France is a year-round vacation spot, with numerous sights and causes to go to all year long. I’ve visited the nation extra occasions than I can bear in mind, in the entire seasons. Nonetheless, the most effective time to go to France will depend on a number of components.
Firstly and most significantly, when deciding when to journey to France, that you must think about what it’s that you just need to do there.
Should you’d wish to benefit from the nation’s world-class ski resorts, you’re finest off visiting within the winter; whereas if you happen to’d want to spend time stress-free on France’s beautiful Mediterranean seashores, you could need to come when it’s just a little hotter.
Total (exterior of the mountains), the summer season months are likely to coincide with the height vacationer season, when lodging and different prices are highest and crowds are at their worst. Should you’re seeking to go to France on a funds, it could be a good suggestion to journey exterior of those months.
Total Finest Time to Go to France
In my view, Could or September are the most effective occasions to go to France.
With its different panorama and in depth shoreline, France has a formidable vary of climates starting from dry and scorching Mediterranean within the south to moist and temperate within the north.
Nonetheless, wherever you might be in France, the climate is mostly a lot better in summer season than in winter.
Given the elevated costs and crowds of the height summer season season (June-August), personally, my favourite time to go to France is both within the late spring (Could) or early autumn (September).
Temperatures are nonetheless prone to be heat however there can be far fewer crowds and you may typically safe reductions on lodging.
Except I’m coming to France for winter sports activities, I normally keep away from visiting throughout the winter months. Temperatures can get fairly chilly, it rains rather a lot, and you may’t benefit from the stunning surroundings or the wonderful out of doors cafe tradition in the identical approach.
Peak Season in France (June – August)
The height season for tourism in France runs from June to August.
That is normally when the climate is at its finest, with lengthy, heat days, and plenty of weeks of uninterrupted sunshine. Nonetheless, together with the nice climate, this era additionally attracts a lot bigger crowds.
This time of yr is well-liked with each worldwide vacationers and home holidaymakers, and the nation’s finest sights are usually filled with vacationers.
Moreover, inns and different lodging can get costly throughout this time, with costs typically being as much as twice as excessive as they’re in off-season. Should you’re touring then, it’s finest to e book issues as early as attainable.
Regardless of if you go to France, there’ll doubtless be some sort of competition or occasion going down. Bastille Day (La Fête Nationale) is France’s nationwide vacation, held on July 14 yearly and marked by fireworks, avenue parades, and different occasions.
The Tour de France bike race is normally held throughout the summer season, inflicting highway closures in sure elements of the nation. Village, city, and metropolis events are additionally widespread all through the summer season months.
Shoulder Season in France (April – Could and September – October)
The most effective time to go to France for funds vacationers is throughout the shoulder season, which runs from April-Could and September-October.
The climate is usually nonetheless fairly good right now of yr and you may count on loads of sunshine, particularly in September.
Moreover, lodging costs are sometimes decrease than throughout peak season, and the crowds are usually smaller in any respect however the preferred sights.
Festivals held throughout these months embrace the Cannes Movie Competition in Could and the Paris Marathon in April.
Off Season in France (November – March)
The low season in France runs from November to March, when temperatures are sometimes chilly and moist.
Other than ski resorts (that are significantly busy from December by way of February), most locations obtain their lowest numbers of holiday makers. Some sights and inns shut down altogether.
It may be attainable to attain rock-bottom costs on lodging throughout the winter months. Nonetheless, personally, I are likely to keep away from touring throughout this era because the climate is usually a bit miserable and there isn’t a lot to do.
When to Go to France For Seashores
July and August are well-liked months for seaside holidays, with the most effective climate, longest days, and warmest temperatures.
Among the finest seaside locations in France embrace the French Riviera (often known as the Cote d’Azur), Biarritz, the Médoc Pure Regional Park, and the gorgeous French Mediterranean island of Corsica.
These locations all take pleasure in day by day temperatures from 25-30 levels Celsius all through the summer season. Nonetheless, the principle draw back is that they’ll get just a little crowded.
One in every of my favourite seashores to flee the summer season crowds is Plage Sud, within the Médoc. At 14 kilometers lengthy, it’s actually huge, so you may all the time discover a personal spot to your self among the many gentle golden sand and towering dunes.
