France Travel Inspiration

Best Places to Visit in France in Summer [2021]

07/02/2021

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Summer in France

Summer is an amazing time to visit France. The warm weather, bright sun, good food, and relaxed lifestyle are guaranteed in any summer vacation in France.

However, choosing that perfect summer destination in France isn’t easy. There’s just too much choice. We should know, we live in France, and we can still never decide where to go for the next long weekend!

So to help you out, we have curated the seven best places to visit in France in summer, a list of our favorite favorites that will absolutely take your breath away. All of these places you can visit independently and are good for either a summer break in France or for a longer France summer vacation.

Get your bathing suit, and your walking shoes packed and prepare for fun days and even more exciting evenings!

Need help to plan your trip to France? Check out our France Trip Planner

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Where to Spend your Summer Holidays in France

  • Provence
  • Alabaster Coast, Normandy
  • French Alps
  • Gulf of Morbihan, Brittany
  • Auvergne
  • French Basque Country
  • Reunion Island

When is summer in France? The summer season in France corresponds to June, July, and August.

You might also like:

A Guide to Seasons in France

Best Places to Visit in France in Spring

Best Places to Visit in France in the Fall

Best Places to Visit in France in Winter

Provence’s Lavender Fields

Provence in the summertime is HOT and busy, but if you want to see the lavender fields, this is the right time to travel to Provence. Nicknamed ‘the blue gold,’ the lavender fields are among the top tourist attractions in Provence.

You will see lavandine and fine lavender, this one exclusive of Provence. Sometimes, you will also find sunflower fields and wheat fields which make beautiful photo compositions near the lavender.

In Provence, there are four main areas to see lavender fields. For each area, the blooming season is different, and it depends on the altitude and the weather during the previous months. Check out our guide to Provence’s lavender fields, with everything you need to know for a total Provencal experience.

Avignon and Aix-en-Provence are the closest cities to the lavender fields, and they are both good bases for your French summer holidays in Provence. The best way to explore the lavender fields is by car, but there are also lavender tours from these cities.

Summer on the Alabaster Coast, Normandy

From Dieppe to Étretat, the Alabaster Coast in Normandy is a land of majestic cliffs, pretty beaches, and picturesque fishing villages.

The Alabaster Coast is also the land of Impressionists, where artists like Monet, Turner, or Pissarro, painted ‘en plein air’ to capture the beauty of its chalky cliffs.

Summer in France is the best time to enjoy this amazing landscape unique in the world, explore some of the prettiest coastal towns in France, and taste the regional cuisine.

The best way to explore the Alabaster Coast is on a Normandy road trip, but it is also possible to travel to any of these destinations from Le Havre by bus.

Summer in the French Alps

If you’re looking for a pastoral paradise in France in the summer, head up to the French Alps. This unique mountain range is home to magnificent landscapes, pristine lakes, and wonderful hikes.

Nature lovers will be delighted in the French Alps: the national parks of Vanoise, Ecrins, and Mercantour are amazing.

Sport enthusiasts will be spoilt for the choice during their French Alps summer holidays: mountaineering in the Massif de Mont-Blanc, paragliding above Lake Annecy, rafting and kayaking in the upper Ubaye Valley, and an endless list of beautiful hikes.

Looking for more relaxing summer holidays in France? No problem. The French Alps are dotted with quaint towns and cities that radiate charm and hospitality. You can also head to Annecy, Briançon, Yvoire, or Chamonix for sightseeing and culinary treats.

Gulf of Morbihan, Brittany

Gulf of Morbihan

With its many islands and islets, its microclimate that warms the sea, and its sweet life, the Gulf of Morbihan is one of Brittany’s most beautiful landscapes to discover during the summer months in France.

Morbihan means ‘little sea’ in the local language, a place where it is possible to sail or kayak protected from the vagaries of the Atlantic Ocean. Explore vibrant cities, mysterious castles, prehistoric sites, and some of the prettiest Brittany coastal towns.

