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5 Great new events in France for 2019

Atout France, the French tourism agency, are a rich source of information for what’s on in France. For 2019 they put together a long list of events, festivities and new openings and we picked some of their favourites…

La Voie des Vignes cycle trail in the vineyards Burgundy

Great news for cyclists, and let’s face it, who wouldn’t love the chance to pedal into the Grands Crus of Burgundy, Côte d’Or, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté? The Voie des Vignes trail will be completed by spring 2019. From Dijon to Santenay, this cycling route encompasses 46km of peaceful, fully signposted vineyard trails leading you to the heart of the renowned Burgundy wine region. As you pass evocatively-named villages – Vosne-Romanée, Beaune, Pommard, Meursault, Volnay – you’ll be enticed into stopping off for a tasting. Details: www.la-bourgogne-a-velo.com

Viva Leonardo da Vinci 2019 – 500 years of the Renaissance in the Loire Valley

2019 will mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci at Amboise, the start of the construction of the Château of Chambord and the birth of Catherine de’ Medici in Florence. The Loire Valley region, Centre-Val-de-Loire, will celebrate the artistic, scientific and intellectual effervescence of the Renaissance in France with a major programme of events, trips and exhibitions: www.loirevalley-france.co.uk

75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings & the battle of Normandy

All eyes will be on Normandy in 2019 as Thursday 6 June marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy – a momentous occasion to celebrate peace, liberty and reconciliation. The D-Day Festival will run from 1-9 June with a rich programme of events bringing the memory of this tragic period of world history to life, all the while emphasising the spirit of hope. The 75th anniversary will be commemorated with events and festivities such as parades, firework displays, air shows and military re-enactments. www.normandy-dday.com

10 years of Great Roman Games, Nîmes, Occitanie

Transport yourself back to Roman times for a weekend: Nîmes is celebrating 10 years of its annual games with extra-special circus shows (‘ludi’) in the arena. Expect horse demonstrations, chariot races and gladiator battles, military parades, Roman bivouacs, themed tours, exhibitions, conferences and almost 500 participating actors from all over Europe. The theme for 2019 is Barbarian Kings. 3-5 May, 2019, www.arenes-nimes.com/en

Rouen Armada Rouen, Normandy

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, this key event in the international sailing calendar will draw thousands of sailors to Rouen’s quaysides from 6 – 16 June. There will be 50 magnificent tall ships, military boats and submarines from all over the world. The 10 days of celebrations will conclude with a parade along the River Seine. The Rouen Armada is one of the largest free-admission maritime events in the world and expects to welcome over 10 million visitors. The sailors will party with the locals in the city’s bars and clubs, while the Armada village will come alive with concerts, fireworks and other entertainment: en.normandie-tourisme.fr/calendar-of-events/rouen-armada

If this event floats your boat, book accommodation as soon as possible and be prepared to look outside Rouen. It’s likely you’ll need to widen your search to other areas in Normandy and even neighbouring Hauts de France. You might have noticed that this event takes place at the same time as the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy so, it’s going to get very busy.

Find loads more inspirational events in France at: www.france.fr/en

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