By the end of May, when drought is such that the grass can no longer feed the sheep and water has become scarce, the sheep begin their long journey towards the high mountain pastures.
Each year, herds of sheep leave Provence. Today carried out by truck, this trip, done by foot in the past, involved more than 10 days of walking.
A traditional and moving fête, dear to the hearts of the Provençal people, the Fête de la Transhumance in Saint Rémy de Provence is without doubt the most famous festival in the south of France, which brings back to life the departure for the high pasture lands.
The programme of the day
Starting at 10.30am, more than 3000 sheep from the Alpilles as well as goats and donkeys, accompanied by their shepherds and sheep dogs, will parade twice around the old town center.
The public can admire close up the rare spectacle of this ocean of sheep.
You can also enjoy a stroll through the small streets of the old town, where shops and art galleries will be open, and visit the flea market, which takes place all day.
The afternoon is given over to a demonstration of the training of sheep dogs on the plateau of the Petite Crau, to the north of Saint Rémy.
Some advice for the public
It is strongly advised to park outside the old town center, in the outlying parking lots and garages. Parking is prohibited that day in the town center to allow for the passing of the sheep. (cars will be towed away).
Otherwise, it is a good idea to arrive in Saint Rémy de Provence around 9am and by 10am find a spot on the boulevard that circles the old town, in particular to the north of the town, towards the Gendarmerie and the Café des Arènes where there is more space.
Transhumance in Saint Rémy - Shepherd and his flock
Traditional festival of transhumance in Saint Remy
Transhumance in Saint Remy - Donkeys
Carriage pulled by donkey
Flock of sheep
Transhumance in Saint Remy - Sheep and goats
Shepherd and his flock
Office de Tourisme de Saint Rémy de Provence - Place Jean Jaurès - 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
+33 (0)4 90 92 05 22http://www.saintremy-de-provence.com