Many wrongly assumed that the South of France is purely a summer destination, when the temperatures regularly hit the late 30s and the only way to cool off is by leaping into the clear blue Mediterranean sea. But the magic of Saint Tropez doesn’t disappear with the heatwaves, and the South of France in winter has its own wonderful charm. Here is our list of unmissable events for a wonderful Saint Tropez winter this year:
Cannes Dance Festival
Celebrated every two years, this festival showcases mainly contemporary dancing, inviting not only internationally renowned companies but also new and promising talent to the world famous Palais des Festivals et Congres on the palm-tree fringed Croisette in Cannes. Created in 1984, the Cannes Dance Festival is an expression of the city’s close relationship with the dancing world, and will this year see 14 performances over two weekends including six premieres. The festival will run from 8th to 17th December and makes a magical prelude for Christmas for those of you renting a luxury villa in the South of France in winter.
Elton John in Monte Carlo
Nothing better to get you into the Christmas mood than a night listening to Sir Elton John – LIVE – in the Grimaldi Forum’s Salle Des Princes on December 6th. Sir Elton John, who has a home not far from Monaco in the hills above Nice, is not a stranger to the entertainment scene in the Principality and tickets are already in short supply so we suggest you reserve your seats soon if you would like to get Christmas in the South of France off to a great start.
Christmas Market in Nice
From December 2nd to January 1st, the centre of Nice is illuminated with strings of Christmas lights, a giant big wheel and lines of wooden chalets at the annual Village de Noel. There are lots of activities for children such as an ice-skating rink and fairground rides, whilst the adults can treat themselves to Mulled wine and Socca, a local Nicoise speciality made from chickpea flour and flipped like a savoury pancake.
Romeo and Juliet Ballet
For lovers of ballet what better Christmas gift than tickets to see Romeo and Juliet in Nice this December. The famous ballet is being performed at the Opera Nice Cote d’Azur from December 23rd until New Year’s Eve. The classic Shakespeare tale set to music by Piotr Ilitch Tchaikovsky will be popular with families holiday in the South of France and would make an excellent evening outing for those renting luxury villas in Saint Tropez in winter.
Christmas Village in St Tropez
Running into January, the beautiful Christmas Village in the heart of the picturesque town of Saint Tropez is just what is needed to get into the festive cheer whilst staying in the South of France in winter. The festivities begin on the 8th December when the Christmas lights are officially turned on and the ice rink is opened for the season. The Christmas village, or Marche de Noel, offers visitors to Saint Tropez and families the chance to try out local festive specialities at the food and drink stalls as well as buy gifts from the local artisans. On Christmas Eve, in keeping with tradition, Santa Claus will arrive in the town by boat to distribute gifts and sweets to the waiting children.
Cogolin Christmas Festivities
If you have rented a luxury villa near Cogolin in which to spend a Saint Tropez winter, then you are in luck! The small village exudes a wonderful ambience all year round, with no exception at Christmas time. Indulge in the Cogolin Christmas Festivities and enjoy creative workshops and shows for children, parades, a torchlight procession, hot chocolate, mulled wine, chestnuts and lots more. You might even come across le Pere Noel if you are lucky.
Christmas Concert in St Tropez
Some of our favourite Christmas memories are of events after the big day itself, when the presents have been opened, the turkey and foie gras devoured, and you can truly relax. One event that we have earmarked for the post-Christmas period in Saint Tropez is the annual Christmas Concert held in the Parish Church at 5pm on December 27th. This year’s star line up features Philippe Gueit on the organ and Rene Perinelli and Laurent Fris on trumpet. Entry is free.
Christmas Eve – the arrival of Santa Claus
Father Christmas – or indeed le Pere Noel if you are planning a Saint Tropez winter – is an integral part of Christmas for children across the world so imagine your luck if you have chosen to rent a luxury villa in Saint Tropez this year! Your children will get the chance to watch Father Christmas arriving by boat into the Port of Saint Tropez at dusk on Christmas Eve, which is a truly wonderful way to start the countdown to Christmas Day.