It is very likely that most of us have begun to think about holiday plans for the coming year. And where better to jet off to in 2014 than the south of France, where the sun shines for more than 300 days a year. But it’s not just the sunshine which allures people to this beautiful part of the world. The region also plays host to a string of exciting events and festivals, making it the perfect place to head for any time of the year.
The picturesque town of Saint Tropez is a fantastic place to base yourself in the South of France as you are never too far from the action – yet far enough to head to a beach for you to enjoy a calming retreat on the terrace of your vacation villa. In order to perfect your once-in-a-lifetime trip, you should begin looking for villas for rent in St Tropez. Before you know it, you could be sitting poolside, in the warm sun wondering what the rest of your day in the South of France has in store for you.
Villa Kopabana, waterfront, 8 bedrooms, patio with fountain, swimming pool, with impeccable panoramic sea views.
Below is a list of the Top 10 unforgettable events scheduled for 2014 for you to attend during your vacation in the amazing region of Saint Tropez. Give yourself an excuse to visit the south of France, and spend your vacation at one, or all of these events!
10. Nice Carnival
February/March: After Rio Carnival in Brazil, the Nice Carnival is arguably the largest and most colorful festival in the world, with amazing floats and animations sweeping through the seaside city from February 14th to March 4th. It’s an intoxicating scene, drawing crowds of more than one million people who line the streets to catch a glimpse of the giant puppets who appear to dance in the sky overhead.
Today, Nice is among the most popular events of its kind and most creative. The famous paper-maché figurines in the parades draw in millions of festival-goers who carry around 150,000 hand-painted lamps and twinkling lights comparable to actual stars. People of all ages, from all backgrounds celebrate the carnival for a total of two weeks long. During the Nice Carnival, it is said that the Place Masséna and the Promenade des Anglais turn into a twinkling fairytale setting of magical lights and decorations.
This year, the theme of the carnival is King of Gastronomy so expect some delicious Nicois food as you watch the gigantic figurines march by. If you want to feel as if your life is complete, go to this event! Festival goers should expect celebrations, surprises, colorful costumes, eccentric make-up, glitter and gold, floats and parades, flowers, puppets and a huge firework display that will bring the event to a close. This is a carnival you can’t afford to miss.
9. Fete de Citron – Citron Festival in Menton
February/March: If you feel like quenching your thirst with some oranges and lemons, the fantastic Citron Festival in Menton is the perfect event for you. This festival will surely brighten up a stay on the French Riviera in the winter. This event – where thousands of oranges and lemons are used to decorate the town – will take place between February 15th and March 5th.
This is truly a unique event which attracts over 230,000 people every year. Using 145 tons of citrus fruits, it is not surprising that 300 professionals are needed to make this event happen. In addition to the citrus exhibitions, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the stunning “light gardens.” Take a walk in the Biovès Gardens while patterns light up, followed by unusual sounds combined with strange creatures of light.
Guests will also experience eccentrically magical night-time parades filled with enthusiasm and extravagance. This is where floats loaded with citrus fruits will fill the streets. Along with the floats saturating the streets, brass bands, orchestras, folk groups, and dancers add a spark of splendor to this ambitious street festival. Who doesn’t want to see floats made with fruit?!
8. Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis Cup in Monaco
April: For all you tennis fanatics, this is the place to be in the Spring of 2014. Spring is a particularly beautiful time of the year on the French Riviera, so rent your villa now, with time to spare to research your future surroundings. The Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters held in the salubrious Monte Carlo Country Club from the 12th to the 20th of April which attracts some of the biggest names in tennis such as Monaco resident, Novac Djokovic and British favorite, Andy Murray.
The Monte-Carlo Rolex masters celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006. It is also the first of three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments played on clay. Although this tennis cup does not have a mandatory player commitment, most of the top players in the world still elect to play the event.
Guests will be situated in one of the most beautiful cities in the world while overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Try not to be too distracted by this gorgeous coastline though—you will want to focus on the red-clay as these warriors compete to be the champion.
7. Top Marques Monaco
April: Another great event you don’t want to miss is Top Marques Monaco, the world’s most exclusive supercar show which offers VIP guests the chance to test drive their dream vehicle on parts of the Formula 1 circuit. This unique event will take place from the 17th to 20th of April.
The show is expecting more than 33,000 attendees this Easter weekend. Historically, Easter weekend is one of the busiest holidays in Monaco, so the show is anticipating a record breaking attendance.
