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Major events and festivals in Nice 2014 - Côte d'Azur, France

Nice, the unquestionable capital of Côte d’Azur, or the French Riviera coast of southern France, offers an astounding choice of cultural and sport events held throughout the year.

If you arrive to Nice by air, a hire car to be picked up from Nice Airport is a convenient solution for moving around the city, as well as for exploring the Riviera in direction of Cannes or Monaco. For families or larger groups of travellers, a minivan often turns out to be the best choice.

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso car hire Nice
MPV / minivan hire in France - the new Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 
© Photo: Find-cheap-car-hire.co.uk

When planning your visit to Nice, you might find useful the information on some of the most popular festivals and events to take place in Nice in 2014.

Read more about Nice as a tourist destination on Côte d’Azur.

Winter in Nice

December

International Rowing Regatta
Baie des Anges (the Angels Bay) apart from being one of the most scenic locations of the city is also a favourite venue for many events held regularly in Nice, amongst them the Rowing Regatta which brings competing rowing teams to Côte d’Azur from all over Europe.

Nice Christmas Swim Day
Equally interesting to watch (and to participate) is the Christmas Swim Day taking place at the Ruhl Plage beach, also in the Baie des Anges.

Nice Christmas Village - La Village de Noel
Throughout most of December and January Place Masséna Square in Nice becomes one of the most lively spots of the city. In the wooden chalets built around square you will be able to purchase your Christmas gifts, usually typical Provençal handcraft and try local specialities. A winter-themed children entertainment area is provided for the youngest visitors as well as an ice skating rink.

January

Prom Classic Nice
If you are an active person, a great way to start a new year at Côte d’Azur is by participating in the increasingly popular 10 km race known as Prom Classic. The race is held at Promenade des Anglais, along the Baie des Anges. Read more about the race on Prom Classic Nice website.

Wedding Fair Nice – Salon du Mariage
Nice Salon du Mariage is a prime event for the wedding business sector, as well as a place to visit by the future brides or grooms. If you are planning a wedding visit this event to know what are your options when it comes to wedding outfits, receptions, flower decorations, as well as honeymoon solutions. Nice Wedding Fair is usually held in early January in Acropolis Palais de Congrés.

February

Nice Carnival 2014 - Mardi Gras Nice
The Carnival of Nice is by far the most colourful and animated even held in the city as well as one of the most famous carnival celebrations worldwide, alongside with the carnival of Rio de Janeiro and Venice. The festivities of Nice Carnival, featuring street parades, bonfires and fireworks last for two weeks prior to Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras). In 2014 Nice Carnival is scheduled to take place between 14 February and 4 March.

See video of Nice Carnival Parade:

Find out more information about the programme of Nice Carnival 2014 here.

Spring in Nice

March

Gourd Festival Nice – Le Festin des Cougordons
For as unlikely as it may seem a festival dedicated to a strangely shaped vegetable, also more commonly known as squash, is a very popular attraction amongst both locals and visitors to Nice. The festival is a fun event where apart from admiring the locally produced crop display, you will have a chance to taste some of the traditional gastronomy. The Gourd Festival is held in March in celebration of the upcoming spring in two venues: in the Cours Saleya flower market and in Cimiez neighbourhood north of Nice city centre.

Mars aux Musées
Should you be visiting Nice between 6th and 29th of March, take advantage of the free entry to some of the finest museums and cultural institutions of the city, available within the ‘March in the Museum’ (Mars aux Musée) initiative. Please, be aware that during that during the most intense inflow of visitors to the museums, the priority is given to students. Find out more information about Mars aux Musées Nice 2014 (available in French only).

April

Nice Half-Marathon 2014
Nice welcomes spring with a series of sports events for professional and semi-professional athletes, as well as for amateurs of outdoor activities. Along the 21.1 km (13.2 miles) of Nice Half-Marathon the runners will be able to appreciate some of the most beautiful sites of the city, amongst them Le Jardin Albert 1er and Promenade des Anglais along the Mediterranean Sea. The 23rd of Semi-Marathon International de Nice will take place on 27 April 2014. Sign up for Nice Half-Marathon 2014.

May

May Day in Nice
The 1st of May is usually celebrated in Nice with a series of street festivities and picnics organised in different venues throughout the city.