Should you’re into snorkeling, the Mediterranean sea is normally warmest in August and September, because it’s had the entire summer season to heat up!
When to Go to France For Festivals
The most effective time to go to France for festivals is throughout the late spring and summer season months.
Throughout this era, a few of the finest festivals to attend embrace Bastille Day (July 14), the Cannes Movie Competition (Could), and the Carcassonne Competition of latest music, theatre, and dance (July).
Throughout every of those festivals, you’ll discover vibrant avenue parades, fireworks shows, and different cultural occasions. You’ll be able to count on temperatures to vary from 20-30 levels Celsius all through these months.
When to Go to France For Cities
It is a barely difficult query to reply as, once more, it largely will depend on what you need to do and see.
Total, I believe the most effective time to journey to France for sightseeing in its many fantastic cities is throughout both Could or September when temperatures are comfy, costs are reasonable, and there are fewer crowds.
Among the finest cities to go to throughout these months embrace Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, and Good.
When to Go to France For Historic Websites
France is dwelling to a few of the most spectacular castles, historic ruins, and different historic websites in Europe. If I needed to choose the most effective time to go to France for seeing historic websites, I’d most likely go along with late spring or early autumn.
A couple of of the most effective locations value visiting embrace the Carcassonne Citadel (a fairytale Thirteenth-century fortress metropolis), Mont Saint-Michel (a similarly-fairytale-like island monastery), and the Pont du Gard (an incredible 2,000-year-old historic Roman aqueduct bridge).
There are professionals and cons of visiting these locations at every time of yr. For instance, whereas they appear extremely picturesque and exquisite within the snow, within the spring and summer season the climate is extra nice and the times are for much longer for exploring.
When to Go to France For Wine
Fortunately, you may take pleasure in incredible wine in France any time of yr! There are various wonderful wine areas all through France, a few of the most well-known being Burgundy, Champagne, and Bordeaux.
Most French winemakers harvest their grapes round September, so that is most likely the most effective time of yr to go to France if you happen to’re all in favour of visiting a winery and watching the masters at work.
When you have time, I extremely suggest doing a wine-tasting tour throughout your time in France.
You will have many to select from, however a few of the finest ones embrace this wine and cheese-tasting lunch in Paris, this Moët & Chandon champagne tour, and this Bordeaux winery tour in Saint-Émilion (the area that produces a few of my favourite French crimson wines).
When to Go to France For Low-cost Costs
The bottom costs in France are sometimes discovered throughout the winter months. Nonetheless, as a result of that is very a lot low season, you’ll discover that many locations are shut and there isn’t a lot to do in a few of the smaller locations.
A great compromise if you happen to’re trying to economize is to go to at both finish of the shoulder season, so in both April or October, when extra locations are open and the climate is a bit higher. It’s typically nonetheless attainable to make appreciable financial savings on lodging, airfares, and different journey bills in these months.
When to Go to France For Climbing
Spring and autumn are normally essentially the most nice occasions for climbing. It’s heat however not too scorching, the paths aren’t too crowded, and there are fewer bugs. Temperatures usually vary from 12-22 levels Celsius, splendid for an extended hike.
A few of my favourite hikes in France embrace the 13-kilometer Blanc-Martel path within the Gorges du Verdon, Provence, the hike to the highest of the Brèche de Roland go within the Pyrenees, and the Chemin Des Muletiers which climbs to the summit of the Puy de Dôme, an iconic volcano within the Auvergne area.
Vanoise Nationwide Park within the Alps can also be completely beautiful. It’s a skier’s paradise within the winter, however as soon as the snow has melted there are lots of wonderful trails to discover.
The Finest Time to Go to France By Month
As I discussed above, the most effective time to journey to France largely will depend on what it’s you propose to do there.
Right here I’ve damaged down what every month of the yr is like, together with the climate and what there’s to do, that will help you determine when to go to France.
France in January
January is arguably the worst time to go to France, until you’re coming for snowboarding and different winter sports activities.
Climate in France in January
The climate in France in January is normally chilly and moist, the times are quick and the nights are lengthy.
Temperatures vary from 0-10 levels Celsius on common, and it’s widespread to have rain, mist, and thick clouds for days on finish. Snow is pretty widespread, particularly in upland and inland areas.
