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10 places to be in France in the run-up to Christmas

With Christmas only just around the corner (OK, so it’s a short time off… but some of these events start quite soon!), here are 10 festive ideas to start getting you in the mood for the festive season in France. Whether you simply wish to take in the aromas of cinnamon whilst browsing the Christmas markets, or hear the dulcet tones of a Christmas choir, there’s something here to give everyone a little festive cheer! In Alsace, head for Strasbourg‘s Christmas market, Christkindelsmarik, the oldest in Europe, from 26th November to 31st December, where there will be live concerts to add to the already buzzing streets. In Auvergne, go to Clermont-Ferrand where you will find small chalets sell local arts and crafts, wines and regional foods. Alongside this is entertainment for children and even Father Christmas’s house! In Burgundy, the market at Saint-Bris-le-Vineux brings together the best food producers in the region from 19th-24th December 2012, along with craftsmen and artists for a gastronomic event. In Languedoc-Roussillon, there will be a Catalan market in Perpignan on 3rd December 2012 with a programme filled with family-friendly activities, as well as an ice rink. In Midi-Pyrénées, visitors can admire the twinkly lights and its Henri IV courtyard garnished with fairy-like decorations in Toulouse from 30th November to 26th December 2012. In Nord-Pas-de-Calais, from 21st November to 30th December 2012, the main square in Lille will be transformed with chalets, a Ferris wheel and an 18 metre-high Christmas tree. In Provence, in the heart of Avignon, the Christmas market will host about fifty craftsmen and merchants in small chalets on the Place de l’Horloge from 24th November 2012 to 1st January 2013. In Rhone-Alps, a magical market in Lyon will put on Christmas music and carol performances along with local food specialties, from 24th November to 30th December 2012. There will also be goings-on in the ski resorts in the Alps. In Les Gets, an enchanted forest will be home to Father Christmas along with pixies, gnomes, elves and other fairytale creatures, whilst in Les Menuires there will be a magical evening with a choreographed torchlight decent by ESF ski instructors, the arrival of Father Christmas and fireworks.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. The holiday season is so festive all over France, even with the quaint decorations in the small villages. Nice goes all out in decorating its main square (Place Massena), along with chalets of artisans selling their specialities. It truly is a great time of the year!

  2. In France, the way of celebrate Christmas varies greatly from one region to another. When that falls in the winter and the days are shorter, the season of Advent brings the serene and unobtrusive light which foreshadows the joy of Christmas. Paris, In winters near christmas, churches and monuments cast a burnished glow, and every corner of every quarter is transformed with its own special enchantment. Christmas in Paris is not be like snowy white, but it’s hard to not be filled with holiday cheer if you’re in Paris on Christmas Time. The City of Lights lives up to its name in a big way and the Eiffel Tower often becomes the focal point of the nighttime skyline with its shimmering lights. Its Beautiful..!!

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