Traditional Festivals in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez

The Gulf of Saint-Tropez takes pride in its history and Provençal heritage, which are celebrated throughout the year. By a fortunate coincidence, numerous festivals (« fêtes ») are celebrated in the month of June. Here are a few of them.

June 15 : la Bravade des Espagnols in Saint-Tropez

Copyright Ville de Saint-Tropez

A Bit of History: In 1618, the Thirty Years’ War broke out. However, it was only in 1635 that France declared war against the Habsburgs (Spain and Austria), and the Spanish offensive did not take long to come.

The defense of Saint-Tropez in the event of an attack was organized jointly by the military authority and the council of the community…

On June 15, 1637, twenty-one Spanish galleys entered the gulf and headed towards Saint-Tropez with the intention of destroying four royal vessels that had come to the port for repairs. The battle lasted for three hours and ended in the defeat of the Spanish, who were unable to sink the ships of the French King. Aware of the significance of this battle, the people of Saint-Tropez, on July 12, 1637, decided in a community council meeting « to thank Almighty God for the grace and favor He granted us on the fifteenth day of last June morning, for giving us the strength to defend ourselves against the attack by twenty-one Spanish galleys, which fought against us for about three hours. Therefore, the council requests that it be decided that from now on, on that day, a celebration will be held in this place, including a general procession as an act of gratitude… »

Friday, June 23rd: Saint-John’s bonfire in Grimaud

Copyright Cyril Carpentier

Join the traditional Saint John’s procession!

It will start from the square in front of the town hall at 6:00 p.m., carrying the flame to the Chapel of Notre-Dame de la Queste, where the mass will be celebrated at 7:30 p.m. This ceremony will be an opportunity to bless the bundles of wood and ignite the Saint John’s fire. This Provençal evening will conclude with a sardinade, a traditional dish from Mediterranean regions, offered to all residents of Grimaud by the Town Hall!

Saturday, June 24 : Saint-John’s Day in Rayol-Canadel sur Mer

The Festival Committee of Rayol Canadel sur Mer invites you to a barbecue evening, with only drinks at your charge and available at affordable prices!

The program includes performances of songs and dances by the children from Lou Calen School. Afterward, both young and old can try to climb to the top of the greasy poles to catch surprises. Additionally, everyone will have the opportunity to attempt jumping over the Saint John’s bonfire!

The theater company Théâtre du Lézard will provide musical entertainment for this evening, symbolizing the celebration of the summer solstice.

P.S: It is said that jumping over the fire ensures lovers that their love will last throughout the year.

Saturday, June 24 : Saint-John’s Day in Sainte-Maxime

Copyright : Office du Tourisme de Sainte-Maxime

The Feast of Saint John is an iconic celebration, originally pagan, and it is duly celebrated in Sainte-Maxime. Saint John’s Day represents the celebration of the summer solstice! In other words, the arrival of the summer season, which occurs on June 21st.

Did you know? Saint John’s Day derives from the sun worship that has been celebrated since ancient times! So, no time to waste! Let’s celebrate the sun, summer, and life in Sainte-Maxime with the folk group « Leï Magnoti » and the « Fifres et Tambours » who will bring rhythm to this colorful evening!

Provisional program:

  • 8:30 p.m.: Free distribution of lanterns to children on the square in front of the Town Hall.
  • 9:00 p.m.: Arrival of the flame from Mount Canigou, authorities’ speeches followed by a lantern procession in the city center.
  • 9:45 p.m.: Arrival of the procession at the Magnoti Square, traditional dances followed by the grand Saint John’s bonfire on Luc Provensal Beach (city center).
  • 10:30 p.m.: Fireworks over the sea.
  • 10:40 p.m.: Ball at the Théâtre de la Mer.

The lantern parade is a lovely ceremony in which children accompany the procession, each carrying a lantern in their hands. Have your children participate in the lantern parade of Sainte-Maxime: Limited number of places, mandatory registration from June 1st to June 22nd through the website

Sunday, June 25 : The Windmill Feast in Grimaud

Copyright Cyril Carpentier

At the end of June, the celebration is in full swing around the Saint-Roch Windmill. During a morning, come and discover the history of the mill, and see how wheat used to be threshed.

A lovely festival in the company of our beautiful and peaceful mill: demonstrations, folk dances, a mini-farm, ponies, carriage rides… A wonderful family day!

The celebration is in full swing around the Saint-Roch Windmill. During a morning, come and discover the history of the mill, and see how wheat used to be threshed. Taste the freshly baked bread, thanks to the Escolo deï Sambro, who enlivens this morning.

It’s also an opportunity to understand the functioning of windmills or watermills, thanks to heritage guides. The little Saint-Roch chapel is also open on this occasion. There are also folk dances by the Escandihado group and the Tambourinaires de Provence.

  • Wheat threshing demonstration, bread making, and tasting
  • Continuous visits to the Saint-Roch Mill
  • Mini farm
  • Pony rides
  • Aperitif

Thursday, June 29 : Saint-Peter’s Day in Sainte-Maxime

Copyright Ville de Sainte-Maxime

In accordance with tradition, our local fishermen will honor Saint Peter, the Patron Saint of fishermen, on June 29th. To end the evening on a flavorful note, there’s nothing better than a Sardinade… Accompanied by the famous « guinguette » evening!

Provisional program:

  • 6:30 p.m.: Mass at the Church
  • 7:00 p.m.: Procession through the old town from the Church to the pier of the Capitainerie
  • 7:45 p.m.: Procession at sea and blessing of the boats
  • 8:15 p.m.: Continuation of the procession from the Capitainerie to the Magnoti Square
  • 8:30 p.m.: Traditional dances by the folk group Leï Magnoti and lighting of the « Pointu » (traditional fishing boat) on Luc Provensal Beach in the city center
  • 9:00 p.m.: « Guinguette » evening and Sardinade (sardine barbecue) on the Olivier Bausset pier

Reservations and ticketing for the Sardinade are available at the Tourist Office or online. 3 sardines for €5, 6 sardines for €9. Dress code: Striped sailor shirts.

Thursday, June 29 : Saint-Peter’s Day in Saint-Tropez

Copyright Ville de Saint-Tropez

As is customary, the Friends of the Bravade and the fishermen of Saint-Tropez will celebrate Saint Peter, the patron saint of fishermen and seafarers.

  • 9:15 p.m.: Gathering in front of the parish church for the torchlight procession through the old town.
  • 10:30 p.m.: Parish church, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Sources :
– Grimaud
– Rayol-Canadel sur Mer
– Sainte-Maxime
– Saint-Tropez