Best time to travel to France

Best time to travel to France

The most important factor in deciding when to visit France is tourism itself.  You can expect crowds during the summer, especially. If you can work your visit around the French school holidays, you’ll find less congestion at France’s most popular museums and national monuments. School holidays are as follows: July and August, two weeks at Christmas time, two weeks in February, and two weeks in April.

France in August

Paris practically shuts down during the last two weeks of August when the entire country goes on holiday to the beaches and countryside. The cities can actually be a pleasure at that time with fewer crowds to contend with.

Off-season

Hotels used to charge off-season rates during the cold, rainy period from November to February. They’re often packed with business travelers, trade fairs, and winter tour groups and hoteliers have less incentive to offer discounts. Airfares are still cheaper during these months, and more promotions are available. They rise in the spring and fall, peaking in the summer, when tickets cost the most.

Perfect time to visit France

That leaves the perfect months of June and September. Everything is open; the climate is pleasant; the roads are not congested.

France’s weather varies from region to region and even from town to town. Despite its latitude, Paris never gets very cold; snow is rare. The winner for wetness is Brittany. Brest receives a staggering amount of rain between October and December. Rain usually falls in a steady, foggy drizzle and rarely lasts more than a day. May is the driest month.

Climate

The Mediterranean coast in the south has the driest climate. When it does rain, it’s heaviest in spring and autumn. Summers are comfortably dry and warm. Provence dreads le mistral (an unrelenting, hot wind), which most often blows in the winter for a few days but can last for up to 2 weeks.

Throughout the year, art festivals, sporting events, and traditional festivals can be found everywhere, with food and wine. By spring, the weather warms up enough to enjoy the outdoor terraces. Summer starts the long holiday season, with beaches, campsites, and country inns bursting with crowds. Every village holds a food or music festival of some sort and sporting events abound. The wine regions come into their own in the fall with harvest celebrations in every village. In winter the mountain ski resorts come alive with activity. Christmas is a special time for traditional fairs and markets.

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