locations, including in parks, on the streets and in train stations, across France to bring their music to the public, away from the formal atmosphere of concert halls.