Popular Festivals In France in June: Best, biggest & most unique ones

Woman at French festival in France in June holding balloons

Not sure what to do in France in June? From seaside wine festivals and lively jazz festivals to bullfighting festivals, here are some of the best Festivals in France in June. 

Festivals in France in JUNE

June in France is a great time of the year to visit.

It’s sunny and hot but not too hot.  The days are longer. Crowds are starting to pick up but won’t reach a frenzy until July when kids get out of school and all of France takes a vacation.

You might be interested in readingWeather in France in June. Average temperatures across France

Whether you call France your home or you’re just passing through, attending festivals is a fun way to plunge into the country’s lively culture. Here are some of the biggest, best and most unique festivals in France in June. 

Easter Bullfighting festivals (Feria Pentecost)

Statue of bullfighter in front of Nimes arena in southern France

  • Where: Nîmes France & Istre
  • When: Pentecost (moveable date but often in June)

Ferias are traditional summer festivals often centred around bull activities and bullfighting that date back to Roman times. It’s popular in Southern France, Portugal, Spain, and Latin America.

The event usually occurs over several days. Depending on the city, there are usually a number of other activities, including concerts, theatre performances, art exhibitions, fairs, wine, food, and markets. 

Bloody bullfighting to the death with a sword Spanish style (corrida) is very much legal in the Southern regions of France, where some 1000 bulls are killed annually. However, there are several southern towns such as Carmague that do a type of “gentle bullfighting.” There’s no sword, no bull is killed, and no blood is spilled—just lots of running around like crazy until the bull is tired out. 

The two biggest ferias during the month of June in France are the one in Nime and Istres during Pentecost. The exact day is not fixed because Pentecost is exactly 50 days after Easter, a moveable feast. 

Paris

Paris Jazz Festival ( Paris Jazz)

  • Where: Paris
  • When: June & July

Paris in June is a magical time of the year.
Enjoy a series of free outdoor concerts at the Parc Floral de Paris. The Paris Jazz Festival takes place from mid to late June to the end of July across 8 weekends. The music lineup consists mainly of world music, Jazz and Afro-American soul and blues. 

Paris jazz festival website

Normandy

D-Day Festival

D-Day festival in May and June in France Normandy

  • Where: Beaches of Normandy
  • When: May to mid-June.

Description:

Each year, the D-Day festival pays tribute to the Allied soldiers who liberated France on 6 June 1944. The event takes place in late May and mid-June in France along the entire coastline of the beaches of Normandy, where Allied soldiers landed in World War II.

The D-Day festival features a variety of events and activities each day.

These include guided hikes, commemorative gatherings, fireworks displays, parachute drops in period attire, historical re-enactments, exhibitions and parades of military vehicles, as well as tours of the installations and German bunkers. There are also concerts and liberation-themed activities. On 6 June, several commemorative events take place at various locations in Normandy.

Locations: Bayeux, Longues-sur-Mer, Ouistreham, Arromanches, Sainte-Mère-Église, Pointe du Hoc, Carentan, Isigny-sur-Mer. Iconic beaches: Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach and Sword Beach.

Official D-Day festival website: 

Brittany

La Gacilly Photo Festival

La Gacilly Photo Festival

  • Where: La Gacilly
  • When: June to September

Description:

La Gacilly Photo Festival, which runs from early June to mid-July, is an immersive outdoor photographic experience that’s free of charge. Visitors stroll around the small town viewing open-air galleries and exhibitions which adorn the gardens, streets and alleyways of La Gacilly. Visitors can also take advantage of the Dutch-style electric bike rentals to explore the city, and rent canoes, kayaks, and electric boats.  

The official website for La Gacilly Photo Festival 

Provence

Migration of sheep festival (Fête de la Transhumance )

  • Where: Many French Provencal towns
  • When: Late May to June

Description:

Transhumance is the annual migration of livestock (usually sheep or cattle), led by a shepherd.

During the hot summer months, shepherds lead their animal herds from the hot and dry summer pastures in May and June to cooler areas at a higher elevation and vice versa in October. This is how all sheepherders used to move their animals to higher ground before the advent of trucks and vehicles.

The fête de la Transhumance celebrates this age-old custom in small towns across Provence that some sheepherders still follow.

