When to go to France?

The best time to visit France is the period from May to June and secondly the period from September to October. During these months, the temperature isn’t too high, you avoid the mass tourism and accommodations are better priced and more available.

If you are flexible in traveling dates, it can be recommendable to avoid visiting France from November to March. In this period it can be chilly in a large part of the country, most of the rain falls and snow can be seen in a large part of the country.

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The best time to visit France

France is such a large and diverse country that it can be visited year-round, however timing can optimize your trip significantly. In general there are three best periods to visit France:

  • (Late) spring to early summer (May to half July): during this time the weather is sunny, the temperature is comfortable and there are many hours of daylight. Most importantly: you are escaping the highest temperatures and the mass tourism. The month May is the driest month of the year in France.
  • September to (half) October: the weather still is warm, but you are avoiding the crowds and the highest temperatures. This period is often seen as the best time to visit the Mediterranean part of the country (in the South).
  • End of December to half of April: this is in general the ski season in the French Alps and Pyrenees (always check the snow in advance). There are some excellent skiing opportunities in France, see our ski section.

The neutral months to visit France

We consider the months July and August as ‘neutral months’ to visit France. Since these are by far the most crowded months of the year in France and it can become hot in some parts of the country. Together with all the foreign tourists, also the domestic tourists hit the road, since August is the main holiday month for the French. However, there are also heaps of people that enjoy the high temperatures (especially at the beach!) and the large crowds. Eventually, it depends on your own preferences.

April is a reasonable month to visit France: the winter has ended and spring is at full swing.

Better not to go to France

  • Easter and Christmas: if you are flexible in traveling dates, it can be recommendable to avoid visiting France during these holidays, since there will be many fellow tourists and prices tend to rise (book in advance!).
  • November to March: unless you go to France for skiing, it can be advisable to avoid France from November to March, since this is the late autumn, winter, or early spring time. Meaning that the temperatures are lower, it can rain a lot (mostly between October and December) and a large part of the country can receive snow in the winter.
G Adventures Europe

Weather and seasons of France

France enjoys, like almost all European countries, a temperate climate. The summers are warm and the winters are cool, but without extreme temperatures. Only the Mediterranean part of France is warm all year.

Below you find the general weather per region:

  • Eastern and central France: this part of the country has the most outspoken weather of the country, with fairly hot summers and cold winters.
  • Loire and Basque region: influenced by the Atlantic see, experiencing mild summers and winters, but with frequent rain.
  • Mediterranean coast: in the South of the country, this region has the driest climate of the country. Experiencing dry summers and sometimes heavy rainfall, mainly in spring and autumn.
  • North of France: facing an Alpine climate.

The weather overview pictures below (both °F and °C) provide an easy overview of the average temperature (low and high) and the average precipitation of each month for France.

Temperature and precipitation overview (°F) Temperature and precipitation overview (°C)
Weather of France (°F) Weather of France (°C)

Map and current weather of France

Drag the yellow iconStreetview iconto a location on the map for the "Google streetview" mode.
Click on the weather icon to see the forecast for the next days.
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Best time to visit specific destinations of France

  • French Riviera (Côte d'Azur): beautiful southeast coast of France (from Toulon to the Italian border, including Saint-Tropez, Nice and the rich state of Monaco). The best time to go to the French Riviera is in the months May, June and September, with an average temperature of 77 ºF / 25 ºC. July and August are a bit warmer and more crowded. The French Riviera receives the most rain in November. Winters are relatively mild. For more details, check this link.
  • Paris: this city can be visited year-round, but the best time to go to Paris is spring time, especially May and September and early October. Many inhabitants of Paris leave the city in July and August. The city of Paris in general doesn’t experience extreme weather circumstances (no extreme cold and snow is rare).
  • The Mediterranean: for the people that feel comfortable in the heat and crowded environment, the months July and August are good to visit the South of France. If you prefer lower, but still warm temperatures, the month September is seen as the best time to go to the Mediterranean. Secondly the months May and June.

Below you find 2 recommended travel adventures in France, organized by G Adventures.

Impressions of France Mont Blanc Explorer
Impressions of France Mont Blanc Explorer

People who want to leave shortly, can find good last minute deals here: save up to 25% on Last Minute Adventure Travel Packages

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Skiing in France

Skiing is excellent in France! Check this link for discounts on ski holidays: Crystal Ski Holidays - Sale now on!

Pay special attention to

  • Paris motor show: don’t go to Paris in even-numbered years without a confirmed hotel booking in the first two weeks of October, since the city is hosting this important motor show.
  • Strike season: the months May and June are popular months for organizing strikes by the Labor unions. Keep yourself informed about possible traffic disruptions or other inconvenience.
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Interactive 'best time to visit countries' World Map

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Do you have a question about visiting France? Or do you want to share your knowledge of France with other travelers? Please, visit our France forum.

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