When is the Best Time to Visit France?

Find the best time to go to France with our guide for when to visit this beautiful country.

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Best time to visit

When is the best time to visit France? Whether you travel in autumn, winter, summer or spring, there is a destination for you. And even the places you might think are best in one season, are delightful in another. In large, the country’s climate is Mediterranean in the south and more like the UK further north towards the Channel. Then, you’ve got the beautiful Alps, snowy and ideal for skiing in the winter, and lush and green in the summer.

Spring in France is full of picturesque rolling hills filled with wildflowers and can bring the best weather in France – not too hot and not too cold. April showers occur on occasion, but it is nothing an umbrella cannot handle. Spring and summer are especially lovely in the South of France, while the colours of the French countryside come into their own in autumn. This time of year is also fantastic for sightseeing, with fewer crowds and sunny days often into October and November.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about the weather in France, to make the most of your time in this beautiful country.

Our Experts Say...

"The best time to visit France depends on the specific region you plan to explore as the country offers diverse climates and attractions throughout the year. Paris is best in the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is generally mild, between 10°C to 20°C pleasant for walks and sightseeing and also less crowded. The French Riviera is great for the summer (June to August) with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C, perfect for beach holidays and exploring the coastal towns. You can also catch the Grand Prix in Monaco end of May. If you wish to catch the lavender blooms, mid-June to mid-July is a perfect time to visit Provence. The French coutryside and wine regions is best visited in Autumn when the weather is usually mild and the vibrant fall colours add an extra touch to the picturesque landscapes. It's also harvest season or what is called vendagne, offering opportunites to participate in wine tours and tastings. Overall, France is a year round destination with something unique to offer in every season."

Ria Santamaria, Europe Specialist

Monthly Climate Guide for France

, France

Average temperatures (Celsius) and rainfall (mm)