Luxury brands Pagani, Mazzanti, Porsche, Maserati, Lamborghini, Ferrari and Aston Martin are all currently committed to this year’s show. Four world premier supercar launches have also been confirmed for this year’s 2014 show. And for the first time ever, a Classic Car category will be included in the show to complement its vintage luxury section of watches such as Patek Philippe, Jaeger LeCoultre, Rolex and Audemars Piguet.
Guests should expect to see more superboats than ever, including an exclusive two-seater submarine, as well as plenty of media partners to showcase these limited editions from the top luxury brands in the world.
6. Cannes Film Festival
May: The Cannes Film Festival is without doubt one of the most important dates in the cinema world and an infectious time to visit this beautiful city. Taking place this year from May 14th to 25th, the festival regularly attracts the biggest names in Hollywood who come to promote their films, compete for the prestigious Palme d’Or award and party. It was announced this week that New Zealand-born director and producer Jane Campion will preside over the elite jury as the president for the film industry’s biggest accolade. This year, French director Olivier Dahan’s, Grace of Monaco, will open the festival. The world preview will be presented on Wednesday, May 14th.
If you are not one of the lucky select few who hold a film festival badge, no need to worry. There are still plenty of ways to enjoy classic films during the film festival timeline for free. Every night during the festival on the Plage Mace (one of the two public beaches in Cannes) there is a free open air cinema showing classic films. The Cannes Cinephiles will be showing films for free at four cinemas in Cannes. All you need to do is show up to their tent on the Pantiero between 9am and 5:30pm to secure your ticket.
5. Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix
May: Just as the Cannes film festival is wrapping up, it will be time to head to Monaco again for the Monaco Grand Prix; the most electrifying and anticipated race on the Formula 1 circuit. It is also the slowest and most difficult of all circuits in the Formula 1 World Championship.
The event, which hosts drivers like Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton race through the streets of the principality at speeds of up to 175 miles per hour, will this year overlap slightly with the film festival, taking place on May 25th. So if you want to fit both in, why not charter a private helicopter to get you there in just 15 minutes. Simple.
4. Jazz Festival in Juan-les-Pins
July: One of the highlights of spending the summer on the Cote d’Azur is the chance to tap into its rich musical heritage, and no venue is as spectacular as being under the giant pine trees on the shores of the Bay of Cannes in Juan-les-Pins. It is in this unique setting that musicians such as George Benson, James Blunt and other top international musicians perform during the Jazz à Juan Festival. The program of this popular festival includes Sting, Diana Krall, and Larry Graham & Graham Central Station, among many others. The confirmed dates are from July 11th to the 21st.
3. Jazz Festival in Ramatuelle
August: More jazz, this time in Ramatuelle, a delightful medieval village just minutes from Saint Tropez and the perfect attraction for those vacationing in private villas on the water’s edge at Pampelonne, which is actually in the same community as Ramatuelle. The Jazz Festival Ramatuelle will be played out in the historic Theatre de Verdure and surrounding gardens between August 15th and 19th this year.
This jazz festival focuses on swing jazz and offers a home to American and French jazzmen, fluctuating between new discoveries and established musicians, intimate atmospheres and crazy swing jazz sessions.
2. Monaco Yacht Show
September: In many places September signals the end to summer but not in the South of France, where temperatures linger in the mid-70s until the end of the month. A hugely popular event to seek at this time of year is the Monaco Yacht Show, the world’s most exclusive boat extravaganza featuring many of the most spectacular yachts available for sale and for charter on the globe. It’s a great chance to marvel at super-yachts such as Kokomo, a magnificent 190 ft. sailing yacht which was presented last year at the show by Fraser Yachts. This year’s show will take place from September 24th to 27th and will feature 15 more berths than ever before.
The event attracts around 28,000 yachting professionals and high net worth clients, each who are hoping to explore the luxury super-yachts on display. Monaco Yacht Show is recognized as the most prestigious yacht show in the world, with the best shipyards, top yacht designers, key yacht broker agencies and super-yacht equipment suppliers, all located in Port Hercules simultaneously.
Make sure you make an appearance to the most highly anticipated super-yacht meeting of the year.
1. Les Voiles de St Tropez
September/October: To complement the sailing theme of the previous event, the calendar ends with Les Voiles de St Tropez Regatta, one of the most anticipated yachting events on the nautical calendar. Organized by the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, the race attracts top racers and sailing enthusiasts from all over the world who come annually to battle it out in the waters off Saint Tropez. This year’s regatta will take place from September 29th to October 5th.
Located on the French Riviera near Cannes and Marseille, Saint Tropez is famous for its millionaires. Guests should expect to see a stunning visual spectacle of an amazing collection of yachts; the classics, the Walleys and the top end modern racers all in one place.