Summer Events 2021

What’s on for Summer 2021

Continuing with our Bel-Air Gites and Charente-Maritime Events Diary, we are moving into the sensational summer months. There is always a fantastic and varied calendar of events for locals and visitors to the region from July to September. Adults and children of all ages will find something to entertain them in the Charente-Maritime.

Let’s get started

First up is July. The weather in the region is hot but not stifling. When you’re at Bel-Air if it gets too hot for you or the kids then you can take a cool dip in the pool, or step into our amazing play barn. If you are out and about then there are several indoor events that you might be interested in.

July in La Rochelle – a month of films, music and song. This historic port town plays host to several festivals in the summer. It’s buzzing with keen film-goers, musicians and singers. During the International Film Festival there is a high-quality programme of events, including some open-air screenings. It’s a gathering for films, filmmakers, actors, professionals, the press and the public.

If music is more your thing then check out the ‘Francofolies festival‘. The music programme runs for 5 days from Saturday 10th July to Wednesday 14th in a variety of open air concerts, churches and theatres. If you can’t make it next year, don’t worry. This festival has been running since 1984 and has a fantastic following.

Summer Events 2021 – La Rochelle Francofolies

French National Day

Celebrated everywhere in France on July 14th, outside of France it’s commonly known as Bastille Day. It was a little subdued in 2020, but we’re expecting bigger and better events for 2021, so don’t miss out. Celebrations take place in most towns in France, and dinners and military ceremonies during the day, and firework displays at night.


tour de france summer events 2021

Tour de France

Another major event impacted by COVID-19, Le Tour was postponed from July to late August in 2020. It will no doubt be the biggest of the summer events 2021 with an estimated 10 million spectators of all ages gather by the roadside to cheer on the racers. In 2020 some of the stages were right on the doorstep of Bel-Air Gites, but sadly we didn’t attend. Next year, stages 19 and 20 are the closest, about 90 minutes drive away at Libourne and Saint Emilion.

Book now for Summer 2021

So if you are planning your next family holiday look no further than Bel-Air family friendly gites in the Charente-Maritime. Get in touch now to check prices and availability because we are booking up fast. We look forward to welcoming you and your family and friends to Bel-Air Gites.

Bastille Day Celebrations

La fète nationale

Known and celebrated in other countries as Bastille Day, in France the 14th July is called ‘La fète nationale‘, which literally means National Day. It’s a public holiday and a day off for most of the population, including schools and businesses. There are large-scale public events, such as the military parade in Paris, and there are also lots of communal events – dances, parties and fireworks.

So why does everyone call it Bastille Day, and what is the significance of this date in French history?

French Revolution

The Bastille is a medieval fortress and prison in Paris. The French National Day on July 14th is the anniversary of Storming of the Bastille in 1789.

Paris had become a scene of unrest and hostility. Crowds gathered outside the Bastille demanding the release of prisoners, and the removal of the cannons, rifles and gunpowder. Negotiations dragged on and rioting broke out. When gunfire started the crowd turned into a violent, angry mob. After several hours of fighting, Governor de Launay surrendered and the fortress liberated at 5.30 pm that evening.

The Storming of the Bastille is recognised as a pivotal event at the start of the French Revolution.

French Planes flying in formation
Image credit – Sergii Bozhko on Unsplash.com

The ‘Fête de la Fédération‘ held on July 14, 1790 celebrated the changes brought about the revolution. In 1880 a politician called Benjamin Raspail, proposed that July 14 should become a holiday in France. The law passed and ‘Bastille Day’ became a public holiday for the first time on July 14, 1880.

Join in the festivities

At Bel-Air Gites, July is one of our busiest months, so it’s not always possible for us to go out and celebrate. We do encourage our visitors to take part in the festivities though. For the more spectacular ones, it’s better to drive out to La Rochelle, Royan or Cognac. Although these towns have larger crowds, they also have bigger firework displays and more activities.

Man playing the violin

In La Rochelle, for example, they celebrate France’s National Day with a variety of activities. There are food markets and live music, and after dark there is a firework display at the port.

There is a large military parade in Paris in the morning of July 14. Service men and women, the French Navy and the French Foreign Legion all participate in the parade. Military aircraft fly over and the French president gives a speech and reviews the troops. Thousands of people line the route all day.

glass of cognac

Other people spend the day with family and close friends. They eat a celebratory meal or picnic, and raise a glass or two of wine. Instead of wine, maybe a glass of cognac or the local Pineau de Charente

At Bel-Air Gites I think you can guess what we prefer.

We wish you were here.

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