Finally, the Gulf of Morbihan is an excellent place to fully immerse in Brittany’s culinary heritage: seafood, crêpes, and other traditional dishes.

The best way to explore the Gulf of Morbihan is on a self-drive holiday, but you can also put your bags in Vannes and visit other places on day trips.

The Volcanoes of Auvergne

Summers in the land of the dormant volcanos are lovely, with mild temperatures and chilly nights due to the altitude and topography.

This was the first place in France’s mainland to be listed as UNESCO Natural Heritage, and it features striking scenery, including as many as 80 dormant volcanoes, crater lakes, forests, rivers, and thermal springs.

The range’s highest point is the iconic lava dome of Puy de Dôme, which stands at 1,465 meters high. From there, there’s an amazing bird’s eye view over the Regional Natural Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne, the Dorez mountains, and the mountains of Cantal, waiting to be explored on day hikes or longer walks.

The striking volcano formations also provide stunning sites or backgrounds for picturesque medieval churches and villages like Saint-Flour, Le Puy-en-Velay, or Saint-Nectaire.

Summer in French Basque Country

Saint Jean de Luz - French Basque Country

Nestled between the Bay of Biscay and the foothills of the Pyrenees, there is never a bad time to visit this distinctive corner of France. However, June to September are the warmest and driest months in this region, also known for its own (rainy) climate that keeps it gorgeously green.

If you visit the French Basque Country in the summer, you will find temperatures barely breaking the mid 20’s so it is not too hot to hike plus you can also enjoy the region’s beaches.

The French Basque Country is great for sightseeing, but the only way to get into the heart of this region is to walk. Enjoy its variety of landscapes, from dramatic coastline to verdant rugged mountains on short or longer hikes.

With consistent waves year-round, the French Basque country is also a surfer’s paradise, with a wide choice of surfing schools, surfing shops, and championships.

Finally, the French Basque Country is known for its distinctive architecture, delicious regional food, and for having the best chocolate in France!

Reunion Island

Ile de la Réunion is one of the French islands of the Indian Ocean, located between the islands of Madagascar and Mauritius. Nicknamed the ‘Intense Island,’ Reunion is a land of contrasts and a concentrate of adventure, exotism, and different flavors.

With 40% of the territory is listed as UNESCO World Heritage, this wonderful island is a paradise for nature-lovers, well-known for its volcanic, rainforested interior, coral reefs, and beaches.

It is never a bad time to visit Reunion, but hikers will definitely prefer to explore the island during the summer months in France (European summer), which corresponds to the island’s dry season. The dry season in Reunion corresponds to the cooler and dry months between May to November, with average temperatures ranging between 25C and 18C.

If you want to combine natural wonders with sightseeing, Reunion has an important number of colonial buildings from the 18th century and various museums. Also, the colorful Marché de Saint-Paul, in Saint-Paul, is worth exploring.

Plan your Trip to France

After traveling consistently for over 10 years, we’ve come to trust and rely on a few websites to help us find the best deals on flights, transportation, and accommodation.

Flights: CheapOair is the first place we check when searching for cheap flights. It searches hundreds of sites for the best fare and includes both standard and budget airlines. The price calendar feature shows the cheapest days to fly in your preferred month of travel.

Accommodation: Booking.com offers savings on hotels, furnished apartments, and villas in 80,000 destinations worldwide. You can browse hotel reviews and find the guaranteed best price on hotels for all budgets.

Car Rental: RentalCars.com is a great site because it takes all of the major rental companies, such as Hertz, Avis, etc., and more and makes the comparison of prices for you.  This helps to ensure that you get a great price without all the time and work.

Travel Insurance: We never travel abroad without a travel insurance policy because it’s not worth the risk! We use and trust Safety Wings, which we’ve used since its launch. Safety Wings is marketed as insurance for nomads, but you can use it also for short trips.

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