What’s on in France: Ten of the best events in October

What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
Photo: AFP
Don't worry about the shortening days and take part in the outings we've picked out for you this October.
Fête des Vendanges, Montmartre 5-9 October
Wine in Montmartre – something you can't afford to miss. Held every year since 1934, the streets of Paris' most romantic neighbourhood are taken over by a folkloric celebration, to toast to the arrival of the wine made from the quarter's own vineyard. Amongst the festivities are traditional dance shows, food stands, fireworks and even an auction sale for bottles of the celebrated Clos Montmartre wine.
Photo: AFP
Paris Oktoberfest 6-16 October
Didn't make it to Munich's overflowing beer tents? Oktoberfest is back in Paris after its successful launch last year where 15,000 litres of beer were downed by its participants. Tents and bars will be set up in true Munich-style at the Paris Event Centre in the 19th arrondissement, or why not make your way down to Marseille for its first edition from 26th to 30th October.
Photo: AFP
Toqué du Cèpe, Mende 7-9 October
With the entire weekend devoted to ceps, that you may know as penny buns or porcini mushrooms, the town of Mende in southern France organises market stalls, cep-picking outings and countless cooking workshops. In case you don't want to get your hands dirty,  you can sip on local wines and watch the fanfares as you take a slab from the giant omelette.
Photo: Pixabay
24 Heures du Livre, Le Mans 8th and 9th October
This association, of which the name is a spin on the town's world-famous car race, organises one the most important book fairs of the country. Authors will be there to talk you through their latest works with interviews and storytelling included on the agenda.There will also be a large collection of children's books and of course comics, one of France's biggest obsessions.
Fête du Piment 29th and 30th October
Escape the cold weather and head south to the Basque Country to heat up your palate in the annual chilli pepper festival. You'll get the chance to take part in pelote basque, the local sport, as the town which gives its name to the popular Piment d'Espelette showcases its local dance and music. Food stalls will serve up the region's specialities enlivened by the celebrated spice.
Photo: AFP
Festival Musica – 21st September to 8th October
You still have time to catch Strasbourg's internationally-acclaimed Classical music festival and attend performances of the most significant pieces of the 20th century. Tickets can be bought online but there are also free activities and workshops.
Zombie Walk 8th October
Take part in Paris' zombie takeover in your most terrifying costume and join thousands of others in the walk of the living-dead at the Place de la République. A rock'n'roll band and DJs will guide you to the Place des Vosges through a route that will be kept secret until the last minute.
Photo: AFP
Semaine du goût 10th-16th October
During the week of 10th to 16th of October, school canteens to top-notch restaurants will focus on healthy eating throughout France's official food celebration. Towns and villages will be holding events, and participating restaurants offer generous discounts over the week so make sure to look out for what's happening near to you.
Photo: Le Gout.fr
Jazz entre les Deux Tours 1-9 October
The seaside town of La Rochelle organises concerts across different venues to reflect almost all of jazz's genres, inviting musicians of national and international fame. Many of the shows are free and there will also be conferences, photo exhibitions and dinner concerts.
Photo: Rochelle.fr
Festival International des Jardins  – All October
The gardens of the castle of Chaumont-sur-Loire are designed by landscapers from around the world with the aim for them to be at their most beautiful in Autumn. The castles of Amboise, Chenonceau and Blois are also nearby making this the perfect off-peak time to visit the most beautiful castle region of France.
The Chateau de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley. Photo: Joy Weese Moll/Flickr
By James Vasina

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