Flamme olympique France

Olympic Flame: France’s 13 Most Beautiful Cities to See the Flame Pass Through

To the point Discover 13 not-to-be-missed destinations in France where you can watch the Olympic Flame pass through historic cities, iconic sites and enchanting landscapes.
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Amid the excitement of the 2024 Summer Olympics, France‘s cities are getting ready to welcome the Olympic Flame. Not only will the Flame shed its light in Paris on July 14 and 15, celebrating the symbolic days of France’s national holiday, and the Château de Versailles on July 23, it will also make its way across the entire country. From Marseille to Arles, via Carcassonne, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Caen and many others. Each step promises a unique experience, combining history, culture and sport.

Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards are accepted in Paris. However, the Olympic Games have Visa as an official partner.

So if you’re a Canadian traveller planning to visit France for the Olympic Games, Visa credit cards are the only ones accepted by the Official Store and at Paris 2024 Olympic Games venues.

To avoid paying the unpleasant 2.5% conversion fee on all foreign currency transactions, the only Visa credit card in Canada that doesn’t charge it is the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card.

And once you’re back home, use your Scene+ points to reimburse some of your travel expenses such as :

  • Car rental ;
  • Hotels, Airbnb and other accommodations;
  • Flights, etc.

Where to See the Olympic Flame in 2024?

Marseille, May 9

The Olympic Flame begins its journey in the sunshine of Marseilles, on what promises to be a memorable day. Vibrant with its Mediterranean charm, the city of Marseille offers an incomparable backdrop for this sporting celebration. From the majestic Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica to the Palais Longchamp, every step of the way is imbued with the Olympic spirit. But it’s at the Stade de Marseille that the atmosphere becomes electric, as it’s in this emblematic stadium that the Flame’s Marseille journey ends.

Marseille, France

Arles, May 12

Arles, a distinguished city steeped in history and art, offers an exceptional setting off the beaten track to experience the magic of the Olympic Flame. Discover the remains of antiquity at the Musée Arles Antique and in the Roman catacombs. Walk in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh, who left his artistic mark on Arles. Explore the history of Provence at the Musée Arlaten and relive the splendour of the ancient theatre and Roman Arenas. Admire the modernity of the Tour Luma before celebrating on the banks of the Rhône as the sun sets.

Arles, France

Carcassonne, May 16

In Carcassonne, a jewel appreciated by millions of visitors every year, the glow of the Olympic Flame promises to illuminate the ramparts of the medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Follow its enchanting route, from the majestic Canal du Midi to the mythical medieval city, via the Pont-Vieux and the picturesque streets of Bastide Saint-Louis. The festivities reach their climax near the Porte Narbonnaise, an imposing building steeped in history, where the public is invited to celebrate the values of the Games in a spellbinding atmosphere.

Carcassonne, France

Toulouse, May 17

In Toulouse, the pink city is decked out in the playful hues of the Olympics, offering a memorable evening on Friday, May 17. The Flame will begin its journey on the Catalans and Saint-Pierre bridges, before converging on Place du Capitole, the heart of this vibrant city. Under the benevolent gaze of the Saint-Sernin basilica, a symbol of spirituality and heritage, it traces its route to the Ernest-Wallon stadium, a temple for rugby where the enthusiasm of the fans will set the night ablaze.

Toulouse, France

Bordeaux, May 23

In Bordeaux, follow the Flame as it begins its journey over the legendary Pont de Pierre, a truly historical vantage. Then walk along the Garonne to the majestic Porte Cailhau. Cross the Place de la Bourse and discover the Grand Théâtre and Place de la Comédie. Finally, join the Place des Quinconces for unforgettable festivities.

Where to sleep? Moxy Bordeaux

Bordeaux, France

Caen, May 30

As Caen lies in the heart of Normandy, it’s the ideal spot for a holiday on the coast of Normandy. The Olympic Flame will ignite spirits in Hérouville-Saint-Clair, then light up the Abbaye aux Dames park, a regional symbol. Follow its glimmer along the Orne, and seize the opportunity to admire the Leroy Tower and the Gothic church of Saint-Pierre. Journey across the centuries in awe of William the Conqueror’s castle and the Hôtel d’Escoville, to conclude at the Abbaye aux Hommes, a testament to Caen’s heritage.

Caen, France

Mont Saint-Michel, May 31

After Normandy, off to Brittany, with a stopover at Mont Saint-Michel. The Olympic Flame will climb the steep slopes of the thousand-year-old building. It will pass through the lively streets, along the ramparts and stop in front of the famous Poulard restaurant. At the abbey cloister, it will pause for a moment before moving on to the Place du Barrage for what promises to be a memorable celebration.

Where to sleep? Mercure Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel, France

Brest, June 7

Welcome to the heart of Brittany, one of France’s most picturesque regions! The Flame will begin its journey at Océanopolis, one of the world’s most spectacular aquariums, with over 1,000 species on display. It then continues near the Recouvrance bridge and the Tour Tanguy, before heading towards the Château de Brest, home to the Musée National de la Marine. The same evening, in the wake of the celebrations, the Olympic Flame will leave Brest for the French West Indies, headed toward French Polynesia.

