Christmas on the French Riviera: The Best Events
During the Christmas holiday season, the French Riviera turns into a magical place that everyone will love! With the traditional market chalets, parades, lights, and many local delicacies, the French Riviera celebrates Christmas in its fullest.
There are places to party with champagne and DJ’s. There are places to go if you want a ski chalet vibe. And there are places where you can get a homey nostalgic feeling. The highlight of the celebratory season in the French Riviera is the Christmas markets and villages, where the traditional log chalets are icons of the season.
Below is a list of the best towns to visit over the 2021 Christmas season (in alphabetical order, by town). We update the list as new information is released. Please make sure to double-check with the local tourism office before going to an event, because events may get cancelled due to the current COVID19 situation.
Antibes & Juan-les-Pins
Antibes and Juan-les-Pins turns into a fun winter-land for kids every Christmas holiday season. Their events truly highlight the tradition and culture of Christmas in Cote d’Azur.
- There are Christmas villages in various locations housing chalets with specially made gourmet treats and handcrafted gifts
- Ferris wheel, carousel, and other rides for kids
- Ice skating rink
- Animal farm, a dancing fountain with lights, and a “Creche road”
- Workshops have a number of activities to offer
Complete guide: Check out our guide to Christmas in Antibes.
You can see the Christmas elves performing on the streets of Beaulieu-sur-Mer. The musical entertainment all around town, theater performances, and ice show will make sure you enjoy Christmas in Beaulieu.
- Christmas theater
- Horse-drawn carriages
- Ice-skating rink
- Christmas concerts
- Traditional Christmas mass at church
Complete guide: See the full guide to Christmas in Beaulieu-sur-Mer.
The charming coastal town of Cagnes-sur-Mer has a lot going on every December. In fact, it has more holiday events happening than almost any other small town on the French Riviera!
- Workshops and parades for kids
- Disney characters will cheer up everyone on the streets
- Traditional Christmas masses will be held at several churches
- Theater shows
- Santa’s Forest
- Pony rides, and horse-drawn carriage rides
Complete guide: See our guide to Christmas in Cagnes-sur-Mer for details.
During the Christmas season, Cannes lights up with chalets, parades, live music and decorations. It’s one of the best places to visit, and has the most activities and parades for kids.
- The Christmas market has 50 chalets (including Santa’s chalet) featuring local specialties and handicrafts
- The largest animated artificial Christmas tree in the whole French Riviera
- Christmas parades with acrobats, Christmas characters, and illuminated performers
- Have fun and watch a performance on the skating rink
- Numerous games, rides, workshops, and entertainment for kids
- Pedestrianized shopping streets with music and carols
Complete guide: Take a look at our guide to Christmas in Cannes.
Frejus & St Raphael
Frejus celebrates the holidays with two ice-skating rinks and two holiday markets: a gourmet market in the historic heart and a Christmas Village selling gifts on the seafront of Fréjus.
- Funfair for kids
- Disney parade
There are numerous parades, children’s workshops, and musical entertainment around Menton. With carols, spiced treats, and glittering lights, the celebration guarantees that you experience the Christmas season in Menton with all your senses.
- Christmas market
- Ice-skating rink and toboggan ride
- Ferris wheel, workshops, Santa’s letterbox, and parades for kids
- Spiced holiday treats
- Musical entertainment, puppet shows, Harry Potter show, Christmas carolers and parades
With a different look and theme for the main Christmas Village every year, multiple ultra-luxurious Christmas villages and winter gardens in Monte Carlo, and 5-star treats, it’s no wonder Monaco is considered the most luxurious place in the world to spend the holidays.
- 18-metre-high Christmas tree, decked with 4,000 ornaments in white and gold
- Christmas village / markets on the port and in Monte Carlo
- Christmas-themed shopping events, decorated hotels and bars
- Ice skating rink, toboggan ride, and go-karts on ice
- Musical performances, ice shows, street performers, and the occasional treasure hunt for kids
Complete guide: Check out our complete guide to Monaco’s Christmas Village, Markets and Holiday Events.
The charming hilltop town of Mougins celebrates the Christmas holidays in the typical French Riviera style.
- Christmas market with various booths from exhibitors that will have gifts, ideas, and crafts
- Food trucks and stalls with holiday treats
- Workshops for kids where they can learn gingerbread-making and other skills
- Live music concerts
- Pony rides
Traditions are essential for the Nicoise in celebrating the festive season. Still, there are lots of surprises awaiting everyone in Nice during the holiday season.
- Christmas market with 70 traditional chalets selling delicacies and gifts
- An enchanted forest with 600 firs will take you into a winter wonderland
- An ice-skating rink
- Ferris wheel, workshops, parades, and more entertainment is set up for kids
- Traditional Christmas Mass will take place at churches
- A nativity scene with life-size figures
Complete guide: See our guide to Nice’s Holiday Events & Christmas Markets for more information.
Saint-Tropez & Ramatuelle
Experience the fairy-tale scenery, skating rink, and gourmet chalets in St. Tropez. Theater, concerts, comedies, and musicals add to the fun.
- Christmas market traditional chalets selling delicacies and gifts
- An ice-skating rink
- Telethon event with sporting challenges, giant barbecues, and garage sales
- Romantic pony and mini-train rides
- More events with Santa in the nearby Ramatuelle village
Complete guide: See our guide to St Tropez for Christmas for more details.
St. Paul de Vence will focus on the traditions surrounding arts and gastronomy.
- Truffle market with farmers’ market and many local truffle producers
- Musical entertainment
- Children’s workshops to create beautiful holiday decorations with your children
For more details, check our events calendar and see St Paul de Vence’s Tourism Website Events Calendar.
The town of Villefranche-sur-Mer celebrates Christmas in a very Mediterranean style. The point of the festivities is always the sea! Celebrate Christmas here with live music, performance sports, cinema, light shows, giant creches, and many activities for a complete winter holiday experience.
- Christmas parade
- Musical show for kids
- Fairground rides and stands
For more details, check our events calendar and Villefranche-sur-Mer’s Tourism Website Events Calendar.
We hope you enjoy all the holiday fun in the French Riviera this Christmas season!
Don’t forget to check out our guide to New Years celebrations on the French Riviera and in Monaco.