The most effective locations to go to in France in January are the Alps and the Pyrenees mountains, the place thick snow provides to the spectacular surroundings.
Issues To Do in France in January
The most effective issues to do in France in January embrace snowboarding, snowboarding, and different winter sports activities.
Should you do end up in one in all France’s main cities throughout January, this will also be a very good time to discover indoor sights resembling museums and galleries. These locations are sometimes at their least crowded in January.
France in February
February continues to be a chilly month however it’s barely higher than January, with extra sunshine and longer days.
Climate in France in February
The climate in France in February is normally chilly and dry, with temperatures starting from 4-12 levels Celsius. It’s usually cooler and wetter within the north, and coastal areas typically have milder temperatures too.
Should you’re touring to France in February, I like to recommend both visiting the mountains (as per January), or the southeast which tends to be barely hotter and drier than the remainder of the nation.
Issues To Do in France in February
Whereas it’s probably not heat sufficient for a lot of out of doors actions, there are nonetheless loads of issues to do in France in February.
You might take pleasure in a crowd-free metropolis break, or shock your beloved with a romantic Valentine’s Day journey. Don’t simply suppose Paris although: Bordeaux, Toulouse, and Marseille are all nice, and less expensive.
Once more, snowboarding and snowboarding are highly regarded actions in February as properly. Costs are usually just a little decrease too in contrast with December and January.
France in March
March sees the primary indicators of spring in France, and there are lots of extra issues to do.
Climate in France in March
The climate in France in March is far milder than the 2 earlier months, with temperatures starting from 8-17 levels Celsius. It’s additionally lots sunnier and extra nice.
Rainfall is extra widespread than in February although, so it’s a good suggestion to pack some waterproofs if you happen to plan to spend any time open air.
The south of France is especially good right now of yr: Cote d’Azur cities like Good, Cannes and Saint Tropez take pleasure in loads of sunshine and the mildest temperatures.
Issues To Do in France in March
March is a good time to go to France if you happen to’re on the lookout for out of doors actions. Climbing, biking, and water sports activities resembling kayaking are all well-liked within the spring months.
It’s additionally an awesome month for meals lovers. March marks the start of France’s spring mushroom season, and eating places all around the nation put together seasonal dishes showcasing native chanterelles, morels, and different tasty varieties.
Lastly, if you happen to’re on the lookout for a discount, March is a good time to seek out offers on flights and lodging as properly. It’s nonetheless a really quiet month for tourism in France, so costs may be considerably decrease than throughout the late spring and summer season.
France in April
April is a colourful month in France, with blooming flowers, longer days, and hotter temperatures.
Climate in France in April
The climate in France in April is usually nice, particularly within the south of the nation, with temperatures starting from 10-20 levels Celsius. You’ll be able to count on loads of sunshine and blue skies all through the month.
There’s much more rain in April although, so that is value making an allowance for if you happen to’re eager to do any out of doors actions.
My favourite place to go to in France in April is Provence. This area is understood for its beautiful landscapes and vibrant colours, that are finest seen throughout the spring months.
Issues To Do in France in April
So long as you’re not delay by a little bit of rain, April is a good month to go to France if you happen to’re on the lookout for an out of doors journey. Biking is a well-liked exercise right now of yr, as are water sports activities like canoeing and kayaking.
By way of cultural actions, April will also be a very good time to go to a few of France’s beautiful medieval cities and cities, which can be adorned with spring flowers and far quieter than throughout the summer season months.
France in Could
Could in France marks the beginning of summer season, with nice temperatures and loads of sunshine.
Climate in France in Could
The climate in France in Could is delicate and nice, with temperatures starting from 16-24 levels Celsius. It’s additionally sunny, particularly within the south of the nation.
Could tends to be drier than March or April, and the times are lengthy however not too scorching, making this one other nice month for out of doors actions.
Issues To Do in France in Could
Should you’re a fan of climbing, Could is likely one of the finest months for this (together with September). France has 8 nationwide parks and plenty of different areas of pure magnificence, with hundreds of kilometers of well-maintained climbing trails so that you can take pleasure in.
