Christmas in Cannes and the Côte d'Azur

4 December 2017

The French love Christmas and the celebrations in the Riviera sunshine are always special. With a vin chaud in hand you can wander around the traditional Christmas markets which are filled with gift ideas and festive treats like socca and churros. There are plenty of activities to get both young and old in the Christmas spirit!


The Christmas market runs from 1 December 2017 to 7 January 2018. It is held on the Allés de la Liberté opposite the Palais des Festivals. The small wooden chalets sell tasty festive treats as well as decorative gift ideas and regular entertainments.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks, to celebrate the arrival of 2018 there is a magnificent firework display at midnight 31st December in the bay which can be seen for miles around.


To celebrate Saint Nicolas’ day, Father Christmas will be visiting the old village from 17:00 on Wednesday 6th December. Children will be invited to give him their letters (don’t forget to include your address so he can reply!) Father Christmas will make his way up to the Place des Patriotes

Whilst there you can enjoy the festive atmosphere with Cabrières school children singing carols under the Christmas lights and the traditional nativity scene displayed in the Lavoir

The annual Christmas market will take place on the weekend 16th-17th December. The village is transformed into a winter wonderland. Entrance is free and there are free park and ride busses from the outskirts of the village. An ice rink, pony rides and a market with festive foodie treats as well as gift ideas, a concert and food trucks. Open until 21:00 on the Saturday night.


The annual charity carol concert in aid of the Antibes SNSM Lifeboat is being held at Antibes Cathedral on Thursday 14 December at 19:30, as always mulled wine and hot food will add festive cheer to the event.

The celebrations begin on Friday 15th December with a concert by the Société des Régates d’Antibes at the Gravette beach accompanied by the releasing of floating lanterns.

The main celebrations begin Saturday 16th December

The Esplanade du Pré des Pêcheurs will become the Christmas village with a 450m² ice rink, a carrousel and 22 chalets selling gifts and food and drinks. The big wheel is also open offering 360° views of the port and the old town lit up in all its Christmas glory. Open every day 10:30-20:00 and until 22:00 on Saturdays until 7th January.

The historic Place Nationale hosts a mini Children’s festive fun fair and a number of musical concerts at the newly installed bandstand.

There are more Christmas chalets and entertainments in the Place de Gaulle.

Juan Les Pins

The Pinède Gould hosts a kids Petting farm with cows, donkeys, goats, rabbits, geese, ducks and chickens along with Poney rides. Open 24th December – 30th December 10:30-17:30, closed for lunch and Christmas morning.

Juan les Pins sees in the New Year with floating lanterns in the bay on 30th December at 17:30 and a large fireworks display in the bay on New Year’s Day at 18:30.


8 and 9 December, traditional carol concert by the Riviera International Singers at St Blaise Church, Valbonne.

Saturday 16 December, Santa Dash – Courses des Pères Noël

Fancy dress fun run around the village from Place des Arcades at 15:30 for children and 16:00 for adults. Snacks, hot chocolate and mulled wine offered for the competitors. Register here.

The village Christmas celebrations run from 21-24 December with concerts, Christmas market, and festive activities for children and grownups. The detailed programme is here.


Nice offers a wealth of Christmas activities and entertainments.

From 1 December to 8 January 2018 the famous Promenade des Anglais is decorated with a giant Father Christmas outside the Lenval hospital and the iconic palm trees lit up along the sea front using energy efficient LED light bulbs! The theme for the illuminations this season is space conquest. The 20m Christmas tree on the Promenade du Paillon is has cosmic light effects.

The Christmas Village is open from 1 December – 1 January 2018, there is a big wheel, ice rink and artisan market as well as a chance to visit Santa’s house.


The Monegasque Christmas Village is open from 6 December to 7 January. T principality is lit up from the week before and decorations include 370 Christmas trees, a carrousel and Father Christmas and his reindeer!  25 festive chalets with local and handmade goods. There is a big wheel with views across the Principality and an ice rink for practising those skating moves! Throughout the festive season there are entertainments and workshops for kids and adults.

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