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Bucket list experience:

VIew of the theatre at night filled with people watching a performance

Last updated: 09 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

Begun in 1860, the Choregies d’Orange is the oldest festival in France. Every year the city’s ancient Theatre Antique (with seating for 9,000) hosts a brief but exceptional opera and lyric music programme, starring performers such as Roberto Alagna.

The acoustics are perfect (aided by the installation of a new glass roof over the stage) and the sets, using the huge Roman stage wall, are breathtaking, making for an unforgettable night at the opera – under the stars.

Price from: £30
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
Frequency: annually
When: July-August
Duration: 5 weeks

Getting there & doing it

The main events take place in the Roman theatre, but films, recitals and smaller events are held in the nearby Chapelle Saint-Louis.

Tickets go on sale on the official website in early October the previous year and are posted to buyers up to 15 days before a performance – or held at the office for collection.

Arrive in good time as it can be hard to locate your seat, and bring binoculars or opera glasses as well as a good cushion for the hard seats. Wet weather gear is also an idea.

Toilets are pretty basic, and you’ll need to eat before you go; there are drinks sold during the intermission, but that’s all.

When to do it

The festival runs for 5 weeks, from the second week of July to the first week in August.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Chateau de Massillan

Uchaux, Provence, France[10.8 miles]

A charming 16th-century chateau and spa in rural surrounds just north of Orange – ideal for relaxing in the Provencal sun.

Official star rating:

Le Clos Saint Saourde

Beaumes-de-Venise, Provence, France[19.8 miles]

Unique boutique guesthouse on an 18th-century farm, set in the beautiful wine region of Beaumes-de-Venise.

Official star rating:

La Mirande Hotel

Avignon, Provence, France[20.7 miles]

A magnificent, evocative and aristocratic luxury hotel, right next to Avignon’s Palace of the Popes.

Official star rating:

Hotel d’Europe

Avignon, Provence, France[20.7 miles]

An uber-luxury, boutique hotel set in a 16th-century mansion right in Avignon’s medieval centre. The city’s oldest hotel oozes elegance and class.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Provence, France

Gorgeous landscapes peppered with beautiful villages, sunflowers and lavender, art-filled towns, lively cultural festivals and exquisite food and wine. Provence is everything you imagined it would be.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Les Choregies d’Orange

Orange, Provence, France[0 miles]

France’s oldest festival, featuring exceptional lyrical and opera performances, held in the beautiful, crumbling 1st-century Theatre Antique.

Best for ages: 18+ | £30 | 5 weeks

Provence Wine Region

Provence, France[6.8 miles]

Postcard-perfect vineyards yielding world-famous wines – Provence is the home of the most prestigious Cotes du Rhone wines, including the reds of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, and Beaumes-de-Venise.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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Avignon Festival

Avignon, Provence, France[20.5 miles]

Nearly a thousand shows and exhibitions over three weeks, showcasing world-class drama, music and dance. France’s answer to the UK’s Edinburgh Festival.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free | 3 weeks

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Exterior of the Little Palace Museum

Petit Palais Museum

Avignon, Provence, France[20.4 miles]

Papal Avignon was the centre of the European art for decades, and over 300 works of (mostly) Italian medieval and renaissance paintings and sculptures commissioned by the wealthy prelates of the church, including a Botticelli Madonna, are displayed in this 14th-century palace.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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Pont Romain, Vaison la Romaine, departement Vaucluse, Provence, France


Vaison-la-Romaine, Provence, France[24.3 miles]

In Vaison, north of Avignon, the modern city, the medieval city, and the extensive remains of their Roman predecessor lie jumbled charmingly together. Ruins include four grand mansions, a theatre, a fine museum, and a picturesque bridge that still connects the two parts of the town.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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The exterior facade and entrance of the St Paul de Mausole, a golden stone building


Saint-Remy-de-Provence, Provence, France[40 miles]

The asylum where Van Gogh spent 1888-89 is a masterpiece of Provencal Romanesque, and today specializes, appropriately, in art therapy. His room and reproductions of the paintings he made there are on display, along with temporary exhibitions.

Best for ages: 18+ | £4

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Olive oil tasting at Moulin Castelas

Olive oil tasting at Moulin Castelas

Les Baux-de-Provence, Provence, France[44.4 miles]

In the stunning setting of Les Baux, learn all about Provence’s greeny-golden nectar on these free tastings of these award-winning oils. Open all year-round, but short walks through the olive groves and visits to the mill are also offered from June to September.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free | 2 hours

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