There are some wonderful events in France in October and they take place without the crowds of the summer vacation. Festivals range from film and art to music and gardens. The French celebrate the end of the annual wine harvest as autumn starts to creep in. Check out these events in France in October 2022.
To Oct 2, 2022: The Great Bulwark (Grand Pavois), La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, Nouvelle-Aquitaine. This is an important international nautical fair that fills Minimes Harbour. With more than 800 exhibitors you must surely find the right boat for you!
Stay for the huge pyro-digital show, Voiles de Nuit on October 1.
To Oct 2, 2022: Musica International Festival, Strasbourg, Alsace, Grand Est. This is the festival for contemporary classical music fans. There are major 20th-century works plus music from new generations of composers and performers.
To Oct 2, 2022: British Film Festival, Dinard, Ille-et-Vilaine , Brittany. Go British in Dinard at this great festival where awards are given and new films showcased. 5 different cinemas give you a comprehensive look at the British film industry. There are 6 films in the main competition, premiers, short films and more for the 30,000 fans at this event.
To Oct 8, 2022: Les Voiles de Saint Tropez, Saint Tropez, PACA. This is a glorious site to see in the last of the summer sun. Around 300 sailing boats, both traditional and modern, gather to race in the Mediterranean.
To Nov 6, 2022: International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire château in the Loire Valley is equivalent in prestige to the Chelsea Flower Show. The festival shows a series of gardens from international designers. The theme this year is the Ideal Garden which has to be beautiful, good, organic, healing, comforting, innovative, and water and energy efficient all at the same time.
To Dec 31, 2022: Contemporary Art Biennale, Lyon, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. This major event covers painting, sculpture, photo and video. It takes over different venues from the Contemporary Art Museum and La Sucrière to La Veduta, a cultural laboratory with exhibitions and artists’ residences. Fringe events are at Résonance. This year’s theme is Fragility which gives plenty of scope for those impressive, if rather convoluted explanations about life and art which the French love.
To Jan 14, 2023: Chartres en lumières sees this wonderful city illuminated for its annual festival of light. It’s nightly so there’s no excuse to miss it.
To Feb 18, 2023: Paris Autumn Festival is a huge arts events, taking in every discipline and taking place in many different venues throughout Paris. Around 50 events give a great introduction to the new and the avant-garde. It was created in 1972 by Michel Guy under the impetus of Georges Pompidou who wanted Paris to become a cultural capital. He succeeded; today around 150,000 people attend one of the events.
October, 2022: Wine harvest festivals across France. Check the local tourist offices for celebrations where you are.
Events in France starting in October 2022
Oct 1, 2022: La Nuit Blanche in Paris started in 2002 and has been taken up around the world. Follow a night time art trail on and off the beaten track and discover parts of the city you never knew. Museums, cultural attractions and private and public spaces stay open all night, free of charge. There are installations, staged scene sets, performances, concerts and more.
Oct 1-2, 2022: Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Longchamp in Parais is the chic setting for the equally chic race. It’s a great racecourse with 500 screens for those not in the centre of the action. The ‘Most Beautiful Duo’ competition is worth winning; you get prizes which include a trip to Qatar and Longines watches. Racing is almost an afterthought.
Oct 1-Nov 7, 2022: Disneyland Paris begins its Halloween Festival with Disney villains roaming the streets. On October 31 Disney’s Halloween Party takes over the park from 8pm to 2am. Book early and expect very few children at this grown-up event.
Oct 11-15, 2022: La Rochelle Jazz Festival, Charente-Maritime, Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Jazz between the Towers in La Rochelle on the French Atlantic coast is a must for jazz fans. Well-known and new musicians, official concerts and a lively off festival events complete the package.
Oct 17-23, 2022: The Paris Motor Show at Porte de Versaille is one of the major international motor shows in the world. It takes place every 2 years with over a million visitors. Every single type of vehicle is on show here.
Oct 28-30 2022: La Grande Braderie de Saint Tropez is a popular event in Var on the Cote d’Azur. The main shops take their fashion items into the street and sell at very discounted prices. It’s one of the great fun events in shopping for bargains in France.
Oct 27-30, 2022: The prestigious Paris Salon d’Automne art show began in 1903 with the likes of Guimard, Cezanne, Bonnard, Roualt, and Matisse. The idea was to shock the old and introduce the new. It continues today with works by 890 artists including 161 new participants from 43 countries. It takes place in the Petit Palais.
Oct 28-Nov 1, 2021: Paris Chocolate Fair at Porte de Versailles is just delicious…and always surprising. 700 or so chocolatiers, pastry chefs and other professionals take part. There are tasting sessions and cookery demonstrations, children’s pasty-making workshops and more. But most startling are the set pieces, the live performances and the fashion show which challenge your ideas about chocolate.
Oct 28, 2022: The start of Christmas in Paris at oh-so-chic Bon Marché Rive Gauche, 24 rue de Sèvres, 7th arr) which reveals its Christmas windows earlier than usual.
Oct 29-30, 2022: The Pepper Festival in Espelette, Pyrénées-Atlantiques just east of St Jean de Luz in south west France (Pays Basque/Nouvelle Aquitaine) is a grand tradition. There’s Basque traditional dancing, and music, parades and pelota as well as a lot of spicy food. In 1650 a Basque navigator, part of Christopher Columbus’ crew brought chili peppers back home. And the rest is history. The first flowers on the plants appear in June and fruit in July. Harvesting takes place in mid-August then the houses are festooned with peppers hung out to dry.
Read about more food festivals in France.
Oct 29-Nov 1, 2022: Antiques Art and You or the famous L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Antiques Fair, Vaucluse, PACA. Starting in 1920 the festival transforms the town into one big antique seekers’ delight. Everything is here: antiques and bric-a-brac, furniture, old books, contemporary art, design and decoration. 200 exhibitors from France and Europe plus the town’s 250 shops set out their wares in Gautier Park, on the quays of the Sorgue, in antiquarian villages and in the streets.
October 31, 2022: Celebrate Halloween in Paris at the Grand Rex movie theatre. The famous old theatre shows Halloween horror cult classics like The Shining, The Exorcist and more.
Oct 31-Nov 2, 2021: Halloween is not celebrated in France as it is in the UK or USA. But it remains a special time, with France taking All Saints’ Day on November 1 seriously.
Here’s more about how the French celebrate Halloween in France.
If you know of other events you think I should include, please do let me know!
More Events in France in 2022
Events in France in 2022
Events in France in January 2022
Events in France in February 2022
Events in France in March 2022
Events in France in April 2022
Events in France in May 2022
Events in France in June 2022
Events in France in July 2022
Events in France in August 2022
Events in France in September 2022
I am currently updating the events for 2022. The articles below are not yet updated, but
they do give an idea of what might be on as many events take place each year.
Geography of France
To help you find those events, here are a couple of articles on the geography of France