The French Riviera is adored for its long summers and year-round sunshine. Natural beauty meets a cosmopolitan lifestyle here, where festivals and events are held practically every month. Known for luxury and style, the French Riviera attracts celebrities, travelers and tourists to its secluded beaches and seaside towns. This is a part of France that never turns into a ghost town because there is, simply, never an off-season. Whether you’re in town on holiday or you’re looking to buy a luxury property on the French Riviera, make sure you don’t miss these must see French Riviera festivals and events.
1. Cannes Film Festival
The annual Cannes Film Festival dates back to 1946, attracting Hollywood stars and media attention for decades. Celebrating international cinematographic art, the festival showcases fresh writing, new film genres and visual innovations. Screenings include the Cannes Classic, with restored films that have impacted the history of cinema. In addition to screenings, there are also masterclasses, exhibitions and tributes.
While the event is for film professionals, there are ways for the general public to get involved. The opening ceremony is broadcast in theatre’s so that everyone can experience the festival’s launch night and the opening film is released in French cinemas on the same day as the Cannes screening. In addition, the outdoor Cinéma de Plage shows a different film each night for anyone who would like to attend.
MIPCOM, held every October in Cannes, is a four-day global market for people in the entertainment industry. Exhibitions allow attendees to discover the hottest entertainment companies and content from around the world, and guests can connect with industry influencers via matchmaking programs. Conferences help people enhance their understanding of the industry, explore business models and catch up on the latest entertainment trends. There are also world premiere TV screenings in the Palais des Festivals et des Congress de Cannes. MIPCOM helps guests connect with the entertainment industry, promote their programs, find partners and financing, and develop new projects.
3. Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix
Monaco is well-known known for Formula One racing, not to mention being a hot spot among the rich and famous. Elegance, decadence and culture is packed into this compact principality, which hosts the Monaco Grand Prix each May. One of the oldest and most prestigious car races, the Grand Prix has been held annually since 1929, with only the world’s best drivers allowed to race the 78 laps.
4. Monaco Yacht Show
Each September, Port Hercules becomes the meeting place for the world’s most prestigious yachts during the Monaco Yacht Show. This four-day event gives attendees the opportunity to meet the leaders of top-ranking yachting companies and to view their best models. Take the shuttle boat to the designers’ gallery, where you can meet naval architects and start dreaming up a superyacht of your own.
5. International Monte-Carlo Circus Festival
Every January since its creation in 1974 by Prince Rainier III, the International Circus Festival has gathered the most prestigious acts from each continent around the world. Acrobats, animal trainers, clowns and trapeze artists hope to win the supreme honor, the Clown d’Or (meaning The Golden Clown) after participating in the ten-day event.
6. Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival
Living jazz legends and acts head to the Salle Garnier at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo every November. While this is a relatively new festival for the French Riviera, having first launched in 2006, it’s quickly become one of the leading music festivals in the world. The Salle Garnier is an architectural masterpiece, decorated with statues and sculptures, gold-covered stucco, and a breathtaking crystal chandelier made with five metric tons of carved bronze.
7. Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
This world-renowned tennis tournament is one of nine from the Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour Masters 1000 series. The event started in 1897 and is held every year in mid-April at the Monte Carlo Country Club, fifty of the world’s best players come together for a one-week competition. At the end of the week, the Grande Nuit du Tennis dinner show in Salles des Étoiles is held for players and guests.