Le Beaujolais Nouveau est Arrivé

posted by William Armstrong 3rd December 2012

I woke up yesterday to the first snow of the winter. Although it’s only a thin blanket which covers the ground it's accompanied by a cold grey skies; winter has arrived. It’s in sharp contrast to a couple of weeks ago when the Beaujolais Nouveau festivities took place in mild autumn conditions. Each year the Beaujolais Nouveau is released on the third Thursday of November and is preceded and followed by a number local celebrations.

I am based on the edge of Villefranche sur Saone which is the capital of the Beaujolais, which has enabled High Point Holidays to become the specialist walking holiday company in the Beaujolais and surrounding areas of France, with some of our guided and independent walking holidays including wine tasting.

On the Saturday which follows the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau, Villefranche sur Saone and the surrounding villages plays host to the Beaujolais Marathon, as well also fun runs of various distances. At the same time the town's high street has a number of the local cave co-operatives giving away free glasses of their Beaujolais Nouveau. The festivities also includes marching bands, singers and artists, plus stalls selling pancakes and other snacks. I enjoyed a pleasant afternoon with the family, welcoming friends who had participated in the runs and, of course, trying the Beaujolais Nouveau. Both the festivities and the marathon attracts a growing number of tourists from around the world.


Another local event, which takes place this coming week is the International light festival in Lyon.  From 6 – 9 December the city of Lyon will be decorated by a number of art and light installations and the buildings will come alive with projected light displays. For the last fifteen years, Lyon has been hosting a world famous international light festival, which has become one of the city’s main attractions. Inspired by a religious celebration which started in 1852, the city is awash with lights for 4 days in early December. Buildings and monuments are illuminated and exhibitions of all shapes and sizes decorate the town with colour. The whole show is free and attracts visitors from the four corners of the globe. Lyon is a great place to take a city break which you can add to the beginning or end of one of our French walking holidays. Hopefully, weather permitting I will get to visit the festival and will be able to update soon.

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