Olympic Torch Relay route
Drawn up working closely with the territories involved in the Relay, and its official partners –
Coca-Cola, Banques Populaires and Caisses d’Épargne – the Olympic Torch Relay route will be an epic journey across France over more than two months. From 8 May 2024, the Olympic Torch Relay will showcase France’s beauty and diversity, its history and exceptional landscapes, and its know-how, traditions and talents.
The Torch Relay is an outstanding tradition that takes us back to the roots of the Games. The first torch for the Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay will be lit on 16 April 2024, following the ancient tradition, by the sun’s rays, during a ceremony held in the sanctuary of Olympia, in Greece, where the ancient Games were held. From the Peloponnese, the Olympic Flame will head to Athens to board the Belem and cross the Mediterranean Sea. On 8 May 2024, in Marseille, the Olympic Flame will embark on its epic journey across France.
Showcasing the History of France and the people behind it
The epic Torch Relay will offer a deep dive into the History of France. It will build links between different eras, highlighting exceptional sites that contributed to France’s reputation and influence during each major period in its History.
The Flame will travel to the Lascaux caves, the Alésia archaeological site, the medieval city of Carcassonne, the Palace of Versailles, and many other sites. It will light up architectural masterpieces such as churches and abbeys, starting off with the most well-known site of Mont Saint-Michel. Other highlights will include the châteaux of the Loire Valley, along with the most renowned palaces, lighthouses, bridges, viaducts and arenas. To honour the History of France, the Flame will also visit places of remembrance, such as the Verdun Memorial and the Landing Beaches.
The Torch Relay will be an opportunity to pay tribute to the memory of the people who marked the country’s History. Along its route, the Relay will highlight iconic French figures who continue to inspire and contribute to our country’s influence and reputation: Joan of Arc in Orléans, Robert Schuman in Scy-Chazelles and Charles de Gaulle in Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises.
Showcasing natural heritage
The Torch Relay is a unique opportunity to showcase France’s most beautiful landscapes. From Mont Canigou to the Verdon regional natural park, Île aux Moines island and the Mont-Blanc valley, the banks of the River Loire and the many national parks, forests and lakes, the Flame will pass through the exceptional landscapes that France is famous for. It will climb the summits, such as the Pic du Midi de Bigorre, and follow magnificent coastlines.
The route will also include the seas and oceans: to reach France from Greece, the Flame will cross the Mediterranean on board the Belem, the majestic three-masted ship owned by the Caisse d’Epargne Belem foundation. It will cross the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific as part of the “Oceans Relay” to reach five overseas territories: Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, French Polynesia and Reunion Island.
Showcasing French know-how and creativity
The Torch Relay will showcase all those who are committed to running businesses, showing audacity, embodying French know-how and maintaining traditions.
The Flame will pass through the most prestigious vineyards, from Saint-Emilion to Chablis and Layon, and turn the spotlight on the various regions and their renowned gastronomy. The Millau Viaduct, an outstanding example of civil engineering, will also be crossed by the Flame, which will travel a further 7,000km to the Kourou space centre, a symbol of French and European excellence in the aerospace sector. Recognising the engineers, entrepreneurs and craftspeople who enable French creativity and expertise to radiate out around the world.
An integral part of France’s identity and History, culture in all its forms will be celebrated during these 68 days of Relays. The Flame will visit a number of museums, from the Cité internationale de la langue française to the comic arts museum and the Louvre-Lens.
Culture also means live shows: the Flame will pass by the Puy du Fou, go to the heart of the arenas in Arles, and climb the steps of the Palais des Festivals in Cannes. Music will also be at the heart of the Torch Relay, with eight concerts organised by Coca-Cola®, one of the Torch Relay sponsors.
Showcasing the vitality of sport in all territories
By paving the way for the Games, the Forerunners Relay will highlight how sport has such an important position in the hearts of French people: from sport for well-being to high-level competition, the Relay will celebrate participation in sport in all its forms.
Along the route, the federations and clubs will create collective Relays that showcase their sports, from surfing the waves off Biarritz or Teahupo’o to ascending Mont Ventoux, one of cycling’s most iconic climbs. The Torch Relay will also be an opportunity to celebrate iconic places illustrating all the emotions of sport and legendary venues, such as Marseille Stadium and Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium in Saint-Etienne.
Covering a wide range of sports, the Flame will also try a bit of tennis, visiting the Simonne-Mathieu court at Roland-Garros. The Torch will cross the Atlantic on board one of the world’s fastest yachts, the Maxi Banque Populaire XI. Lastly, throughout France, it will showcase the venues that will be staging events during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, such as the Olympic Aquatics Centre in Saint-Denis or Yves-du-Manoir Stadium in Colombes. What a programme!
The other exceptional sites and cities that the Flame will pass through will be revealed by the territories involved in the Relay this summer, then published on the Paris 2024 site.