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The best New Year's Eve events across France

The Local · 30 Dec 2015, 12:08

Published: 28 Dec 2015 12:08 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Dec 2015 12:08 GMT+01:00

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1. A ski resort

Ringing in the new year at a French ski resort is definitely worth considering. Not only do you get to hit the slopes, but many resorts offer entertainment from fireworks to circus performers to make New Year’s Eve truly unforgettable.

The Courchevel resort has a four-day New Year’s event starting on December 28th and featuring theatre, music and dance shows. The celebrations culminate in the New Year's Eve party and fireworks display. 

Tignes hosts an open air nightclub and an evening of acrobatics performed by the famous Canadian Cirque Éloize.

And many other ski resorts including Val d’Isère, Val Thorens and La Plagne also have lots in store to mark the end of the year.

2. A midnight grape harvest, Viella, south-western France

Tucked away in the Midi-Pyrénées region, the town of Viella celebrates the beginning of the New Year a little differently, with a festival called Les Vendanges du Pacherenc de la St-Sylvestre.

After an evening mass and torchlight procession, you can take part in the late night grape harvest, which has been a tradition in the town for several years. 

3. Cannes Dance Fire, Cannes

There will be plenty of fireworks shows taking place all over France, but one of the most exciting displays will be in Cannes on the French Riviera. The pyrotechnical show, Cannes Dance Fire, is famous across the country, and an added bonus is that in the south of France, you won't freeze while watching the outdoor display. 

4. Réveillon dinner, across France

Don’t worry if you haven’t got an invitation to a big Réveillon dinner - you'll still have the opportunity to indulge in the traditional mix of tasty treats including oysters, smoked salmon or foie gras.

Most restaurants serve up special menus on New Year’s Eve. Make sure to take a look around so you can find the best offer, and book early to secure a spot.

Want more info on classic French winter dishes? Click here

The top ten heartiest French winter dishes

5. La Grande Parade, Deauville, Normandy

Dancers, singers, acrobats, and musicians will come together to perform an opera inspired by the romantic atmosphere of the city. Expect elaborate costumes, confetti, balloons, fireworks, and a dazzling finale will definitely make for an unforgettable last day of the year.

The spectacle starts at 5.30 pm and ends at 6.45 pm.

6. Swim in the sea, Brittany

For a memorable celebration, join the brave men and women of Plérin in Brittany when they jump into the freezing cold sea on the last day of the year for what is known as 'Bain Saint Silvestre' (New Year's bath). The event takes place at 10:30 at the Grand Plage.

There will be music, food, and more importantly, hot drinks on offer to help you regain your strength and bring up your body temperature after the chilly dip.

7. New Year Concert, Lyon

Lyon's traditional New Year’s concert takes place again this year at the Opéra de Lyon, with performances of Johann Strauss, Franz Lehár and Jacques Offenbach from the opera's orchestra and soloists.

The concert is followed by a dinner composed of typical French New Year’s Eve treats like oysters, foie gras and, of course, champagne.  

Alternatively, head to Lyon's amphitheatre for a night of Russian-themed songs, ballet and other dancing.

8. Spend the night in a cave, Lombrives, south-western France

Story continues below…

Spend New Year’s Eve in Europe’s largest cave in Lombrives in south-western France. Speleology aficionado or not, this evening will not disappoint you.

Welcome cocktails will be followed by an hour-long tour of the cave, a concert in the Salle de la Cathédrale (which is as big as Notre Dame de Paris). As 2015 draws to a close, you'll feast on French delicacies and dance into the early hours of the morning.

9. Murder Mystery, Monteneuf, Brittany

Sherlock Holmes fans and wannabe detectives will definitely enjoy the concept behind a Soirée Cluedo. A troupe of actors will introduce the story to you, leaving you with the mission of unmasking the murderer before dawn.

The night might be a bit pricey (169€ per person) but it will give you access to over 800 board games till 5am and a gastronomic dinner. 

10. Paris

Paris regularly ranks as one of the best cities in the world to spend New Year’s Eve in, and with good reason. This year however, celebrations will be more subdued in the wake of November's terrorist attacks. 

scaled-back version of the traditional New Year gathering - but still France's biggest public event since the attacks - will be held on the Champs-Elysées and the Champs de Mars under the Eiffel Tower. 

Low-key Paris New Year party gets the go-ahead

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