Brest, France

Nice, June 18

After crossing the Atlantic, the Olympic Flame returns to the Old Continent, starting its journey in Nice, in the Alpes-Maritimes. It will first illuminate the iconic Promenade des Anglais, then continue its journey to Place Masséna and the Villa Masséna. It will continue on to the verdant “coulée verte” and the Port of Nice, offering magnificent views of the Baie des Anges along the way, it will end its journey at the Quais des États-Unis for an evening full of festivities.

Where to sleep? AC Hotel Nice

Nice, France

Avignon, June 19

After Nice, it’s Avignon’s turn to welcome the Olympic Flame. Discover its dynamic Plaine des Sports with its preserved ramparts and its lively center, home to the famous Place de l’Horloge. Soak up history at the Palais des Papes and the majestic Notre-Dame-des-Doms cathedral. Finally, the mythical Pont d’Avignon awaits you, a symbolic site immortalized in the song that shares its name.

Avignon, France

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, June 23

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, birthplace of the Winter Olympics in 1924, once again welcomes the Olympic Flame. Soak up the atmosphere steeped in history, starting at the Montenvers station, the departure point toward the majestic Mer de Glace. Take the cable car up to the Aiguille du Midi, offering breathtaking panoramic views at 3,842 meters above sea level. Finally, join Place du Mont-Blanc, the vibrant heart of the city, for memorable celebrations bringing together sports enthusiasts and mountain lovers.

Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France

Strasbourg, June 26

The European capital of Strasbourg offers a prestigious setting for celebrating Olympism. Follow the Olympic Flame from the European Parliament to the 13th-century covered bridges, discovering the city’s rich heritage. Cross the Grande Île, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to admire the majestic Notre-Dame Cathedral and explore the Alsatian Museum. Finish in style on Place Kléber, where the final ceremony and the lighting of the cauldron take place, promising memorable moments.

Where to sleep? AC Hotel Strasbourg

Strasbourg, France

Le Havre, July 5

Le Havre, rebuilt after the Second World War and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reveals its charm balanced between modernity and history. Follow the Olympic Flame from the Narrow House to the iconic Town Hall, witness of its renaissance. Explore cultural treasures such as MuMa and Notre-Dame Cathedral, before heading to the Nelson Mandela esplanade for the final celebration.

Le Havre, France

Olympic Flame - Conclusion

From the bustling streets of Marseille to the peaceful shores of Strasbourg, via the majestic peaks of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, each stage of the Torch Relay offers a unique experience combining history, culture and sport. This captivating journey, punctuated by emblematic monuments and enchanting landscapes, illustrates the richness and diversity of France, which is a pleasure to discover.

Will you be at the Paris 2024 Olympics? Read our guides to plan your stay:

Olympic Flame - Frequently Asked Questions

Where will the Olympic Flame be lit in 2024?

The Olympic Flame was lit in Olympia, Greece. Its career began at sea, aboard the Belem, a majestic three-masted ship that crossed the Mediterranean from Athens to Marseille, then the Flame continues across France.

Where will the Olympic Flame pass through France in 2024?

The Olympic Flame travels across France in 2024, passing through iconic cities such as Marseille, Arles, Carcassonne, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Caen, Mont Saint-Michel, Brest, Nice, Avignon, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, Strasbourg and Le Havre, as well as Dijon, Blois, Manosque, Saint-Étienne, Saint-Dizier, Vichy, Rennes, Montpellier, Seine-Saint-Denis, Baule-Escoublac, Meaux, Sables-d’Olonne and many more.

What does the symbol of the Olympic Flame represent?

The first torch of the Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay was lit on April 16, 2024, according to ancient tradition, using a parabolic mirror to create the first Flame with the sun’s rays. Lit during a ceremony in the sanctuary of Olympia, Greece, where the ancient Games were held, it symbolizes the positive values associated with fire and links the ancient Games to the modern ones.

Its route, which begins several months before the Games, takes it through various countries to the host city. Carried mainly by runners, it heralds the Games and promotes peace and friendship between peoples. The Torch Relay ends at the Opening Ceremony, when the last torchbearer lights the cauldron, marking the start of the Olympic Games. The sun’s rays create the first Flame thanks to a parabolic mirror.

When will the Olympic Flame pass through Paris in 2024?

The Olympic Flame will light up Paris on July 14 and 15, the symbolic days of the French national holiday. Moving majestically down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, it will visit iconic sites such as the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou and the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville. The following day, it will explore the central and outlying districts of Paris, highlighting places such as the INSEP, the Sacré-Cœur, the Arc de Triomphe and the Buttes Chaumont park. It will return on July 26, a few hours before the opening ceremony.

Who will carry the Olympic Flame?

In all, 11,000 torchbearers were chosen from tens of thousands of volunteers to take part in the torch relay. However, it was 33-year-old swimmer Florent Manaudou who was the first carrier. He received the Olympic Flame in Marseille’s Vieux-Port as he stepped off the Belem.

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