Jan
19°C 16mm
Feb
20°C 12mm
Mar
25°C 9mm
Apr
28°C 7mm
May
29°C 6mm
Jun
35°C 6mm
Jul
35°C 4mm
Aug
35°C 4mm
Sep
33°C 5mm
Oct
27°C 7mm
Nov
21°C 17mm
Dec
17°C 15mm
Jan
12°C 12mm
Feb
14°C 10mm
Mar
19°C 8mm
Apr
24°C 9mm
May
26°C 9mm
Jun
33°C 7mm
Jul
34°C 5mm
Aug
34°C 7mm
Sep
30°C 6mm
Oct
23°C 11mm
Nov
18°C 14mm
Dec
13°C 11mm
Jan
10°C 15mm
Feb
12°C 9mm
Mar
17°C 15mm
Apr
21°C 12mm
May
24°C 21mm
Jun
31°C 16mm
Jul
31°C 16mm
Aug
31°C 14mm
Sep
27°C 12mm
Oct
20°C 16mm
Nov
16°C 17mm
Dec
11°C 14mm
Jan
13°C 6mm
Feb
14°C 16mm
Mar
19°C 8mm
Apr
23°C 5mm
May
26°C 6mm
Jun
32°C 5mm
Jul
34°C 5mm
Aug
34°C 5mm
Sep
28°C 4mm
Oct
22°C 5mm
Nov
17°C 5mm
Dec
14°C 5mm
Jan
13°C 8mm
Feb
16°C 6mm
Mar
19°C 8mm
Apr
23°C 9mm
May
26°C 10mm
Jun
32°C 8mm
Jul
33°C 8mm
Aug
33°C 8mm
Sep
29°C 7mm
Oct
23°C 10mm
Nov
18°C 12mm
Dec
13°C 8mm
Jan
13°C 8mm
Feb
16°C 6mm
Mar
19°C 8mm
Apr
23°C 9mm
May
26°C 10mm
Jun
32°C 8mm
Jul
33°C 8mm
Aug
33°C 8mm
Sep
29°C 7mm
Oct
23°C 10mm
Nov
18°C 12mm
Dec
13°C 8mm
Jan
14°C 8mm
Feb
16°C 7mm
Mar
20°C 6mm
Apr
25°C 7mm
May
27°C 8mm
Jun
34°C 6mm
Jul
35°C 3mm
Aug
36°C 5mm
Sep
31°C 4mm
Oct
24°C 8mm
Nov
18°C 8mm
Dec
15°C 8mm
Jan
14°C 8mm
Feb
16°C 10mm
Mar
20°C 9mm
Apr
24°C 10mm
May
28°C 9mm
Jun
34°C 6mm
Jul
34°C 8mm
Aug
34°C 7mm
Sep
30°C 8mm
Oct
24°C 9mm
Nov
19°C 12mm
Dec
14°C 8mm
Jan
10°C 15mm
Feb
12°C 9mm
Mar
17°C 15mm
Apr
21°C 12mm
May
24°C 21mm
Jun
31°C 16mm
Jul
31°C 16mm
Aug
31°C 14mm
Sep
27°C 12mm
Oct
20°C 16mm
Nov
16°C 17mm
Dec
11°C 14mm
Jan
17°C 9mm
Feb
16°C 24mm
Mar
20°C 10mm
Apr
22°C 10mm
May
26°C 6mm
Jun
31°C 8mm
Jul
31°C 3mm
Aug
32°C 3mm
Sep
29°C 5mm
Oct
25°C 10mm
Nov
20°C 19mm
Dec
17°C 11mm
Jan
13°C 8mm
Feb
16°C 6mm
Mar
19°C 8mm
Apr
23°C 9mm
May
26°C 10mm
Jun
32°C 8mm
Jul
33°C 8mm
Aug
33°C 8mm
Sep
29°C 7mm
Oct
23°C 10mm
Nov
18°C 12mm
Dec
13°C 8mm
Jan
13°C 8mm
Feb
14°C 9mm
Mar
18°C 8mm
Apr
23°C 7mm
May
24°C 5mm
Jun
30°C 5mm
Jul
31°C 3mm
Aug
31°C 6mm
Sep
27°C 5mm
Oct
22°C 7mm
Nov
17°C 9mm
Dec
14°C 7mm
Jan
13°C 8mm
Feb
14°C 9mm
Mar
19°C 9mm
Apr
25°C 7mm
May
26°C 12mm
Jun
32°C 9mm
Jul
34°C 6mm
Aug
34°C 10mm
Sep
28°C 8mm
Oct
23°C 9mm
Nov
17°C 10mm
Dec
14°C 9mm
Jan
16°C 7mm
Feb
18°C 6mm
Mar
21°C 5mm
Apr
25°C 6mm
May
28°C 3mm
Jun
35°C 4mm
Jul
35°C 5mm
Aug
36°C 2mm
Sep
32°C 4mm
Oct
26°C 6mm
Nov
22°C 11mm
Dec
17°C 7mm
Jan
15°C 4mm
Feb
16°C 6mm
Mar
21°C 10mm
Apr
25°C 11mm
May
28°C 15mm
Jun
33°C 11mm
Jul
34°C 7mm
Aug
34°C 8mm
Sep
30°C 6mm
Oct
24°C 9mm
Nov
18°C 12mm
Dec
14°C 5mm
Jan
15°C 4mm
Feb
16°C 6mm
Mar
21°C 10mm
Apr
25°C 11mm
May
28°C 15mm
Jun
33°C 11mm
Jul
34°C 7mm
Aug
34°C 8mm
Sep
30°C 6mm
Oct
24°C 9mm
Nov
18°C 12mm
Dec
14°C 5mm
Jan
13°C 8mm
Feb
16°C 6mm
Mar
19°C 8mm
Apr
23°C 9mm
May
26°C 10mm
Jun
32°C 8mm
Jul
33°C 8mm
Aug
33°C 8mm
Sep
29°C 7mm
Oct
23°C 10mm
Nov
18°C 12mm
Dec
13°C 8mm

France has four distinct seasons. Spring (March to May) brings warm temperatures that are between 17˚ C and 28˚ C and longer daylight hours. It's the best time to travel to France if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the beautiful coastal and countryside landscapes when they’re at their best.

Summer (June to August) is the peak tourist season. Days are hot and sunny, with average temperatures over 30˚ C making it the best weather in France for outdoor activities and exploring the beaches. However, this is also the busiest time, so be prepared for crowds and higher prices.

In autumn (September to November) temperatures start to drop in the evenings, while the days can still bring beautiful blue skies and golden sunshine. It’s a quieter time of year to visit the most popular sightseeing destinations and is when the wine regions are at their best.

Winter (December to February) brings colder temperatures, especially in the northern regions and the Alps. It’s a great time to ski in some of the lower resorts when you’re most likely to get fresh powder, while ski resorts at higher altitudes will have good snow from December to April. February half-term is the busiest time of year for ski resorts, so if you can avoid the school holidays, you’ll get better deals and quieter mountains in January and March.

France’s Seasonal Highlights

Discover the charm of France through the seasons, each offering unique experiences and breathtaking sights. Whether you're drawn to the vibrant colours of spring, the sunny allure of summer, the picturesque landscapes of autumn, or the cosy charm of winter, France presents an array of options tailored to every traveller's preference.

