What’s on in Sainte-Maxime this December
1 December 2015
Attend Exciting Seasonal Events in the South of France During the Countdown to Christmas
Though better known for yacht parties and long sun-soaked days during the summer months... the ports, beaches and bustling towns of the Côte d’Azur can also boast an array of outstanding attractions and events during winter too. This December, Sainte-Maxime and its surrounding area are offering the chance to wander around a winter wonderland, enjoy a festive horse-drawn carriage ride, sample some of the region’s most famed sweet treats and take in a full month of festive light shows.
12th December 2015 – 3rd January 2016
The picturesque seafront of Sainte-Maxime will be transformed into an awe-inspiring winter wonderland from the 12th of December. The Théâtre de la Mer and surrounding area will boast a scenic, mountain strewn backdrop with beautifully decorated trees, and offer a seasonal line-up of family-friendly events and attractions. While little ones can look forward to pony rides along the beach and creative workshops including the chance to create a picture frame and write a letter to Santa, adults can opt to attend an exciting programme of music concerts, or even enjoy romantic horse-drawn carriage rides departing from Le Casino Barrière.
The three week event will also offer the chance to have a go on a range of fairground rides and take a trip on a miniature train. Following a parade through the town's streets, Santa Claus will be arriving at the event on the 23rd, and will also be making appearances on the 24th and even Christmas Day itself for photo opportunities. While those who haven’t quite had their fill of shopping by the 30th can browse a unique New Year’s flea market until the 1st along the Promenade Aymeric Simon-Lorière. With such a variety of exciting festive activities on offer, Sainte-Maxime’s Christmas Village will be an idea destination for a day out for the whole family this December.
19th – 21st December 2015
Saint-Tropez’s Salon du Chocolat et des Gourmandises will be unmissable for the sweet-toothed in the South of France this festive season. The free entry event will offer the chance to browse and buy 13 different types of desserts and sweets from producers based in Provence; including the likes of chocolates, biscuits, fruit jellies, jams, honey, nougat, candied chestnuts and fruit, all washed down with a variety of teas. Located within events venue Salle Jean Despas, minutes from the town’s yacht-filled port, this three day chocolate-filled extravaganza is set to offer a delectable day out that’s ideal for all ages.
Amongst the tempting selection of treats on offer, one of the most popular options will be a slice of La Tarte Tropézienne. This delicious cake first arrived in Saint-Tropez in 1955 when Alexandre Micka opened a pastry shop and began selling his creation, which was inspired by his grandmother’s recipe. Two types of creams are combined in a brioche cake that’s liberally sprinkled with grains of sugar, however there are also variations available including a fresh fruit filling and bite-size versions filled with chocolate, pistachio, praline and coffee flavoured creams. Actress Brigitte Bardot became a fan while filming ‘And God Created Woman’ and advised Micka that he needed to name it; leading to the La Tarte Tropézienne title in ode to the town and its inhabitants the Tropéziens. With such a wide variety of sweets, chocolates and cakes, this appetising event will be ideal for those in search of last minute stocking-fillers or simply looking forward to a truly indulgent countdown to Christmas.
5th December 2015 – 3rd January 2016
The 19th edition of Saint-Raphaël’s Festival of Lights is offering an outstanding programme of events this December. Wander along the four-season’s themed ‘path of light’ between the Old Port and Boneparte Garden to admire unique views of the city adorned in fairy light displays; interspersed with huge lit-up figures including a teddy bear and Santa. Opt for a ride on the 33 metre high Ferris Wheel, or watch as the façade of the 19th century Basilica is transformed by an array of light effects played out in time to music from the 19th December. On the 20th, the Promenade des Bains will fill with giant floats that will include dragons and pelicans for the ‘Messengers of Light’ parade, while a Fairground at Place Coullet will offer shows and exhibitions from the 16th December, including a puppet theatre, a tongue-in-cheek ‘Strongest Man in the World’ and museum dedicated to fairy tales.
On the 25th itself, the city centre and seafront will fill with street performers such as acrobats and musicians, while an unmissable countdown to 2016 awaits on the 31st with the ‘Colour Wheel’; an event that involves huge, lit-up fabric covered wheels moving in time to festive music and a firework display at midnight. If all of that wasn’t enough, the city can also boast the chance to see choirs and orchestras perform at seasonal concerts, a comedy theatre production called ‘S.O.S LUTINS’ at the Palais des Congres, and an exhibition of antique toys at the Cultural Centre. With such an impressive line-up of events, some of which are free of charge, a visit to Saint-Raphaël is a must in the Côte d’Azur this December.
With such an exciting range of events, Sainte-Maxime and the scenic towns and cities that surround it can offer a fun-filled December for the whole family.
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