July truly is the month that the world’s eyes look upon France. From epic bicycle races to baguettes and independence, the height of summer truly is a French affair to remember.
It is a splendid time to enjoy a cruise in France and see what the country has to offer. Here is what’s on in France this July:
The Tour de France
Running from the beginning of the month until Sunday 26 July, there have been 101 previous versions of the race. The Tour de France is made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,360 kilometres. With the last three race stages taking place in the Alps, race spectators will most likely see the event decided and champion crowned in the mountains. It features 21 stages and departed Utrecht, Netherlands on 4 July. It includes:
Bastille Day, or locally known as La Fête Nationale, takes place on 14 July each year. It commemorates the storming of the Bastille, a notorious prison in Paris. The uprising, which started on that date in 1789, marked the beginning of the French Revolution against the royal authority of King Louis XVI.
Today, Bastille Day is commemorated with military parades. French flags are flown along the Champs-Élysées in Paris where there is a large parade. At the end of the day, after nightfall, the celebration continues with fireworks. The day is an opportunity for family gatherings, especially outside for picnics. Traditional celebration foods include strawberries, some baguettes, fresh cheeses, smoked chicken and more.
Festival of Avignon
One of the country’s oldest and most well-known annual events, the Festival d’Avignon along the Rhône brings together the best in performance arts. With 40 different shows in venues around the city, the event captures the spirit of France in summertime. It is presented in both French and other languages as well. In one of the most beautiful of French cities, there is theatre, dance, music and cinema at the festival.
Image Credit: Yann Caradec (flickr.com)