Best Times to Go to France for…

Outdoor Activities

France is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy hiking, skiing, or water sports, there are plenty of destinations to choose from. The French Alps are perfect for skiing and snowboarding from December to March, while in spring and summer (May to August) the mountains make way for hikers and cyclists, as well as adventure activities like canyoning, abseiling and white-water rafting. If water sports and beach activities are what you're after, the coastal regions of France are perfect for you, when the summer months, from June to August, are the best time to go to France to enjoy activities such as swimming, surfing, sailing, and paddleboarding. Whether you prefer the glamorous beaches of the French Riviera or the rugged coastlines of Biarritz, you'll find plenty of opportunities to be on the water.

Exploring Different Regions

The best time to travel to France and explore its different regions is between May and October, avoiding public holidays like Easter, when the roads become busy. Late spring, summer, and early autumn are when France has the least rainfall and longer, sunny days for exploring all the charming villages, historic sights, and beautiful coastlines you’ll come across. As a country, France is easy to travel around, either by self-drive, chauffeur or train. You can get to most places in a day. If you want to see the best that France has to offer, embark on our Grand Tour, which takes you to Champagne, Paris, Bordeaux, Aix en Provence, Provence, Cannes, Côte d'Azur and Monaco on a 20-day adventure. Meanwhile, combining Provence and the Alps in July is the perfect time to see the two different regions in their full glory.

Sightseeing

Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the best times to go to France for sightseeing. This is when there are fewer tourists and so the most popular sights are less busy. One of the best times of year to visit Paris is in spring, so you can make the most of walking around the city without worrying about rain or tripping over too many people. Meanwhile, the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is home to over 300 castles all rich with history is also at its best in spring or autumn, when the gardens are flourishing or have turned into a beautiful blanket of orange and red.

Food & Wine

There’s never a bad time for food and wine in France. However, each season offers something different for a gourmand. In winter, embrace the cosy restaurants, Christmas markets and hearty foods like fondue in the Alps or boeuf bourguignon in Burgundy. Winter is also when you’ll find the Fête de la Truffe in the Dordogne when you can feast on the much-lauded black truffle in January. In the summer, the focus is seafood, particularly oysters, with the Fêtes de l’Huître in sea-faring towns starting in July and feasts of the shellfish going on all summer long. While in August, the top Champagne houses open their doors and offer free tastings. September in France sees the arrival of the Taste of Paris at the Grand Palais, during which a vast collection of French food products, regional cuisines and cooking styles are showcased. While in November, it’s all about wine with celebrations and festivals taking place in Beaujolais and Beaune in Burgundy.

 

Meet Our France Experts

Ria Santamaria

Europe Specialist

As a former banker married to a finance executive, I know full well that every holiday time is incredibly precious. I learned to plan my holidays to maximize every experience, create bonding moments with our two sons wherein we could discover the world and its myriad cultures together. I grew up in Manila, raised my family in Singapore and spent a three-year post in London.

Best Time to Visit France FAQs

Get an insider’s take on the best time to visit France with your frequently asked questions, answered by our France travel specialists.

  • What are the tourist seasons in France?

    The peak tourist seasons in France are summer (July and August) in the South of France and coastal regions, and Christmas holidays, February, and March in the Alps.

  • When is the best time to visit France and Spain?

    The best time to go to France and Spain depends on the activities you want to take part in. For skiing in the Alps or Pyrenees, you’d want to go in winter or spring. To spend time on the coast, go in the spring or summer. While if you are looking to road trip around France and Spain, you’re best going in spring or autumn, when the temperatures aren’t so hot, and the roads aren’t as busy with tourists. Overall, the best months to visit France and Spain are May and September, when you still get the best of the weather, without peak season crowds. Speak to a Scott Dunn travel specialist about your requirements and they can advise on the best time of year to visit France and Spain for you.

  • When is the best time to visit France and Italy?

    The best time to visit France and Italy together is spring, summer and autumn. However, avoiding the school summer holidays – July and August – will allow you to see the best sights, get the best deals on accommodation and flights, and the best spots on the beaches. If you’re looking to road trip around France or Italy, or to travel between the two countries, Scott Dunn can organise smooth transfers with trusted drivers and guides, as well as give advice on the best self-drive routes.

  • When is the best time to visit France and Switzerland?

    If you’re looking to ski in France and Switzerland, the best time to is between December and April, depending on which resort you’d like to go to. The lower resorts are better earlier in the season, while higher ones go on having fresh powder until April. For hiking and outdoor activities, the best time to go to France and Switzerland is in the summer (June to August), when the mountains are a nice escape from city heat. Meanwhile, out of season, in May and September, the Swiss and French Alps are still hot – sitting between the high twenties and low thirties.

  • How many days in France is enough?

    Ideally, a stay of 7 to 10 days lets you experience a variety of what France has to offer. This duration is perfect for enjoying the best weather in France and exploring different regions at a comfortable pace. Scott Dunn can tailor your itinerary to maximize your experience, whether you're in France for a week or more.

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