Cannes hosts its well-known annual Movie Competition every Could and the town actually comes alive throughout this month, making it a good time to go to.
Alternatively, head over to the Loire Valley for some sightseeing and wine tasting. This area is called the “Backyard of France” and it’s finest seen in Could when the whole lot is in bloom.
France in June
The height vacationer season in France begins in mid-June, and plenty of locations begin to get busy from then onwards.
Nonetheless, the crowds (and costs) are usually smaller in June than in July or August. Due to this fact, if you want to plan a visit throughout the summer season, I like to recommend June as the most effective month to go to France.
Climate in France in June
June is usually top-of-the-line months for climate in France. Within the south, it’s normally sunny and temperatures can attain as much as 28 levels Celsius, whereas within the north temperatures are milder however nonetheless heat sufficient for out of doors actions.
Rainfall is comparatively low throughout this month, making it a good time for each out of doors adventures and metropolis breaks.
Issues To Do in France in June
Among the finest issues to do in France in June is to go to one of many many unimaginable seashores alongside the Atlantic or Mediterranean coasts. The climate is normally heat sufficient for sunbathing, swimming, and different seaside actions.
Should you’re on the lookout for a extra cultural expertise, June is an effective time to discover a few of France’s best-known historic landmarks and monuments. There are many occasions going down right now of yr, together with artwork exhibitions, music festivals, and gastronomic festivals.
June can also be the beginning of the lavender season in Provence. The hillsides flip purple and the air is gentle with the scent of lavender – it’s actually beautiful. One in every of my favourite locations to go to in Provence to see that is the picturesque little medieval city of Tourtour.
France in July
By July, the height summer season vacationer season is in full swing. Faculties are off for the summer season and many individuals select to take their summer season vacation this month, resulting in elevated costs and crowds.
Climate in France in July
July is normally the most well liked month of the yr in France, with temperatures recurrently exceeding 30 levels Celsius in lots of elements of the nation. The south, particularly, can get extremely popular – typically reaching 40 levels for days on finish.
The times are lengthy and sunny, making this a very good time for out of doors actions resembling swimming and alfresco eating. Rainfall can also be low throughout July, so it’s not prone to spoil your vacation plans.
Issues To Do in France in July
Should you do need to go to France in July, I like to recommend avoiding the preferred vacationer websites (particularly in Paris). As a substitute, head to one of many nation’s less-visited areas, such because the central a part of the nation, the northeast, or Corsica.
The most effective factor to do in France in July is to reap the benefits of the great climate and luxuriate in some out of doors actions. Head to the seaside for a spot of sunbathing, swimming or water sports activities.
Should you’re in France on July 14th – Bastille Day, the nationwide vacation – you’re in for a deal with! All around the nation, there are avenue parades, events, fireworks, and different festivities to take pleasure in. July additionally marks the beginning of the Paris Jazz Competition, which celebrates jazz music from throughout the globe.
France in August
August is one other busy month for tourism in France. Costs and crowds are likely to peak throughout this month, so be sure you e book your journey properly upfront if you happen to plan to go to then.
Climate in France in August
The climate tends to be related in August as in July, though the evenings are normally just a little cooler and the solar units earlier. You may need to pack an additional layer to placed on after dinner.
August is a good month to go to the northwest French area of Brittany. As a result of its northern maritime location, this space is cool and moist for a lot of the yr, however normally enjoys its finest climate in August.
Issues To Do in France in August
August generally is a nice time to go to Paris so long as you’re keen to courageous the crowds and better costs. Town is heat and buzzing with exercise throughout this month, and also you’ll discover loads of attention-grabbing occasions going down.
Should you’re a eager surfer, head to Biarritz within the far southeastern nook of the nation, near the border with Spain. This little city is a world-famous surf spot identified for its common and highly effective Atlantic swell.
For one thing a bit extra relaxed, rent a motorcycle and take a leisurely journey alongside a bit of the Canal du Midi, a 240-kilometer canal in southern France that passes by way of stunning and different surroundings.
France in September
September is one in all my favourite months to go to France.
Climate in France in September
All through September, temperatures begin to settle down, though the southern half of the nation tends to remain pleasantly heat till not less than the top of the month.
