What's on this Christmas - France
From the south of France's stunning seaside towns to snowy slopes in the ambient Alps, the country comes to festive life in December.
The pageantry of Christmas is grand, and yet an air of peace descends over the country during the holiday.
Our Club Homes are surrounded by Christmas attractions, with markets, ice skating, fireworks, and fairgrounds on your doorstep.
Here's your guide to what's going on in the area this year.
Club Home: La Retraite | Local Area: Le Rouret
From 2nd December - 7th January, Cannes transforms into a winter wonderland. With a large market bursting with food, drink and gift stalls; a fairground on the Pantiero with nearly 60 attractions and rides; an ice rink on Les Allees, which offers free sessions for children aged 4-10 years every morning; and a Christmas parade on 23rd December, which departs Felix Faure at 5.30pm and sees Father Christmas and his elves travel through town on a fantastic float, the town has so much going on over the festive period.
On 15th December, the well-loved weekend market returns to Tivoli Gardens in Le Cannet and the town's Christmas lights are switched on in Place Foch, Rocheville. On 16th December, the spectacular son et lumière illuminations light up the town hall, and the festive parade and arrival of Father Christmas takes place on the town's streets.
Between 10th December - 2nd January, Esplanade du Pre des Pecheurs transforms into a Christmas village, complete with gourmet and artisanal chalets, larger-than-life decorations, a Ferris wheel and a musical ride. For the first year ever, there will be swan fishing and a Christmas train, plus a free-of-charge interactive animation for children to enjoy.
Decadent and dazzling, Monaco's Casino Square boasts an ice-skating trail and an 18m-high Christmas tree, decked with over 4000 ornaments and colourful lights. Port de Hercule becomes a Christmas village, with typical wooden chalets selling gorgeous gifts and culinary specialities, and Avenue Monte-Carlo welcomes the Chefs' Gourmet Christmas Cabin where you'll find a selection of signature dishes from the country's Michelin-starred chefs, sweet and savoury treats, and a mesmerising view over Port Hercule and The Rock.
The village's Place des Arcades transforms into an Alpine scene, with over 100 stalls selling artisan gifts and fayre, including cheese, tapenades, foie gras and honey. There is also a carousel, fireworks display, magical festive-themed shows, and a petting zoo.
Club Home: Villa La Colline | Local Area: Cote D'Azur
While the town 'sleeps' over the winter, it comes to life again in December with a small market in Place des Lices which opens on 9th December, an open-air ice-skating rink, and even the arrival of Father Christmas by sea, on-board the Tartan ship on 24th December!
As soon as the sun goes down, the charming town of Sainte-Maxime lights up with thousands of twinkling lights, creating a magical atmosphere. From puppet shows and horse-drawn carriage rides, to creative workshops and concerts, there is something for both young and old to enjoy.
While the small village of La Garde-Frienet will be largely closed over Christmastime, the popular Provencal restaurant, La Faucado, is offering a delicious set menu for Christmas and New Year. Bookings must be made in advance.
Club Home: Villa Marianne | Local Area: Mollégès
On 9th December, Saint Rémy de Provence comes to life with bright lights at its fête la lumière. Fashion boutiques, creators' studios and art galleries stay open until late, and musicians line the streets to provide entertainment while you enjoy a glass of mulled wine or champagne.
Club Home: Île Saint-Louis | Local Area: Île Saint-Louis, Paris
Markets take over all four corners of the capital, from Notre-Dame to Halles, La Défense to the Tuileries. A welcoming ambience, combined with typical Alpine-style chalets selling artisan gifts and festive feasts, makes the city a wonderful place to explore in December. A couple of our favourite spots include…
La magie de noël aux Tuileries: Bright lights, vin chaud, hot food, ice-skating and carnival rides…the spirit of Christmas can be found at Tuileries Garden market, one of the largest and most popular festive spots in the city.
Le Village de Noël de Paris-La Défense: At the foot of the Grande Arche, over 300 chalets liven up La Défense square with gifts, gastronomy, and entertainment galore!
Marché de Noël Notre Dame de Paris: A truly Christmassy atmosphere, with Father Christmas, craft activities and competitions, and storytelling for children. All to be enjoyed while you sip on a warming mulled wine or try a local delicacy.
Marché de Noël alsacien à Paris Gare de l'Est: Every year for nearly half a century, a handful of producers travel from all over Alsace with their finest gourmet specialities to recreate an authentic Alsatian market at the Gare de l'Est. From cakes and gingerbreads, to fois gras and crémants, it's an experience for all senses.
Montmartre Christmas Village: One of the tiniest markets in the city is located at Place des Abbesses, a little square known for its iconic love wall and proximity to the butte of Montmartre. Over a dozen stalls are dotted around the carousel, selling gifts and fayre.
Hotel de Ville: The beautiful neo-Renaissance façade turns a brilliant blue, illuminated with white snowflakes. With sparkling fir trees, Swiss-style chalets and ambient Christmas music, Hotel de Ville's market is often called the city's most beautiful.
And for an extra special experience…
Open-Top Bus Tour: Let yourself be carried away by the romance of Paris from the open top of an electric green bus. Pass by iconic spots such as Opera, Place Vendôme, Concorde, Champs Elysées, Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum, discover the 'city of light' and immerse yourself in the Christmas magic - complete with an audio commentary that includes traditional Christmas songs!
Club Home: Chalet Lumiere | Local Area: Morzine
From 17th December, Morzine transforms into an enchanted village. It's the perfect place to celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve amidst snow-covered trees and with an authentic Alpine ambience. There are many family-friendly activities on offer, from an ice treasure hunt on 20th December, to a virtual reality workshop to become Santa's elf on both 20th and 28th December. On 22nd December, there is even a parade of geese who wander through the village to the backbeat of drums and whistles! Truly unforgettable.