Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Feeling Sheepish? Transhumance is May 20

Monday May 20th, 2013  is the annual Fête de la Transhumance in St. Remy, where local shepherds herd their flocks (roughly 3500 sheep and goats) three times around the village's circular "main drag" before taking them up to graze the green pastures of the Alpilles Mountains for the summer months. Transhumance is considered one of the 100 Prettiest Festivals in France and if you haven't seen it, it's great good fun. (My friend Philippe calls it ''sheep cooking in the streets.'') It starts officially around 10:30 am but arrive by 9:30 to find parking because it gets crowded and the streets are closed off. There's also an all-day flea market on the Place Republique, starting at 9 am. Up at the Plateau de la Crau at noon, there will be sheep-herding demonstrations and food being served. Other villages in Provence have Transhumance festivals as well but St. Remy's is one of the biggest and most popular.  For more info, call 04 90 92 05 22 or click here

Want to party like a shepherd? As in years past, the well-known St. Remy cooking school and country inn called Mas de Cornud will feature a special Transhumance day fête, kicking off at 12:30 with pétanque and pastis, followed by a "repast des bergers" (salade Camarguaise, gigot d'agneau a la broche, riz de Camargue, fromage et dessert). And of course there will be vin a volante--all the local wine you care to drink. Knowing owners David and Nito Carpita, you can expect a fun, international group of guests...and a party sure to go all day. The price is 100€ per person and you can email to reserve.

Thanks once again to Guy Butters for the four top Transhumance photos. You can visit Guy's website here and see more of his wonderful photography here and here. You can also follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. The bottom photo is courtesy of


  1. Love local, cultural events like this - looks like fun!

  2. Many years ago we happened upon a huge flock of sheep crossing the road somewhere in the outskirts of Cavaillon (not too far from St. Remy). There were hundreds of sheep, along with dogs and men on horseback, making their way to, I later learned, their summer pastures. Cars were stopped on either side for quite a while but no one seemed to mind. We were fascinated. I would love to go to this festival! Great photos!

  3. I will be there! So excited. I am taking another group to paint the beauty of Provence and planned to be there for the Transhumance.

  4. I really wish that we could be there but unfortunately we get back to Provence on the 24th. I am hoping that there are other Transhumance fetes in other villages while we are there. If anyone knows of one, please let me know.

  5. Darn--I am working that day. I love the Transhumance!



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