French Festival Pairings for Your Next Visit to the Loire ValleyLauren Helm
Although the Loire Valley is best known for its nearly 300 stunning castles and its rich history as home to the French Renaissance period, a visit to the Loire Valley is much more than just a step into history. With 87 unique appellations, the variety and quality of white, rose, red, and sparkling wines made in the Loire Valley continue to impress even the most refined palates. In the Loire you can find cycling routes through endless rolling fields of sunflowers, pedaling alongside three gorgeous rivers that trace through the land – enriching the soil so fully that the valley is nicknamed the ‘Garden of France.’ When it comes to gastronomy, Loire has you covered—with countless Michelin-starred restaurants featuring top chefs who have proudly made this enchanting countryside their home. And after your day’s fill of cycling, fine cuisine and delicious wines, tuck yourself into some of the world’s most stunning, award-winning hotels that are fit for a fairy tale.
It sounds like a fairytale, doesn’t it? Now all you need to do is decide when to book your flights.
We’ve compiled the definitive list of some of French festivals for 2015 to align with your next adventure in the Loire Valley and help you guide you travel planning. Just as a glass of Montlouis-sur-Loire perfectly complements a tender and juicy pork chop, so do these French festivals perfectly complement your next trip to the Loire.
Taste of Paris (Food Festival) / May 21-24
Taking over the Grand Palais, just off the Champs-Élysées, this most fabulous food festival is one of the largest and most delicious in the world. Organized with the help of Alain Ducasse and Joel Robuchon, treat yourself to four days of tasting mouth-watering dishes created by the world’s most recognized chefs. Learn More
Roland-Garros French Open Tennis Championship / May 24-June 7
Will Rafa return after missing last year’s tournament to claim a 10th French Open Trophy, or will Djokovic prove himself as worthy on clay and take home his 2nd Grand Slam of the year? Will Serena hold onto her title after last years’ epic win, or will Sharapova bring her A-game? Premium ticket packages are now available online, and all ticket types go on-sale to the general public on March 11! Learn More
Photo by Yann Caradec
24 Hours of Le Mans / Le Mans, Maine / June 13 + 14
Any true car racing fan dreams of attending this infamous race at the longest racecourse in the world: the Circuit de la Sarthe. Since 1923, fans have come from far and wide to watch some of the world’s best drivers maneuver their way through this grueling race at speeds up to 180 mph. Learn More
Photo by Ron
Anjou Velo Vintage / Saumur, Maine-et-Loire / June 13 + 14
The fifth annual Vintage Bicycle race and festival in Saumur is something you must see to believe! This extraordinary fixie bike ride and vintage festival is just an hour’s train ride from Blois (where the DuVine Loire Valley bike tour ends) to the charming town of Saumur. After a day of riding vintage bikes and shopping in this one-of-a-kind market, enjoy an evening dining and dancing to live music playing throughout the town.
**Note: If you want to participate in the ride, registration begins April 2, 2015 and space is limited. There are four different routes to suite all ages and abilities. Learn More
Photo by Sandra Robert
Le Tour de France / July 4-26
Now is time to experience the greatest race in the world at the 102nd edition of Le Tour de France! With three different DuVine TDF bike tour dates in July, choose the location along the route that most excites you. Discover the beauty of Brittany on July 10 by heading up to Fougères, with its twelfth-century fortress and vibrant Saturday market. If you choose the July 19-24 DuVine Loire Valley tour date, you will be perfectly timed to enjoy a night in Paris just before the thrilling finale on the Champs-Élysées. Learn More
Bastille Day / July 14
Pop some bubbly, hit the town, and celebrate the start of the French Revolution and the fall of the Bastille in proper French style. The fireworks displays and celebrations held throughout the country are truly magical. The Loire Valley is especially patriotic, and if you join in on DuVine’s July 12-17 tour, your guides will bring you to our favorite secret spot to see the show!
Photo by side78
Sea Shanty Festival / Paimpol (Festival du Chant de Marin) / August 14-16
Every two years, the seaside town of Paimpol in Brittany opens its harbor to over 200 historic ships from around the world in celebration of the all important sea shanty! The sea shanty is a type of song used by the sailors and crew aboard large sailing vessels, which help to synchronize the crew’s movements on board. More charmingly, they also serve to communicate the incredible sense of adventure, discovery, passion, and woe that is life on the high seas. Your easiest form of transportation to this festival would be to rent a car (about a 4.5 hour drive), which would also allow you to easily explore the stunning coastline of Brittany for a few days! Learn More
Photo by Ωα∂iΩє Vauxion
Deauville American Film Festival / First two weeks of September 2015 (Official dates yet to be confirmed)
The Deauville American Film Festival has been a launching pad for many top American films since 1975. In the heart of Normandy, early September is the perfect time to soak up some late summer sun on the expansive beaches, sip local cider and calvados, and indulge in Normandy’s infamous Camembert cheese to finish a perfect meal. Known as a “mini-Cannes,” this town and festival is the perfect experience for first-time festivalgoers and film fanatics alike. Learn More
Photo by Sonia Thuery
Paris Autumn Festival / Early September-December, 2015 (Official dates yet to be confirmed)
The 44th Edition of the Festival d’Automne à Paris is a season-long celebration and display of visual arts, performance, theatre, dance, music, cinema, and photography in Paris. With multiple performances and presentations daily, this autumn festival has something special for everyone. The official dates and artists have yet to be announced, yet this is sure to be a special addition to your journey to France and our September tour dates in the Loire Valley. Learn More
La Nuit Blanche (White Night) / October 3
Every year since 2002, on the first Saturday of October, the streets of Paris stay up all night in celebration of contemporary art. The festival features over 50 artists from around the world, and museums, galleries, and libraries keep their doors open to the public for free from dusk until dawn. Join in the celebration, perhaps culminating with a perfect café au lait and croissants as the sun rises over the Seine! Learn More
Photo by vincent desjardins
The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe / the Hippodrome de Longchamp, Bois du Boulogne / October 3-4
Known as the world’s richest flat race, this exceptional weekend of racing draws the top horses and jockeys and the largest number of betters from around the world to Paris for an exciting weekend of sporting and celebration. Four-time winning jockey Yves Saint-Martin says, “Being in the starting line-up for the Arc is a performance in itself. Winning the Arc is the greatest victory that a jockey could hope to achieve.” Learn More
Are you ready to book your next trip to the Loire Valley and pair your visit with one of these fantastic French festivals? Contact us! Our expert travel coordinators can help you find the perfect pairing.
CATEGORIES: DuVine Style