Grenoble In August: Festivals and Fun!

summer fest telegraph dot co ukIf you have been surviving the heat wave in France, you are probably longing for a holiday in the mountains! Well the Isère region surrounding Grenoble has plenty to offer in terms of altitude and an escape from the city, yes even in the midst of August doldrums!

To start with, there are no less than five festivals you can attend in the month of August, and that’s not even mentioning the dozen or so music festivals that took place in July! There is something each week to get you moving, dancing, discovering and enjoying the French Alps during summer. Check it out!


5 August Festivals in Isère:

  • Begin the month in the village of Mens, just south of Grenoble in the beautiful hills of Trièves. This little day trip, about an hour and a half each way by car from Grenoble, will take your breath away with the spectacular vistas and views of mountains and valleys. Their annual summer music festival Mens Alors! goes from August 3-8 and has music of all kinds, poetry, theatre, art, and a village ball—there is something happening from morning til night for the entire week!


  • The following week you can head up to the top of the Vercors for a little hike and some excellent concerts at the Musique en Vercors festival, mainly focused on classical music. Lasting through August 21st, the festival includes several concerts for free, one each evening in a different village. Discover the quaint villages of Autrans, Villard-de-Lans, Meaudre, Corrençon-en-Vercors, St-Julien-en-Vercors as well as their cathedrals where several of the concerts are held. A must for true music lovers!


  • For those who don’t have a car or just can’t make it out of town, all is not lost! From August 19-29 you can enjoy the Festival de le Cours du Vieux Temple, right in the heart of Grenoble’s center.  Located a few steps from the Notre Dame tram stop, this festival dedicated to theater, music and poetry has more than 15 open air performances planned for kid and adults, including music ranging from rock to Mexican songs. This year’s theme: Zorro! How fun is that?!


  • And let’s not forget one of Grenoble’s most prestigious music festivals, Festival Berlioz. If you haven’t noticed the statue of Hector Berlioz in Place Victor Hugo, he’s the one looking down thoughtfully at the pigeons! A classical composer who is best known for his contributions to orchestra music, he is celebrated from August 20-30 in various towns in the region. It’s the perfect time to visit places like Vienne, La Côte Saint-André, Laffrey, Voiron, the cathedral at Saint-Hugues de Chartreuse and the cours at the Chateau Louis XI, for some world renowned classical musicians and amazing music.


  • And for book lovers, you are not forgotten! The weekend of August 21-23 the Vercors villages of St. Nizier du Moucherotte and Villard de Lans welcomes once again those intellectuals out there who deserve their own festival, for sure! Poetry and prose readings, meetings with authors, bookshop tours, and yes even music are on the program for this mountain-top experience! Most of the events are free, and the rest are very affordable. But the most interesting thing, and you (or your kids) can take part, is the writing contest they are holding! It’s open to everyone and the deadline is August 10th, so check out the rules and get to writing!


        Whether you plan to go away for holiday, to another country to just down the road, there is always a lot of interesting things to see and do in France, and around Grenoble in particular. I hope you’ll take the time to enjoy some of the activities planned for you in the month of August!


Have you been to any of these festivals? How did you like it?

Do you have any other ideas or tips for Grenoble in August?

Did you attend any other festivals in the region in June or July?

We love to read your comments below!



April is an e-marketing specialist, English instructor and freelance writer living in Grenoble, France.

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