The Paris Olympics Torch 2024 is lit in Greece on Apr 16 by the sun’s rays at Olympia where the ancient Games were held. The most famous symbol of the games, it then heads to Athens and boards the three-masted ship, the Belem to arrive on May 8 in France. Quite rightly it lands in Marseille, known as the Cité Phocéenne, and once once a Greek colony.

Olympic Flame site where it is lit showing circular stones with 3 columns standing with pediment on top surrounded by ancient ruins of Olympus site
Olympic Flame Starting Point in Greece © Wikimedia/dronepcr.2.0

It then embarks on a grand journey. For more than two months, the torch will make its way through France, taking in 65 towns and cities and over 100 tourist and cultural sites. It also goes to France’s overseas territories in June (though by plane and boat) on the ‘Oceans Relay’ taking in  Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Réunion Island. The torch finally reaches Paris for the opening ceremony on July 26, 2024.

Daytime view over the Old Port in Marseille with the basilica on a hill opposite with yachts inthe water
Old Port Marseille © Atout France/Robert Palomba

The torch follows an intricate zig-zag journey through all of France, through cities like Montpellier and Carcassonne, to Corsica and Bordeaux, through Normandy and Le Mont-Saint-Michel. It travels to the great Lascaux prehistoric caves, and goes through the Vendée and cities like Les Sables-d’Olonne. A visit by the Paris Olympics Torch 2024 to the ancient Roman amphitheatre in Orange will be moving, as will its journey through some of the D-Day Landing Beaches. From Brittany it embarks on Jun 8 for the ‘Ocean Relay’. 

Landing in Nice, the torch continues its journey through France, north to the Auvergne where it will visit the industrial city of Saint-Etienne and the spa city of Vichy. It takes in the Alps and the east of France, the sites of World War I, Lille and Pas de Calais, Chartres, the Loire River and Dijon. 

 If you follow the route in detail, you get one of the best lessons in French history and culture you cold wish for. At the risk of sounding like a cliché, this is an epic journey.  

The Olympic Torch 2024 Official Route websites

Route of the Paris Olympics Torch 2024

The links take you to articles on the cities. More information at the end of the article about the different regions and interests.

May 9: Marseille – Roucas-Blanc and the Vélodrome stadium
May 10: Toulon to L’Almanarre and the Route du sel (Salt road) at Hyères
May 11: Manosque to the Citadelle de Sisteron and the Verdon Gorge natural park
May 12: Arles to Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône and the Arles arena
May 13: Montpellier – Arc de Triomphe de Montpellier and the Millau viaduct
May 14: Bastia (Corsica) – Aiguilles de Bavella
May 15:  Perpignan to CNEA (Centre national d’entraînement en altitude National altitude training centre) de Font-Romeu and Mont Canigou mountain

Carcassone ramparts at night in rosy dusk
Carcassonne ramparts © Paul Palau

May 16: Carcassonne – Plage des Chalets – Gruissan and medieval Carcassonne
May 17:  Toulouse – La Halle de Revel
May 18: Auch – Statue of the Three Musketeers in Condom
May 19: Tarbes to the Cirque de Gavarnie and the summit of the Midi de Bigorre mountain
May 20: Pau – Stade d’eaux vives and the beach at Biarritz
May 22: Périgueux to Bassin de la Dordogne and the famous prehistoric Lascaux caves
May 23: Bordeaux – Cité du vin wine museum and the vineyards of Saint-Emilion
May 24: Angoulême – Musée de la Bande dessinée (comic book museum) and nearby Cognac
May 25: Poitiers – Palais des ducs d’Aquitaine
May 27: Châteauroux – Château de Valençay

Angers castle looking fromone corner with street on right with people on bicycles and huge round tower and formidable walls on left with pretty gardens in front
Angers Castle ©-J.-Damase/Pays-de-la-Loire Tourism

May 28: Angers to Château de Montsoreau and the vineyards of Coteaux-du-Layon
May 29: Laval to Cité médiévale in Sainte-Suzanne-et-Chammes village
May 30: Caen to Honfleur and the D-Day landing beaches

Abbaye aux Hommes stone building with lawn in front in Caen
Abbaye aux Hommes in Caen © S. OEHLKE – CRT Normandi

May 31: Mont-Saint-Michel and the seaside town of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue 
June 1: Rennes to Forêt de Brocéliande and the village of Paimpont 
June 2: Niort to The marshes of Marais Poitevin and the village of Coulon
June 4: Les Sables-d’Olonne to the Passage du Gois causeway to the island of Noirmoutier and Puy du Fou theme park
June 5: La Baule and La baie de la Baule
June 6: Vannes – Cité de la voile Eric Tabarly (sailing museum) and Île-aux-Moines island
June 7: Brest – Pointe de la Torche peninsula