Tennis Tournament - Open Nice Côte d’Azur 2014 (ATP Nice Open)
A part of the ATP World Tour 250 Series, Nice Côte d’Azur men’s tennis tournament has been played in Nice since 1970, originally as Grand Prix tennis circuit. The 2014 edition will take place between 18 – 25 May. Find more information about Nice Côte d’Azur Open 2014 schedule and tickets here.

L’Italy à Table – Festival of the Italian Cuisine in Nice
The geographical proximity and close cultural cooperation between Italy and France resulted in a premier gastronomy event which is a Festival of the Italian Cuisine held in Nice for the tenth consecutive year. Come and try the finest of the Italian pastas and pizzas at the French Riviera between 29 May and 1 June 2014. Find more information on the L’Italy à Table in Nice 2014 (in French and Italian only).

Summer in Nice

June

Fête de la Musique – The World Music Day in the French Riviera
Fête de la Musique festival was originated in France in 1982. The idea of free music events, street concerts and other performances addressed to professional and amateur musicians as well as simple music lovers soon spread all over the world. In 2014, the World Music Day will be celebrated in over 430 cities and 110 countries across several continents, also in many locations on the French Riviera. The festival is held every year on the day of mid-summer solstice, the 21 of June. Read more about Fête de la Musique – Nice Music Festival.

Ironman Nice 2014
The Ironman triathlon, consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bicycle ride and a full 26,2 mile marathon run is one of the most extreme sports events taking place in Nice, not less popular though. The run leads through the most emblematic locations of the city and is accompanied by the spectators all along its route. In France, a similar event is held also in Paris. Find out more about Ironman Nice 2014 competition scheduled for 29 June.

Fête de la Mer de Nice
The Festival of the Sea celebrated on St. Peter´s day, 29 June, is an old local tradition of the French Riviera. In Nice a special mass is held in Place du Gesú, followed by a procession to the fishing harbour of Ponchettes where a flotilla of decorated fishing boats take floral wreaths to be cast into the sea. It is a picturesque ceremony, accompanied by the displays of local folklore music and dancing, very appreciated by the tourists.

July

Nice Jazz Festival
The Jazz Festival of Nice is one of the premier events for jazz music in Europe. First held in 1948, the festival has counted in the past with the participation of some of the greatest jazzmen, amongst them Luis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. For the 2014 edition lineup check the official website of Nice Jazz Festival.

The Bastille Day Nice
The commemoration of the first day of the French Revolution of 1789 held every year on 14 July are always a very festive event in any bigger cities in France. In Nice you are sure to assist on that day a traditional military parade, free open air concerts and a display of fireworks over the Angels Bay (Baie des Anges).

August

Nice Musical Nights – Les Nuits Musicales de Nice
At the peak of the tourist season on the French Riviera, the concerts of chamber music held in mid August in the beautiful setting of Cimiez Monastery offer a possibility to retreat from the hassle of a busy tourist destination and enjoy the cultural side of Nice.

La Castellada de Nice
A great way to get acquainted with the history of Nice is to participate in a walking tour of the city and assist to the performances recreating the past times, set in the ruined Château de Nice. La Castellada usually takes place in mid-late August.

La Fête du Port de Nice - Nice Feast of the Port
The port of Nice is one of the most interesting places to be in the late summer during the so called Feast of The Port, when it fills with food stalls and open air concerts and performances. Here you will be able to try the variety of local delicacies and some of the fines French wines, to the tunes of live music. The festivities usually culminate in a firework display.

Autumn in Nice

November

Nice-Cannes Marathon – the French Riviera Marathon
In the Autumn the French Riviera slows down the tempo of cultural and sport activities. You will need, however, a steady pace to complete the run between Nice and Cannes, along the coast of the Mediterranean, known as the French Riviera marathon. Find out how to participate in Nice-Cannes marathon here.

MANCA Festival Nice
This growingly popular music festival features concerts of classic and contemporary music, as well as workshops and other related events.

Côte d’Azur Boat Shows throughout the year
Côte d’Azur is probably the most prestigious location for yacht owners in Europe, hosting also several boat and yacht events held in a short driving distance from Nice, amongst them the Antibes Yacht Show to take place between 24-27 April, the Cannes International Boat Show between 9-14 of September 2014 or Monaco Yacht Show  from 24 to 27 September


Major events and festivals in Nice 2014 - Côte d'Azur, France
Article: Major events and festivals in Nice 2014 - Côte d'Azur, France
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