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15 reasons for a holiday in France in 2024

15 reasons for a holiday in France in 2024

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France has been a favourite holiday spot for many Europeans for years. We totally understand that. I mean, in what other country can you find so many extraordinary monuments, picturesque villages, romantic castles and fantastic cities as in “la douce France”? Furthermore, the nature in every region of the country is fascinating. From jagged chalk cliffs in Normandy to majestic mountains in Savoie Mont Blanc, for nature lovers, France offers incredibly beautiful places. And nature makes for great hiking and cycling. In 2024, various events will take place all over the country. Therefore, here are at least 15 reasons for a holiday in France in 2024.


15 reasons for a holiday in France in 2024

Not only for its lovely villages, fantastic cities and amazing nature is France an ideal travel destination. This year, there are several special events. Spread throughout the year and the country, these are additional reasons to travel to France. For example, for a short city break or a longer holiday, to enjoy various events so your holiday in France will be an experience to remember.

#1 Olympics in Paris

The world’s biggest sporting event is taking place in Paris this year. Just like exactly 100 years ago, the city of lights is the epicentre of hundreds of sports competitions where athletes from all over the world compete for eternal glory. More than 30 sports (with new sports like breakdancing, climbing, surfing and skateboarding) will be on show. The Olympics begin on 26 July with the opening ceremony. On 11 August, the Olympic flame will be extinguished and the Games will be over. If you want to experience the Olympics up close, a summer holiday in France during this period is an excellent idea. Paris will be buzzing with activity!

Want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Paris during the Olympics? Then hop on the train to nearby Chantilly. The beautiful Chantilly castle is home to France’s second-largest art collection.

#2 80th D-Day Commemoration

In the early morning of 6 June 1944, one of the greatest military operations in history began in Normandy. It was the invasion of Allied forces to defeat the German occupiers. This took place under the name Operation Overlord. Paratroopers were dropped near Sainte-Mère-Eglise and thousands of young soldiers were dropped on five different beaches. US troops tried to come ashore at Utah Beach and Omaha Beach, the British and Canadians at Gold, Juno and Sword Beach. These beaches have always retained their nickname.

There are many special places in Normandy that recall the battle that erupted on 6 June 1944. In the coming weeks, we will be covering these in detail in separate blogs. In our opinion, a holiday in France is not complete until you have visited these historical sites.

Omaha Beach

#3 Dutch Masters in Bordeaux

Bordeaux hosts a special digital exhibition of Dutch Masters such as Van Gogh and Vermeer almost all year round. There is also a shorter exhibition on the work of Piet Mondrian. All the more reason for art lovers to visit Bordeaux.

In addition, the wine region around Bordeaux is France’s largest and perhaps most famous wine-growing region. Every year, the city celebrates this with the Feast of Wine. Along the quays of the Garonne, the “Fête le Vin” takes place. In the winegrowers’ pavilions you taste the most delicious wines. Extra attraction: along the quays, several beautiful historical sailing ships from all corners of the world are moored. This year, the festival of wine is from 27 June to 30 June.

Wine museum

#4 Tour de France

The world’s biggest cycling race attracts many biking enthusiasts from our country. Enthusiastically, they cheer on the climbers going up the mountains. They even adjust their holiday planning in France to the route schedule. This year, the Tour de France is unique: there will be no finish on the Champs Elysees in Paris because of the Olympics. The final line will be in the seaside resort of Nice in 2024.

A special stage will take place on 7 July. The start and finish are in the cosy city of Troyes. Along the way, the cyclists have to pedal along 32 kilometres of gravel strips. This is guaranteed to provide a spectacle. Not only for the cyclists, but also for the spectators.

Half-timbered house in Troyes

#5 Climats de Bourgogne

No, this is not an event for the sake of Burgundy’s climate. The Climats de Bourgogne are special vineyards in Burgundy, France’s famous wine region. The Climats de Bourgogne are even on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. From early June to mid-July, local vineyards, cooperatives and associations organise numerous events. Wine tastings, tours and walks are on the programme. An ideal opportunity to learn all about the region, viticulture and the top wines produced by Climats de Bourgogne. Important cities in the region are Beaune, Chablis and Maçon.

Vineyard close to Beaune

#6 150 years of Impressionism

The Festival Normandie Impressionniste is an internationally highly regarded cultural event. As 2024 marks the 150th anniversary of Impressionism, this year’s festival is dedicated to this anniversary. The 5th edition of the Festival Normandie Impressionniste will run from 22 March to 22 September 2024. The list of events and exhibitions is extensive. Impressionism, as an innovative art movement at the time, caused a real revolution. Hence, the festival bridges the gap between the Impressionism of the past and contemporary art. In total, there are more than 150 cultural events during the festival.

Rue Monet

#7 Largest flea market in Europe in Lille

The northern French city of Lille is a popular city break destination any time of year. But bargain hunters and lovers of brocante make note of the first weekend of September to visit Lille. Because that is when Europe’s largest flea market takes place. The trading past of France’s most Flemish city comes to full bloom then.

More than two million interested parties shuffle past the countless market stalls in the lively city centre. Looking for a special find, a nice gift or a nice souvenir. And meanwhile, they enjoy the unique atmosphere in the centre of Lille.

