Want to enjoy the unique atmosphere of popular festivals in the South-West? Here are the best ferias to do in New Aquitaine!
- 1. Saint-Vincent-de-Tyrosse
- 2. Mont-de-Marsan (Feasts of the Madeleine)
- 3. Bayonne
- 4. Soustons
- 5. Dax
- 6. Parentis-en-Born
- 7. Winter ferias
Originally, a feria was a traditional bullfighting festival in Spain , Portugal , Latin America and the South of France. Depending on the country and region, the events during the holidays may vary. In the case of the ferias of New Aquitaine, the release of bulls in the streets and the races of Landes cows in the arenas come to liven up the summer.
In the South-West of France, the annual ferias are unmissable events and a good opportunity to party. These local festivals are an integral part of Basque and Landes culture. Bars, called bodegas , take place on every street corner. We sing and dance to the rhythm of the music played by the bandas (fanfares). And above all, we have fun in an atmosphere that is always very festive and friendly, until the end of the night.
Are you planning to head for the South West for your next vacation? Summer and winter alike, the region has some memorable festivals in store for you. So, bring your red or blue scarf, and find our selection of the best ferias to do in New Aquitaine.
The summer ferias in New Aquitaine are the most popular and the busiest. They are held between the beginning of July and the end of August in several towns in the region. Some festayres (people participating in the ferias) wouldn’t miss these summer meetings for anything in the world!
French summer festivals usually start around mid-July, as in the commune of Saint-Vincent-de-Tyrosse, in the Landes. Moreover, the Saint-Vincent-de-Tyrosse feria takes place in the pure tradition of Landes festivals. Red and white are therefore in the spotlight! These are four days of celebrations, punctuated by entertainment, concerts by bandas and parades that await you. Those with a sweet tooth take pleasure in tasting the special menus of the restaurants in the area or taking part in the big picnic in town. The party in the street continues until very late at night, or even until early morning for the most motivated.
Are you traveling with children? A day is entirely dedicated to them so that they can learn about the New Aquitaine feria and its traditions, while having fun!
2. Mont-de-Marsan (Feasts of the Madeleine)
The third week of July, the celebrations continue in New Aquitaine at Mont-de-Marsan. The ferias of Mont-de-Marsan are also called Fêtes de la Madeleine, since they celebrate Mary Magdalene, the patron saint of the city. The handing over of the keys to the city to the youth by the mayor on the steps of the town hall marks the start of the festivities.
For five days, hundreds of thousands of people dressed in white and blue storm the streets of the city. Ferias in the South West of France are usually associated with the color red, as in Spain, but in Mont-de-Marsan, the colors of the city predominate.
On the program for these festive days? Concerts, exhibitions, parades, bullfighting and folklore shows, entertainment (petanque, races, balls, etc.) and meals to share! With fun activities for young and old, the Fêtes de la Madeleine have the reputation of being family friendly.
How can we talk about the ferias in New Aquitaine without referring to the unmissable Fêtes de Bayonne? If Dax lives up to its reputation, Bayonne is quite simply the biggest feria in France. Nearly one and a half million people dress in white and red every year to take part in the Bayonne Festival. The means of transport are then multiplied during this period to facilitate the movement of the participants.
Every year, at the end of July, King Léon, the mascot, receives the keys to the city in front of an audience singing the Pena baïona . This announces the opening of the holidays. Five days of madness followed during which the narrow streets of Bayonne and the banks of the Nive came alive night and day.
Pelota, cow races, bandas, dancing balls… The Basque-Gascon tradition is represented there in all its forms. Thanks to the many activities for everyone, the carnival, brass bands and fireworks, the atmosphere is at its peak. Discover the magic of ferias in the capital of the French Basque Country!
At the beginning of August, it is the turn of the Landes commune of Soustons to organize its festivals. In Soustons, as in Mont-de-Marsan, the dress code is white with a blue scarf.
Smaller but just as friendly, the Feria de Soustons has nothing to envy to those of its neighbours. There is, among other things, a public ball, the famous bandas brass bands, bodegas and street stands where you can order food and drink. The festivities open with the annual sale of merchants and craftsmen of the city, and end in the arenas. The local festivals of Soustons have many surprises in store for you!
The Dax feria, in the Landes , is certainly the liveliest in New Aquitaine. It must be said that it is one of the most famous ferias in France. These patron saint festivals are generally held around August 15. In Dax, we keep our white clothes but we swap our blue scarf for a red one.
During these five intense days, the spa town becomes the scene of musical events (bandas parades, concerts, etc.), sports and folklore. But the watchword of the Dax feria is probably the party! Up to 800,000 participants roam the city, day and night, during all the festivals.
Shuttles and campsites are set up to accommodate them in the best conditions. The inhabitants mingle with the many visitors who come to enjoy the exceptional atmosphere of the Dax feria, open to the greatest number. If you like to party and are looking for the best ferias to do in New Aquitaine, don’t miss this event!
The Feria de Sen Bertomiu, in Parentis-en-Born, is no exception to the region’s traditional festivities. Multiple bandas and bodegas , bullfighting shows and flowery cavalcades punctuate these five days and nights of celebrations. All generations come together to have a good time, in red and white. Family-friendly, accessible and popular, the summer festival of Parentis-en-Born will seduce you in particular for its singularity. Live music is honored throughout the feria!
Wondering what ferias to do in New Aquitaine? Do not miss that of Parentis-en-Born, which takes place in August!
7. Winter ferias
Less known and more recent, the winter ferias have been organized since 2018 by an association wishing to extend the festivities in the region. These new gatherings take place in the major towns of New Aquitaine. Similar to festivals, these major local celebrations enliven these cities during the months of January, February and March.
For the occasion, bars, restaurants and nightclubs in the cities of La Rochelle, Limoges, Royan and Bordeaux open their doors to host the winter ferias. The dress code, white outfit and red scarf, does not change. For three days, these emblematic towns of New Aquitaine vibrate to the rhythm of the songs of the winter festayres .
Entertainment, concerts, competitions and DJ sets are on the program for these cultural events to appeal to young and old alike. Did you know about the summer ferias? Let yourself also be tempted by the winter ferias and the conviviality of these new street festivals!
So, which New Aquitaine feria would you like to take part in?