The Paris Olympics Torch 2024 in France’s Overseas Territories

The flame will also be taken around France’s overseas territories, by plane and boat.
June 8: French Polynesia – Papeete, Tahiti and Teahupo’o
June 9: French Guiana – Cayenne, Camopi the Oyapock rover and the Centre Spatial de Kourou
June 12: La Réunion – Saint-Denis, Plaine des Sables, Cité du Volcan and Pointe de Langevin
June 15: Guadeloupe – Baie-Mahault, Mémorial ACTe and Pointe-à-Pitre
June 17: Martinique – Fort-de-France, La Montagne Pelée and Saint-Pierre

Back to France

View from above of the Cours Saleya market in Nice with covered stalls and old buildings
Cours Saleya in the Old Town. © OTCN/A. Issock

June 18: Nice to Antibes Juan-les-Pins and the Palais des Festivals in Cannes
June 19: Avignon to Roman Amphithéâtre Théâtre antique in Orange and Mont-Ventoux mountain
June 20: Valence to Château de Grignan
June 21: Vichy – CREPS de Vichy spa
June 22: Saint-Etienne – Maison de la culture Le Corbusier and Stade Geoffroy-Guichard stadium
June 23: Chamonix to Annecy make and the Mont Blanc valley
June 25: Besançon – Tremplins de Chaux-Neuve
June 26: Strasbourg – Huningue and Passerelle des Trois Pays
June 27: Metz – Site Verrier de Meisenthal, Maison de Robert Schuman and the mountain-top town of Scy-Chazelles
June 28: Saint-Dizier to Bourbonne-les-Bains and Charles de Gaulle’s burial site at Colombey-les-deux-églises
June 29: Verdun – Citadelle de Montmédy and World War 1 memorial of Verdun
June 30: Reims to Avenue de Champagne in Epernay

Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse Lille showing red brick historic building on two floors withbelltower and sandstone building to right in paved courtyard
Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse Public domain CC-BY-SA 4.0

July 2: Lille to Wallers-Arenberg former coal-mining site
July 3: Lens-Liévin – Stade Bollaert-Delelis stadium and the Louvre-Lens gallery
July 4: Amiens to the Baie de Somme and Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme
July 5: Le Havre to the Cathédrale de Rouen
July 6: Vernon to Pont-Audemer
July 7: Chartres – Domaine Royal de Dreux chapel

Chateau de Chambord across the water reflected. Huge beautiful stone chateau with lots of chimneys, towers, pinacles
Château de Chambord © AtoutFrance/L de Serres

July 9: Blois to Château de Chambord
July 10: Orléans to Château de Sully-sur-Loire and Joan of Arc museum Maison de Jeanne d’Arc
July 11: Auxerre to Vézelay and the vineyards of Chablis
July 12: Dijon to Clos de Vougeot and the archaeological site of Alésia

Place de la liberation Dijon long shot in orange light with palace of the dukes in background with windows lit up and big tower behind
Place de la Liberation Dijon © Alice Colas

July 13: Troyes to Les Lacs de la forêt d’Orient natural park
July 14-15: Paris – Musée Carnavalet and Court Simonne-Mathieu at Roland Garros
July 17: Saint-Quentin – Familistère de Guise and Cité internationale de la langue française
July 18: Beauvais to Château de Chantilly
July 19: Val-d’Oise to Soisy-sous-Montmorency and Auvers-sur-Oise
July 20: Seine-et-Marne – Meaux and the Château de Fontainebleau

One wing of Fontainebleau with terrace in front and stone balustrade, and 3 storeyed mellow warm stone building with mansard windows and sloping roof behind
Fontainebleau © Mary Anne Evans

July 21: Val-de-Marne – Créteil and the food market at Rungis
July 22: Essonne – Evry-Courcouronnes and the French National Rugby Centre at Marcoussis
July 23: Yvelines to Versailles (town and Château), Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and the National golf centre
July 24: Hauts-de-Seine to La Défense business district, Nanterre, Haras de Jardy equitation centre and Stade Yves-du-Manoir stadium
July 25: Seine-Saint-Denis – Parc Georges-Valbon, Canal de l’Ourcq and the newly-built Aquatics Centre Saint-Denis, opposite Stade de France
July 26: Seine Saint-Denis and Paris – final day of the relay, ending with the lighting of the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony on the River Seine.

Guide to the Paris Olympics 2024

Here’s my Quick Guide to the Paris Olympics 2024

Paris Olympics 2024 website
Events in France in July 2024

More on some of the French Regions the Olympic Torch will pass through

New Regions of France
Atlantic Coast of France
Auvergne Travel Guide
Calais Guide
Food in Burgundy
Loire Valley Drive from Le Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Nazaire
Nice Travel Guide
Normandy Travel Guide
Paris Quick Guide
Provence Travel Guide
Tarn and Toulouse-Lautrec

The Glorious Islands of France

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