A look at some of the top events in France in January – just because it’s cold out doesn’t meant there’s nothing going on!
National holidays and Celebration days in January in France
New Year’s Day 1st January is a national holiday in France
Celebration day: La Fête des Rois. It’s traditional to eat a special cake called the Galette des Rois on 6th January, the day of the Epiphany. You’ll see these scrumptious cakes in every patisserie in France. Inside the cake a lucky charm is hidden – the fève, and the person who finds the charm in his or her slice of cake, is crowned king or queen for a day! If you want to make one at home, here’s a recipe for Galette des Rois
Top Events in January in France
Aude: Carnival de Limoux from the start of January to Easter! It’s the longest carnival in France and has been going for around 700 years! Taking place at a town 30km from Carcarsonne, the carnival features each weekend, fecos and goudils (masked people) who dance and perform in the city’s main square and a set parade with different themes. Details: www.tourisme-limoux-in-aude.fr/fr/accueil
The Sales – Les Soldes d’Hiver. The annual winter sales, which are set according to law, take place from 12 January to 8 February 2022. What better excuse for a spot of shopping. You’ll find bargains galore in big stores, shopping outlets and small independents throughout the country. The price drops get bigger towards the end of the sales period.
Avignon, Provence – Horse Passion: 19-23 January 2022 Horses are put through their paces with show jumping events, polo, dressage and carriage driving. It all takes place in the lovely city of Avignon. Details on: www.provenceguide.co.uk
Sarlat Truffle Festival, Dordogne: A big truffle market tales place over the weekend of 15-16 January 2022 in the enchanting medieval town of Sarlat, Dordogne. Expect to indulge in truffle flavoured gourmet specialities, music and festivities including workshops. And take home a couple of truffles, you can get them at a good price at the market. While you’re there, why not try a spot of truffle hunting yourself, it’s huge fun! Deatils: www.sarlat-tourisme.com
Angoulême, Poitou-Charentes: Festival International de la Bande Dessinée 27 – 30 January 2022. This homage to comics, much loved by the French, draws huge crowds of fans to the vibrant, arty city of Angouleme. There are competitions for amateurs and enthusiasts and you can get to meet the professionals, watch them work and ask questions. The famous comic museum is an absolutely must see for all fans of the art. www.bdangouleme.com/
Burgundy: Saint Vincent Tournante – 29-30 January 2022. Each year a Burgundian town is chosen to host the introduction of the last year’s vintage to visitors. This year it’s in lovely Gevrey-Chambertin. A fun weekend to eat and drink your way through. www.burgundy-tourism.com
Reims, Champagne: Historic Rally of Monte Carlo – 27 January – 2 February 2022. A host of legendary cars will start their race to Monaco from in front of the Cathedral. They’ll join other cars which started their race from Athens, Glasgow, Milan, Barcelona and Hamburg. www.reims-tourism.com
La Folle Journee Nantes, Pays de la Loire, is a major international music festival that lasts for 5 days during which around 250 classical music concerts are held. 26 January – 3 February 2022. www.follejournee.fr/
Enduropale, Pas de Calais: January – 30 January 2022. Fast paced, wild bike racing on the beaches at Le Touquet, Stella and Merlimont. This is a fun packed weekend in which thousands of bikes and hundreds of quad bikes are involved in a race circuit on the beach. It’s noisy and exciting. More than 150,000 people turn up each year to watch and cheer the racers on. www.enduropaledutouquet.fr/
Please note: We check every website for dates and details personally but changes do happen from time to time – please check website for confirmation.