The Jasmine Festival (Fête du Jasmin) is held annually in the town of Grasse and marks the start of the jasmine harvest. The festival is brought to life by flower parades, colourful bands and global street performers, dancers, fireworks, food displays and a beauty pageant.
It occurs this weekend Friday 02 August – Sunday 04 August and I hope you do manage to visit as Grasse does come alive with the smell and celebration of jasmine.
1. The full festival programme is found here http://www.grasse.fr/La-fete-du-Jasmin,1864 (in French only, however it has timings for each day).
2. The centre of Grasse will be mostly pedestrianized for the festival so leave your car at home if you can. The TER trains will be running from Ventimiglia to Grasse (see website www.ter-sncf.com/paca for timetables) and the Lignes Azur NocTam’bus night-buses (line N600) between Cannes and Grasse also running. Bus timetables are found here, open the link for N600 timetable http://www.cg06.fr/search/index.php?mot=n600&mid=7d06733592fb4be5940c3385e61f4916&l=fr Bus fares are purchasable onboard from the bus driver for one euro per person per oneway journey. The train station ticket office at Grasse train station is open Monday-Saturday from 6.15am-8.55pm so if you stay late to watch the fireworks make sure you have coins for your return train fare if you didn’t pre-purchase your ticket from the office – there are 2 automated pay ticket machines at the station open 24 hours.
3. If you have never visited Grasse before and look at a map you could be forgiven for thinking Grasse is flat and walkable. Yes it is walkable BUT Grasse is not flat and you will find many sets of stairs that offer shortcuts. If you take the train to Grasse, don’t attempt to walk from the train station to ‘centre ville’ (Grasse town) yourself. There is a shuttle that goes from the station to centre ville. If you walk, be warned that it’s uphill with lots of stairs, or you take a detour along avenue Pierre Semard from the train station and walk an extra 15 minutes. The shortcut is near the train station – up Traverse de la Gare – a pathway with LOTS of steps.