Experience the magic of Christmas on the Côte d’Azur
As the end-of-year festivities approach, from the pre-Alps to the Mediterranean, the entire Côte d’Azur lights up. The Nativity figures are out, the Provencal deserts are emanating their sweet aromas and the traditional songs ring out from the Garrigue to the avenues of Nice. Even though the summits are covered in white, and the beaches are emptying, those on the Côte d’Azur enjoy the winter calm to showcase their secular traditions. Between celebration and sharing, nature and culture, dive into the festive and magic atmosphere of Christmas on the Côte d’Azur.
5 good reasons to celebrate Christmas on the Côte d'Azur
Weave your way through the Christmas market stalls
While in summer sun-drenched fruit and vegetables reign supreme over the markets, in winter, the stalls give place to local traditions. Come as a family and discover them on the market stalls.
The burning sun has bowed out, the fruits are candied, and the Nativity scenes are set up in every town and village square. Now it is the wood fires that, just like the Yule log, heat up all of Provence. Between the wooden chalets and illuminated decorations, the age-old customs of the Côte d’Azur endure. Processions, carols and traditional beats combine with fireworks and Christmas attractions. Like a summary of Provence, the Christmas markets plunge you into this unique atmosphere betwixt modernity and ancient traditions.
From the main streets of the towns to the steep alleys of the villages, on the Côte d’Azur the melodies ring out at Christmas.
Follow the sound of the tambourins [Provencal drums]. They lead you to the heart of the village, where dances, stage performances and traditional processions are in full swing. When the year comes to a close, the people of the Côte d’Azur put on their Sunday best and parade through their towns during events such as pastoral music sessions, advent festivals or the Yule log ceremony.
An ode to Provencal culture, every Côte d’Azur custom is revealed during these celebrations. Attend one of these spectacles and continue these age-old traditions, alongside the inhabitants of Provence.
Taste the flavours of a Provencal Christmas
The culinary traditions of Provence make Christmas rhyme with abundance. Do you like Côte d’Azur summer recipes? You’re going to love the winter specials! In a region where tasty treasures abound, these surf and turf products enhance the festivities. And as for New Year’s Eve, the tables on the Côte d’Azur are adorned in their most beautiful cloths in order to welcome the traditional dishes of the Gros Souper [traditional Yule log celebration feast] and the Thirteen desserts. Full of legend, these gourmet ceremonies originate from Bible scenes. Three candles for the Trinity, thirteen desserts reminiscent of the Last Supper and a major place given to charity… These coded meals are a heritage and a matter of pride for all Côte d’Azur inhabitants. Taste these refined recipes for yourself. Showcasing both Provencal culture and local flavours, they delight every palate.
Explore a miniature Provence
At Christmas, the villages of the Côte d’Azur shrink and the characters that normally animate the streets are found nestled in small Nativity scenes: the Nativity figures.
In every village, set off to admire the most beautiful regional works and start your own collection. A true standard of Provencal Christmases, these colourful figurines represent scenes from life in times gone by.
From the miller to the mayor, from the Wise men to the farandole dancers, this incredible skill has gone beyond the borders of the Côte d’Azur.
Part of an intangible cultural heritage, this tradition is a true homage paid to the rich history of Provence.
Among these villages, Lucéram invites you every year to explore its crèche circuit.
Our accommodation for the end-of-year festivities
Immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of Christmas in Provence, in one of our accommodation choices. Beside the Mediterranean, to enjoy the mildness of a Côte d’Azur winter, or under the pre-Alpine summits, the region has so much to offer at this time of year. Take part in the festivities, stroll through the Christmas markets and enjoy a few traditional dishes. The discovery of local culture and customs awaits you when you spend the end of the year on the Côte d’Azur.