As a cultural hub, there are loads of events in France throughout the year. These are a few that are truly unmissable gap year experiences Their exact dates vary from year to year, so make sure to look it up before you plan your travel to make sure you're not disappointed.
If you are a carnival lover Nice Carnival should be high on your list, as it's one of the top 10 carnivals in the world, attracting over a million visitors every year. Parades run virtually every day and night for 2 weeks and are filled with beautiful floats and elaborate costumes. It’s fun to head down at night and join in with the nightly concerts and parties while watching amazing firework displays.
If you can’t go backpacking in time for Nice Carnival then this fair should be your second option (or do both). This annual fair takes place in Paris every spring and is rated as one of Europe’s largest country fairs. You could take the time to learn about the historical background or you could simply enjoy what’s on offer. Entertainment includes fire-eaters and acrobats, fairground rides and stalls full of food – sounds like fun to us!
Anyone who's anyone has heard of Cannes Film Festival. It's held around May every year and is perhaps one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Many of the top actors and actresses of the moment gather on the glamorous Cote d’Azure with the aim of receiving the highest value award, the Palm d’Or. Head down to get a peek of the red carpet, grab some autographs and attempt to sneak into the countless parties.
This one is for all you motorsport fanatics; Le Mans is a famous 24-hour endurance motor race event normally taking place in June. It focuses on speed and endurance and is a good alternative to the Grand Prix.
This world-famous annual cycling race is without a doubt the biggest event on the annual cycling calendar. It virtually covers the whole of France and usually goes on for 3 weeks in July attracting entrants from around the world. To get the most out of this event try and catch the spectacular grand finish on the Champs-Elysees.
This music festival in Paris takes place in August every year. If you have time it’s definitely one of the best music festivals in France to hit up.
If you want something memorable to do around Christmas time then look no further than the Fete Des Lumieres in the city of Lyon. The spectacular light displays are held on 8 December every year in honour of the Virgin Mary and illuminate the entire city. It really is beautiful and worth experiencing.