Transhumance in the town of Die has an entire festival around this event and offers activities, food stalls, and entertainment. More info here

Opera festival (Chorégies d’Orange )

man sitting in the roman theatre in Orange France

  • Where: Orange
  • When: Late May to June

The Chorégies d’Orange is a summer opera festival held each year from mid-June to the beginning of August in the town of Orange located not far from Avignon. All types of opera productions are shown in an ancient Roman theatre that dates back to 1 AD and programs change every year. This festival dates back to 1869 making it one of the oldest in France. 

Official Chorégies d’Orange website

Southwest France

Bordeaux Wine festival (fête le vin) 

two wine glasses from the Bordeaux wine festival in June in France

  • Where: Bordeaux
  • When: mid juin (every two years) 

Description:

Bordeaux celebrates its regional wines every two years by hosting the Bordeaux wine festival (alternating with the river festival).

Visitors can taste wines at various stands on the quays of the city by purchasing a tasting pass. Beautiful ships from all over the world are also part of the event, offering visitors a chance to board the ships for a few euros. The Bordeaux wine festival also has lively entertainment, including fireworks, brass bands and street concerts throughout the evening. Be sure to visit the Darwin centre, where even more festivities happen.  

Tasting Pass: Available for purchase as early as March. Around 16 euros if bought online, 21 euros if purchased at the event. You’ll receive a tasting glass with a wine holder that you can put around your neck, which you need for tastings. 9 tastings in the pavilions + 2 “favourite” tastings, 1 workshop at the Bordeaux Wine School pavilion and other advantages. Find all the information on the wine festival here. Here.

Bordeaux River Festival (Fête Le Fleuve) 

Tall ships in port of Bordeaux

  • Where: Bordeaux
  • When: mid juin (every two years)

Description:

Every two years, alternating with the Bordeaux wine festival, the city’s docks come alive with free concerts, gourmet food stalls, boat races, parades, exhibitions, fireworks and other nautical activities such as river cruises and water rides. Huge legendary ships dock at the port for the occasion. Visitors can also witness the grand departure of the Solitaire du Figaro, one of the most famous solo sailor boat races on earth. 

Multiple Locations in France in June

Medieval festival (Fête Médiévale) 

Medieval festival in Provins France in June

  • Where: Provins (and many towns across France in June)
  • When: Late May to June

Description:

Although there are dozens of medieval festivals in France, one of the biggest and best ones in Europe takes place in France in June in the town of Provins, just east of Paris. Provins is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage.

The 12-day festival features a wide range of events, including concerts, plays, dances, jousts and markets. Highlights of the programme are the nightly fireworks displays over the River Ourcq and the spectacular illuminated procession along its banks.

You can buy tickets for around 11 euros for the day. Children 12 and under are free.

Médiévales de Provins – official website of Médiévales de Provins

Make Music Festival (Fête De La Musique)

Woman playing violin outside in public

  • Where: Cities across France. 
  • When: June 21st

Description:

“Fête de la musique” is a homonym of “Faite de la musique”, French for “make music”.

For over 40 years, since 1982, that’s exactly what happens in cities across France on June 21, Summer Solstice.

Amateur and professional musicians are encouraged to play music, put on concerts and sing in their neighbourhood for the general public outside, in public parks, the streets, in bars, restaurants, and concert halls. Concerts are free, and musicians volunteer their time. Although this tradition originated in France, there are over 120 countries and 1000 cities that now participate worldwide.

Check the local website of the French city you’ll be in to discover the different places you can listen to music for free. 

Partial list of cities that participate: Bordeaux, Lyon et Lille, Paris, Montpellier, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Grenoble, Toulouse, Rennes, Anger, Strasbourge, Limoges, Aix-en-Provence, Caen, Brest, Nancy, Amiens, Le Havre, Besanço, Reims, Nîmes, Metz, Orléon and many more small towns too. 

There are many more local festivals

I’ve only listed some of the larger festivals. Smaller towns and smaller festivals happen all the time throughout France. If you know the name of the town or village that you’ll be in, check that cities official website to find out what’s going on in the month of June. 

Photo of Annie André: www.AnnieAndre.com

Annie André

About the author 

I’m A Bilingual North American With Thai And French Canadian Roots Who's Been Living In The South Of France For Over 10 Years. I Love Writing Weird, Wonderful, Interesting, Forgotten, And Fascinating Articles For Intellectually Curious People Amazed By France, French Culture, And World Travel.

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