The 7 Best Ferias In France You Should Attend

Are you looking to discover the traditional summer festivals typical of the South of France? No problem, discover the 7 best ferias in France!

A feria traditionally refers to a bullfighting festival in Spain, Portugal, or Latin America. You can also enjoy it in France, especially in the Midi. 

We come to the party to hear “bandas,” small orchestras playing music. You can enjoy tapas and alcohol (in moderation!) in the “bodegas,” these bistros installed on every street corner.

You can admire the participants ‘ courage during bull releases, bullfights, or Landes or Camargue races. In short, there is something for everyone! 

Nîmes, Béziers, Bayonne, Mont-de-Marsan, Arles… If you are in the south of France during the summer, there is no doubt that a feria takes place not far from you. Why not allow yourself to participate in these tremendous festive gatherings?

Is it difficult to choose between countless votive festivals, bullfighting fairs, or traditional French agricultural festivals? Here is a selection of the best ferias in France, selected by Travelvibe!

The 7 Best Ferias In France You Should Attend

1. Mont-de-Marsan

Best Ferias In France You Should Attend

It is rather lovely, the Feria of Mont-de-Marsan! As one of the most family-friendly festivals in France, it is also called “Fêtes de la Madeleine.” This name honors Saint Mary Magdalene, the patron saint of Landes.

Organized in July, we come to taste tapas and aperitifs between two bullfights. These are held in the city’s bullring, to the delight of bullfighting enthusiasts. The modest town of Mont-de-Marsan can accommodate up to 500,000 people a year during its fair.

Far from the delusional or even decadent image of big ferias, it is good to come with the family. Animations are planned for young and old, and fun contests are organized daily. If you are passing through the region, discover one of the best ferias in France!

2. Parentis-en-Born

Very close to Biscarosse, Parentis-en-Born is a little town in the Landes. Its summer festival, the Sen Bertomiu fair, is one of the best ferias in France. 

Festivals like this one are famous for their festive and joyous sides. We come to attend spectacular Landes races, bullfights, and parades of floats! Gourmets will delight in the local specialties offered on every street corner. 

The most daring will try to escape the bulls during the encierro, the others being content to admire them.

The bandas punctuate the festivities and ensure a warm atmosphere at this feria that has become a must. The participants, dressed in red and white clothes, sometimes come far away to enjoy this unique festival. 

It is still accessible and is known as one of the most peaceful places, so we suggest taking your family there. Many parents take advantage of the trip to introduce the spirit of the ferias to their children! Would you like to join them?

3. Dax

Dax’s reputation precedes it: we are talking about one of the liveliest fairs in France! Dax is a pretty spa town located in the Landes department, with many ferias. 

The Dax festivals occur during August in the bullring and the city center. Bullfights, bull races, concerts, shows, and parades of bandas await you day and night. 

And this, for five days where sleep may be lacking! The Dax fair is one of the largest and best ferias in France. It is not necessarily only aimed at a family audience but also at young people wishing to party. And there are many, the revelers, between 500,000 and 800,000 per year.

The Dax festivals provide buses, shuttles, campsites, and city services particularly well organized. Enough to feast cheerfully until the night’s end and without taking the head.

4. Bayonne

It’s pretty simple: we’re talking about the largest feria in France. For four days, nearly a million and a half people come to enjoy the Bayonne fair! There is only one step to saying that it is one of the best fairs in France. 

It will be up to you to cross it, by going there at the end of July. Every year, for five days, countless fayres – revelers – stroll through the alleys of BayonnDuring the festivities, King Leon, the mascot of the ferias, receives the keys to the city.

Festival-goers parade happily between typical attractions and tapas bars. They come to laugh, drink and dance to the sound of bandas in a unique atmosphere. 

Imagine yourself in the middle of a human tide in white and red colors: that’s the Bayonne fair! To recharge your batteries, no problem: many rest areas are scattered throughout the city. 

There is no doubt they will be welcomed since the fair is in full swing at this excessive event.

5. Arles

Arlesians appreciate ferias so much that they have decided to organize two each year. In the town of Bouches-du-Rhône (the largest in France), it was necessary to satisfy festival-goers. 

The first Feriae takes place at Easter, and it is a large gathering dedicated to bullfighting. We are shivering in front of the bulls in the Roman amphitheater, transformed into an arena for the occasion. 

The latter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hosts two bullfights a day. Once out, abrivado, encierro, and parades of brass bands await the curious.

The second major event, the Rice Fair, takes place in mid-September. This festival is very important in this terroir where rice cultivation is an institution. Here again, aficionados come to discover the unique cultural heritage of this city in the south of France. 

There are bullfights, horse races, and special events combining concerts and fashion shows. Will this extraordinary experience tempt you?

6. Nimes

Nîmes is the prefecture of Gard, a Roman city historically attached to its customs and traditions. As in Arles, two ferias are organized each year, only a few kilometers away. 

The first lasts six days and occurs at Pentecost; the second takes place in September and lasts three days. The city is unique in that it organizes its ferias as a carnival around the town’s boulevards.

On the menu: concerts, jousting on the canal, mass in Provençal, Bandidos, parades, and bullfights. As well as good humor, paellas, and aperitifs, bodegas punctuate the festival-goers’ journeys!

The Feria des Vendanges is traditionally considered more family-friendly. Moreover, Wednesday (opening day) is nicknamed “the children’s fair.” 

Attractions are specially dedicated to the little ones. The next day, the Pégoulade, a huge parade of floats and riders, opens the official festival. And this, to the delight of many amateurs who came to enjoy one of the best ferias in France.

7. Béziers

The Béziers fair takes place every year in mid-August. In this purely southern territory, amateurs are expected to come prepared. Nearly a million of them have been flocking to the capital of Biterrois since 1968. 

Here again, bodegas and bandas punctuate the wanderings of aficionados who no longer know where to give head! The feria de Béziers attracts many Catalans, deprived of bullfights since their ban in Catalonia.

If she is one of the best ferias in France, she also knows how to mix genres skillfully. Whether you are interested in Camargue races, bullfights, cultural heritage, family walks, or aperitifs… whatever you like, you will be welcome at one of the most charming and authentic traditional festivals.

Easily accessible, the heroes of an evening, bullfighters or others, will share their passion with you over a drink. And to recover from your emotions, what could be better than a succulent plate of tapas? 

The extraordinary culinary heritage of the South of France is just waiting to make you discover its wonders!


Alfred is the author behind the Travelvibe travel blog and is always searching for the quieter, less-visited corners of the world.

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