Summer festivals in Provence

28/06/2017 | Bertille SAUDRAIS

Summer has arrived in Crillon le Brave! Wandering around the antiques market in l’Isle sur la Sorgue, cycling through the neighbouring vineyards, chilling by the pool or pampering yourself at our Spa des Ecuries… these are some of the best things to do while staying with us. But summer in Provence is even more than that. Festivals give rhythm to our summers, and whether you are a music-lover or a fan of theatre, there’s a festival for everyone. 


It all starts in July with Les Chorégies d’Orange, an opera festival held in Orange, about 45 minutes away from Crillon le Brave. Created in 1869, it is France’s oldest active festival and has become one of the leading French music festivals. Sitting in a perfectly preserved Roman theatre under the starry night, you will be able to enjoy some of the best French orchestras, maestros, and vocalists. In 2017, the festival will feature great shows, starting on June 19th and ending on August 5th. From the classic Rigoletto from Verdi to Zygel's Fantom of the Opera, this year’s programming has great depth and broad appeal. You can find the entire programming here

In July, the entire city of Avignon turns into a theatre with the famous Festival d’Avignon. Founded in 1947 by Jean Vilar, it has become one of the most important contemporary performing arts festivals in the world. This year’s official programming (or “Festival IN”) will take place in some of the most beautiful venues of the city of Popes: gardens, churches, chapels and cloisters, and as always the famous “Cour d’honneur” of the Popes’ Palace, where it all started. In 2017, the festival will be held from which will take place from July 6th to 26th. The program features about 40 different theatre performances, dance recitals and concerts. All information concerning the Festival IN can be found here

But the festival also has extensive unofficial programming, the “Festival OFF”, this year from July 7th to 30th. Parades and shows invade the streets of Avignon, creating a unique atmosphere! You will have more than 1,000 shows from which to choose. Even if you don’t speak French, there are still more than 250 different shows for you to enjoy. All information regarding the Festival OFF can be found here.

Whether or not you plan on attending one of the numerous shows presented this year, Avignon during the festival is a must-see. 

Now let’s travel south from Avignon to Arles, a bit more than an hour’s drive from Crillon le Brave. This formerly Roman city, famous for inspiring Vincent van Gogh, has a lot to offer: Roman sites, the Camargue countryside, colourful local traditions… It also plays host every summer to a major international photography festival known as Les Rencontres d’Arles, this year from July 3rd to September 24th.  This festival has gained notoriety and fame by showcasing almost exclusively new work, and many photographers have been discovered thanks to Les Rencontres. This year includes new perspectives on Africa by many talented photographers.  A good way to discover the exhibitions is to take advantage of the 90-minute guided visit offered daily. 
Another great reason to visit the festival is its location: the exhibitions are held in interesting venues throughout the city, some of which are open to the public only for the duration of the festival! All information can be found here.

For dance aficionados, Vaison-la-Romaine (35 minutes away from the hotel) is hosting its annual International Dance Festival - Vaison Danses - from June 24th to July 29th. For its 20th anniversary, Vaison Danses will host six different shows, as well as conferences, meetings with choreographers, and exhibits. Like Orange, the festival takes place place in the city’s 2000 year-old Roman theatre, providing the spectator with a beautiful setting. 

Piano fans, here’s one for you! To end the summer on a perfect (musical) note, the International Piano Festival at Le Roque d’Anthéron, takes place this year from July 21st to August 19th, and is just an hour away from Crillon.  

Held for the 37th time and in many prestigious venues - the main one being the gardens of the Florans castle - this festival honors the piano in all its forms: from classical to contemporary music, from jazz to electro music. Throughout the years more than 580 pianists, from rising stars to the greatest pianists, have shared the stage of the festival, which usually features about 100 concerts.

The official programming has been published and can be found here.

So now the big question is, which festival are you going to chose? Not an easy choice, but we’re here to help you decide. Our concierge is available by phone at +33 (0)4 90 65 61 61 or by email at  We look forward to talking!


Original text: Bertille Saudrais-Petit