We take a look at some of the best new events and openings in Spring 2022 in France…
Bassins de Lumières, Bordeaux
February 2022 – 2 January 2023. In Bordeaux, the Bassins de Lumières, the largest digital art centre in the world, housed in 4 huge basins of the former WWII submarine base will feature “Venice and its Masters.” A second show is dedicated to Spanish painter Sorolla. bassins-lumieres.com
80th Anniversay of Dieppe Raid
12 March – 19 August. 2022 marks the 80th anniversary of the Raid, and with it the occasion to pay tribute to the Canadian soldiers who fought there, many of whom gave their lives fighting for freedom. The ceremonies, commemorations and festivities will take on an international dimension. It will feature parades, festivals, military displays, exhibitions and fireworks throughout the year. junobeach.org
International Kite Festival, Berck, Opal Coast, Pas-de-Calais
23 April – 1 May: International Kite Festival, Berck, Pas-de-Calais. cerf-volant-berck.com
6 April – 25 July. The Louvre Lens, the first regional annex of the Louvre Museum in Paris, will mark its 10th anniversary with two major exhibitions. Rome from April 6 to July 25, 2022. Hieroglyphics from September 28, 2022 to January 16, 2023. Lens, which is in Northern France, is easily accessible from Paris in a little over 1 hour by high-speed train. louvrelens.fr
Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie, Dijon
6 May: Burgundy’s beautiful capital city, Dijon, will open the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin. It breathes new life into 15th and 18th century buildings on the site of the former historic Hotel-Dieu. A ten-year project, The International City of Gastronomy & Wine is at the starting point of the region’s famous Wine Route which runs from Dijon to Macon via Beaune. Among the highlights will be a gastronomy and wine cultural and training centre. There are new shops and restaurants, cookery classes and wine tasting sessions, a four-star hotel and a 13-screen cinema complex. citedelagastronomie-dijon.fr
Amiens Arts & Gardens Festival
26 May – 16 October: Amiens Hortillonnages Arts and Gardens Festival takes place on a network of medieval waterways and islands in the shadow of the city’s great Gothic Cathedral. Artetjardins-hdf.com
Grotte Cosquer, Marseille
June: Marseille sees a major new opening of a replica of the remarkable underwater prehistoric cave known as the Grotte Cosquer. Hosted at La Villa Méditerranée, an ultra-contemporary building on the old harbour, it will provide an immersive and interactive experience. Discover the original cave’s 500 cave paintings depicting marine animals like penguins plus seals and what seems to be jellyfish, and mammals that roamed in that era. The original cave was lived in as early as 33,000 years ago. The actual cave is located in the mini-fjords between Cassis and Marseille known as the Calanques, specifically in Triperie Calanque, near Cape Morgiou. Grotte-cosquer.com
Le Mans Classic race
30 June-3 July: Le Mans Classic returns after a four-year absence. Expect 600 racing cars on the track in this classic day and night race. Plus 8,500 classic cars displayed in the specially designed enclosures. Lemansclassic.com
Tour de France
1-24 July: Tour de France starting in Copenhagen, Denmark and finishing in the Champs-Elysees Paris. letour.fr
24-31 July: The Woman’s Tour de France returns after an absence of more than 30 years. Start on the day of the final stage 21 of the Men’s Tour. 1028km eight-day race will take in back to back mountain stages as well as gravel sectors, flat stages and more. Starting at the Eiffel Tower and ending atop La Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges mountains. Letourfemmes.fr
Paris: Maison Gainsbourg
Fans of Serge Gainsbourg will rejoice to know that France’s first cultural institution dedicated to the songwriter Serge Gainsbourg will open in spring. Mason Gainsbourg includes a museum and bookstore. It will also open Le Gainsbarre, a hybrid space that hosts a café during the day and a piano bar by night. Maisongainsbourg.fr
Seine à Vélo – Paris to Normandy cycle route
The ‘Seine à Vélo’ cycle route was launched in 2021. It follows the River Seine from Paris to Le Havre and Deauville in Normandy. Nationl Geographic awarded it one of the best places to explore in 2022 status! The 270-mile Paris-to-the-sea path passes through some of the region’s most beautiful and famous sites. Giverny – home to Claude Monet’s house and garden, Château-Gaillard at Les Andelys, Jumièges and picture-perfect Honfleur. It also goes through Rouen which was awarded UNESCO gastronomic status in 2021. Laseineavelo.com
Coming up in 2023
Puy du Fou, the award winning, world’s most incredible theme park, launches the world’s longest show on ‘Le Grand Tour’. It’s a 6-day spectacular Grand Tour of France on France’s first private rail company. The train takes a 4000km journey across France on an authentic and luxurious Belle Epoque train. It will take in some of the greatest sights including Champagne and Burgundy, Avignon in Provence, the castles of the Loire Valley, wonderful Lake Annecy and the Arcachon Basin. Find out more: legrandtour.com
What you may have missed in 2021
Paris saw the opening of the historic Hôtel de la Marine, the spectacular Bourse de Commerce | Collection Pinault and the rebirth of La Samaritaine Department Store.
A brand new modern art museum housed in the former stables of the 12th century Royal Abbey of Fontevraud in the Loire was opened. It showcases the private collection (some 900 objects from paintings to sculptures and antiques) of Martine and Léon Cligman.
In the south of France, the long awaited Frank Gehry tower, the crown jewel of the LUMA Foundation in Arles was completed. And in Narbonne, the Musée Narbo Via designed by Norman Foster, who also designed the world famous Millau Viaduct. Featuring a wall of 760 antique stones, the museum brings together over 1,000 antiquities aimed to show the Narbonne’s Roman past when it was known as Narbo Martius.
All information contained here is correct at the time of publication, but we recommend you check with the individual venues for the latest updates, as dates may remain subject to change and events may need to be cancelled or postponed in line with the health situation in France.