April sees France waking up from a winter slumber. But events in France in April 2021 will continue to be patchy as the pandemic plays havoc with schedules. Events which were ready to go ahead have been postponed for another year. Here is a short list of events in April in France 2021. But keep your eyes and ears open for changes.

PLEASE NOTE: I have researched as much as I can, and noted any changes.

The usual major events which have been cancelled or postponed include:

The Paris Marathon will take place on October 17, 2021.

The Arles Easter Festival (Feria du Pacques) has no information on its site.

April 1, 2014: Known as le poisson d’avril in France, on April Fool’s Day you’ll see fish-shaped chocolates and pastries filling up the shops. There’s a tradition of sticking paper cut-out fish onto people’s backs without them knowing. The origins of le poisson d’avril are veiled in obscurity, like so many traditions, but it’s believed to go back to a tradition of giving fish as a gift to celebrate the beginning of Easter and the end of Lent.

Chartres lit up at Saint aignan church with facade totally covered in different coloured lights
Chartres lit up Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Apr-Oct, 2021: Chartres en lumières (Chartres Illuminated) sees this wonderful city beautifully lit up for its annual festival of light. It’s nightly so there’s no excuse to miss it. 

Monte Carlo Festival: Andreas Staier plays the harpsichord with his sitting in front of instrument dressed in black and looking moody
Monte Carlo Festival: Andreas Staier plays the harpsichord

To April 11, 2021: Monte-Carlo Spring Arts Festival is a famous classical music festival that runs from Thursday to Sunday each week. It was founded by Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace and pus on concerts from international names. that lasts for four or five weekends in early spring, spanning the months of March and April. It takes place in different venues in Monte-Carlo.

L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue antiques fair showing very well stocked stand with candlesticks, pottery etc and people passing behind
L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Antiques Fair © Copyright 2017 La brèche labrechestudio.com

Apr 2-5 2021: L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue – Antiques Art & You is scheduled for this year. It takes over the delightful south of France town of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, one of the antique capitals of France. It’s one of the biggest fairs in Europe where you can pick up a brocante bargain or splash out on a Renoir (I’m not sure about the Renoir but there are some expensive and handsome pieces of art for sale).

Cote d'Azur garden in Antibes showing green and purple large plants like ferns and rushes, water and stones and iron sculpture to left
Cote d’Azur garden in Antibes © C Moirenc CRT

Apr 3-28, 2021: Côte d’Azur Garden Festival. Each festival adopts a different theme; in 2021 it’s artists’ gardens. ‘Pop up’ gardens are created by international landscape and garden designers and there are events in the participating towns of Antibes, Juan-Les-Pins, Cannes, Grasse, Nice and Menton.

Very small boy hunting under plants for Easter eggs
Easter Egg Hunt Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Apr 4, 2021: Easter Sunday. Despite being a catholic country, France only observes Easter Sunday and Monday as public holidays, not Good Friday. But with healthy commercial and gourmet interests at heart, the pâtisseries and shops fill with Easter bunnies and all kinds of goodies weeks before and after Easter. All public holidays in France.

Discover how the French celebrate Easter in France.

People walking past a shopwindow, carrying balloons
European Artisan Days © Public domain via Wikimedia

Apr 6-11, 2021: Les Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art (European Days of Crafts) throws open galleries, studios and workshops across Europe, with exhibitions, installations, open houses, performances and more. Meet the artists and craftspeople, learn something of their craft and get inspired.

Large kite on beach at Berck-sur-Mer kite festival with houses in background
Kite Festival at Berck-sur-Mer, North France. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Early April, 2021: The International Kite Festival takes over the sandy beaches of Berck-sur-Mer as thousands of extraordinary looking kites take to the skies. It’s quite a sight and will get you itching to make or buy a very different kits.

PLEASE NOTE: Dates are not fixed so this might not go ahead. Please check the website for more information.

Paris Roubaix cycle race showing riders over mud with fans behind metal varriers
Paris-Roubaix Cycle Race Photo Hoebele/4.0

Apr 11, 2021: Paris-Roubaix cycle race challenges top riders during the race called the ‘Hell of the North’. It follows a circuitous route over 172 kms. In fact it’s three races so if you’re in the area, check first to make sure you don’t get caught up in it! There’s also a race for amateurs on Saturday Apr 10 if you feel like taking up the challenge. It started in 1896 so is one of the oldest cycle races in the world.

PLEASE NOTE: This has not been confirmed by the organisers, so please check the website.

Single figure at Annecy Venetial carnival with huge headdress of feathers, mask, white face and dramatic black costume against background of Annecy lakeside with water and big building
Annecy Carnival © Annecy Tourist Office

Apr 16-18, 2021: Annecy Venetian Carnival. This spectacular carnival (postponed from its original February date) sees Annecy transported to Venice. All around the lake and in the town you’ll see masked figures, many from the Commedia dell’arte parading through the streets. It’s been going since 1996.

Poster of 2021 Chaumont-sur-Loire Garden Festival showing red circle shape in centre of wire mesh heart showing Biomecricy in Garden theme
Chaumont-sur-Loire 2021 Festival

Apr22-Nov 2, 2021International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire Château in the Loire Valley is like the Chelsea Flower Show of France, except that it goes on for just over 7 months. The Château and grounds are lovely and the festival of a series of gardens from international designers always delivers some surprises. This year the theme is really spot on: Biomimcry in the Garden. As the Director Chantal Colleu-Dumond says ‘Understanding and imitating living systems and, in particular, natural ecosystems is one of the keys to our future’.

Discovering seabirds at the Bird Festival © Philippe Stephane Bouilland

Apr 24-May 2, 2021: Festival de l’oiseau et de la nature (Bird and Nature Festival). The beautiful Somme Bay is the location for this great event. It’s perfect for families, with trips on foot, on horseback, in a carriage, a kayak or boat introducing you to the environment, the birds, seals in the Bay and more.  

Exhibition space with industrial style ceiling and chairs mounted on a wall with 2 people looking at it
Saint Etienne Design Festival

Apr 28-Aug 22, 2021: Saint-Etienne Design Festival. Every two years since 1998, the city of Saint-Étienne has hosted the International Design Biennial. It’s organised by the Saint-Étienne Regional School of Fine Arts and produced and managed by the Cité du Design centre. It promotes contemporary design in this unexpected former industrial city. Saint-Etienne in the Auvergne is the only French city designated as a UNESCO-listed Creative City of Design, joining Berlin, Bilbao, Montreal and Beijing.

Exhibitions throughout the city, workshops, conferences and meetings with design professionals make up an exciting programme.

PLEASE NOTE: This festival has been postponed to 2022.

More Events in France in 2021

Major Events and New Attractions opening in France in 2021

Events in France in January 2021
Events in France in February 2021
Events in France in March 2021
Events in France in May 2021
Events in France in June 2021
Events in France in July 2021
Events in France in August 2021
Events in France in September 2021
Events in France in October 2021

More about great Food Festivals in France.

Events in France in 2020

These are not yet updated, but to get an idea of what might be on as many of these are annual events, here’s last year.

Events in France in November 2020
Events in France in December 2020