September is likely one of the finest months to go to the French Riviera. It’s a lot much less crowded and normally cheaper in contrast with the summer season, and the ocean continues to be heat sufficient to swim and snorkel comfortably.
That is additionally a very good time to go to a lot of France’s beautiful nationwide parks, gardens, and wine areas with out having to fret about it being too scorching or too chilly.
Issues To Do in France in September
September is one other nice month for climbing in France. I went climbing within the breathtaking Vanoise Nationwide Park within the Alps in September this yr and it was good.
Should you’re craving some adrenaline, there are a number of locations all through the nation identified for his or her wonderful white-water rafting, such because the Ardèche river close to Lyon. It is a nice rafting tour close to Châteauroux-Les-Alpes.
Additionally, September is likely one of the finest months to go wine tasting in France. The grape harvest takes place throughout this time, so many vineyards open their doorways and invite guests to participate within the festivities.
France in October
October is autumn time in France and the colourful fall colours are one in all my favourite issues about this month.
Climate in France in October
October is normally fairly a bit cooler than September, with temperatures starting from 8-15°C throughout the day and dropping to round 4-7°C at evening. Rainfall tends to extend because the month progresses, however you may nonetheless count on loads of sunshine.
At larger altitudes, resembling within the Alps or Pyrenees, there’s typically snowfall right now of the yr.
Issues To Do in France in October
October is a superb time for strolling and mountain biking, now that the climate is cooler and the crowds have dispersed a bit. You’ll discover loads of picturesque trails like these within the Vercors Regional Nature Park close to Grenoble.
October can also be one other nice time to pattern a few of France’s finest wines. You’ll be able to go to lots of the finest wineries in areas like Bordeaux and Burgundy, the place you’ll discover wonderful alternatives for wine tastings and excursions.
France in November
Because the temperatures begin to cool and there’s extra rain, November is the right time to bundle up and benefit from the beautiful autumn colours, and even some snow within the larger altitudes.
Climate in France in November
November temperatures all through France can vary between 5-12°C throughout the day and drop to round 0-4°C at evening. Rainfall can also be fairly widespread in November so it’s finest to carry an umbrella or raincoat with you if you happen to’re exploring open air.
Issues To Do in France in November
November is an effective month for low-cost sightseeing in cities like Paris that are normally a lot much less crowded. You gained’t be assured good climate, however you’ll get to take pleasure in a few of the nation’s best-known landmarks principally to your self.
November can also be a good time of yr for having fun with warming French delicacies. Go to one of many nation’s many conventional bistros and pattern some traditional autumnal dishes like coq au vin, beef bourguignon, or steak frites.
France in December
Regardless of the poor climate, December in France is a festive and atmospheric time to go to. The nation is filled with vacation cheer, as Christmas decorations line the streets and conventional markets spring to life in main cities.
Climate in France in December
The climate in France in December is normally lower than splendid. Days are quick, it’s chilly and it rains lots.
Nonetheless, temperatures have a tendency to stay above freezing throughout the day, starting from 2-8°C. In larger altitudes resembling within the Alps or Pyrenees, you may count on heavy snowfall.
Issues To Do in France in December
Regardless of the chilly and moist climate, there are nonetheless loads of issues to do in France in December.
A go to to one of many nation’s conventional Christmas markets is a must-do for any customer. You’ll discover festive stalls full of native crafts, festive treats, mulled wine, and extra. Among the finest ones are discovered within the jap cities of Strasbourg and Colmar, however there are additionally loads of others, in Paris, Lyon, and different cities.
Should you’re on the lookout for a winter wonderland, head as much as the upper altitudes just like the Alps and Pyrenees the place you may take pleasure in snowboarding, snowboarding, and magical walks by way of the snowy panorama.
Should you’re seeking to escape the colder temperatures, head right down to the south of France – cities like Marseille, Good and Montpellier are usually extra temperate right now of yr.
Every month presents one thing totally different and thrilling, so there isn’t actually a “incorrect” time to go to France. Whether or not you’re on the lookout for a romantic getaway, a culture-filled vacation, or an action-packed out of doors journey, you’ll you should definitely have an exquisite time exploring this stunning place.
Personally, I believe the most effective time to go to France is September. Nonetheless, it’s an awesome nation to go to all yr spherical.