Books fair

#8 Celtic Festival Interceltique in Lorient

Every summer, around 900,000 people from all corners of the world flock to Lorient’s Celtic soil for the Festival Interceltique. For more than a week, there are concerts, shows and special events with a Celtic basis. This is the world’s largest gathering of Celts from all over the world. And they want to celebrate this with song and dance. There are also sports competitions, art exhibitions and craft markets.

The Celtic Festival will take place from 12 to 18 August in Lorient in Brittany. Thanks to its maritime historical significance, this city with six ports is well worth a visit for that reason too. Brittany is an excellent region for a holiday in France anyway.

#9 Fête des lumières in Lyon

In early December, Lyon turns into a colourful fairytale city during the Fête des Lumières. Lyon’s festival of lights started in the mid-19th century as a religious festival. People celebrated the inauguration of the golden statue of the Virgin Mary, the city’s patron saint. Over the past decade, the festival has grown into an international event where artists from all over the world perform sound and light shows. The festival attracts around four million visitors every year. Streets, squares and façades of famous monuments are transformed into a beautiful festival of lights and colours.


#10 Open Monument Days across the country

France is especially loved for its magnificent monuments. Every region has numerous monumental churches, imposing castles, intimate chapels and extraordinary theatres. The chance to see France’s historical and cultural heritage is during the Heritage Days. These “Journées du Patrimoine” take place from Friday 20 September to Sunday 22 September. During this weekend, monumental buildings that are normally closed to the public open their doors. Each building has various activities during these days, such as guided tours and demonstrations.

Chateau Chambord

#11 Un été au Havre in Le Havre

In 2017, the port city of Le Havre celebrated its 500th anniversary. Part of the festivities was the big art festival “Un Été au Havre” (A Summer in Le Havre). This festival was such a success that it is held annually thereafter. From 24 June to 16 September, many cultural events take place in the city. Internationally renowned artists design special works of art that show off in the city during that period. There are also 15 artworks that permanently adorn the city. For instance, you can discover two colourful arches composed of shipping containers. Or the “Narrow House”, a house with unusual dimensions: it is 18 metres long and only 1.40 metres wide. Finally, Le Havre’s museums have special art exhibitions.

Le Havre

#12 Fête du Citron in Menton (Côte d’Azur)

On the border with Italy lies the beautiful city of Menton on the Côte d’Azur. The city’s symbol is the lemon. For this is the only place in the country where lemon trees bear fruit, thanks to a special microclimate. For 90 years, the population has been celebrating “la Fête du Citron”. More than 300 professionals transform nearly 150 tonnes of citrus fruit into the most beautiful creations. The highlight is the parade, where the richly decorated floats travel along the Promenade du Soleil.

Each year, the Fête du Citron has a particular theme. In 2024, this is, how appropriate, the Olympics from ancient to modern times. The tribute to the fruit to which Menton owes so much takes place from 17 February to 3 March. Every year, it attracts more than 200,000 visitors. Who, of course, can also feast on delicious lemon cake or a nice glass of limoncello.


#13 Arts Festival “Voyage a Nantes” in Nantes

Nantes is the former capital of the Dukes of Brittany. The city was an important commercial port on the ocean from the 17th century. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Nantes flourished as an industrial city. This makes Nantes a unique destination for a city break.

Art lovers are in for a treat from 6 July to 8 September. That is when the renowned art festival Voyage a Nantes takes place. You can even take a surprising city tour connecting more than 100 works of art.


#14 Cosmo Jazz Festival in Chamonix

Imagine a wonderful jazz concert with the majestic Alps of Savoie Mont Blanc as the backdrop. You can experience this at the Cosmo Jazz Festival in Chamonix. The Cosmo Jazz Festival organises live concerts at impressive venues: the top of the Aiguille du Midi, at Lac Blanc lake and at Grand Montets. Admission to all the festival’s concerts is free. The Cosmo Jazz Festival will take place from 22 to 27 July 2024.

The Savoie Mont Blanc region is a wonderful area for outdoor enthusiasts in all seasons. In winter, Savoie Mont Blanc offers the most beautiful winter sports areas with plenty of activities if you don’t want to spend a day skiing. From 13 to 25 January, for instance, there is Europe’s biggest and most challenging sled dog race. From all corners of the world, sled dog drivers with over 600 dogs come to the start. The event attracts many visitors. From spring to autumn, the region is the domain for nature and hiking enthusiasts.

Vanoise National Park

#15 Christmas markets across the country

You really won’t find the nicest Christmas markets only in Germany. France also has plenty of cosy Christmas markets in the heart of historical cities. For example, the old town of Arras turns into a fairytale Christmas market. Amiens organises the largest Christmas market in the country every year. The medieval town of Colmar with its beautiful half-timbered houses has one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe. And nearby Strasbourg is best known for its typical Alsace Christmas decorations.

All these cities are located in northern France and are easily accessible by train. But you will also find plenty of special Christmas markets in the rest of France.

Christmas Fair

What will be your holiday in France?

So there is plenty to do in France all year round, wherever you are in the country. Will you also choose a holiday in France this year or an exciting city break? For more inspiration, check out our France overview page. There you will find all the blogs we have written about this beautiful country.

More events

Besides this selection of 15 events, there are many more special festivities across the country. Want to find even more events during your holiday in France? On the website of the French Tourist Office, you will find a calendar of all events, spread across the country.