Every summer, the Alps celebrate their identity and their past at colourful local festivals. Mark your calendars for the Corso de la Lavande in Digne, the Mexican Fêtes de Barcelonnette, the Fête Médiéval de Briançon, and more!
Celebrate River Rafters at the Radeliers de la Durance
Every year, in late May or early June, dive into the past at the Radeliers de la Durance. This traditional festival brings an ancestral trade back to life. The radeliers brought wood to the Mediterranean on rafts, but their metier disappeared at the end of the 19th century due to the rise of the railway. To watch this show, which looks like a living historic fresco, head to the banks of the Durance, to l’Argentière-la-Bessée.
Travel Back in Time at the Fête Médiévale de Briançon
Specialists in history and the Middle Ages, this festival is for you! Every year, in late June or early July, Briançon, the city of Vauban, looks back on its mediaeval past. Organised by the association Le Coeur de Vauban, the Fête Médiévale de Briançon takes you back to the age of troubadours, knights, and castles. Travel back in time with live music, street shows, sword fights, and falconry demonstrations throughout town. An unforgettable experience!
Smell the Lavender at the Corso de la Lavande in Digne
Welcome to Digne-les-Bains for five days of celebration and good cheer. Every year, at the beginning of August, the town celebrates lavender, the emblem of the region. On the programme for the Corso de la Lavande: 20 different music groups, day and night parades with illuminated floats, fireworks, a fair, and dances. Not forgetting distillation demonstrations. In short, a celebration perfumed with happiness and Haute-Provence!
Say “Olé” at the Latino-Mexican Fêtes of Barcelonnette
Stopping in Barcelonnette at the beginning of August, is a bit like taking off for Mexico. Every year, the Latino-Mexican Fêtes de Barcelonnette celebrate the adventure of the 2500 people from the Ubaye who made their fortune in the Mexican textile industry in the 19th century. Enjoy concerts, parades, salsa classes, mariachis, and folklore. For more than a week, the town dresses up in bright colours and grooves to the sound of Mexican music. A guaranteed change of scene!
Every August 15th, La-Chapelle-en-Valgaudemar, at the heart of the Parc National des Écrins, celebrates mountain guides. After mass, the blessing of equipment (ropes, backpacks, etc.) and a rescue demonstration by the high-mountain gendarmerie platoon, the village turns the spotlight on sports. Find mountain bike trails, an introduction to rock-climbing, zip-wire, and more. A torchlight descent and a dance on the church square end the day in style.
Taste Chestnuts at the Fête des Châtaignes in La Bolline
In mid-October, go to the streets in the village of La Bolline to celebrate the chestnut (châtaigne) in a festive and familial atmosphere. In addition to the many stands that sell crafts and regional products, events take place throughout the day, followed by a traditional meal in a big tent, a free tasting of roasted chestnuts, and mulled wine.