This article may contain compensated links. Please read disclaimer for more info.
All About the French Seasons
France is a wonderful country with gorgeous landscapes, vibrant cities, history, and culture. From the warm waters of the Mediterranean to the rolling hills of Champagne or the jagged mountain slopes of the Alps, there’s a French trip for everyone.
But what is the best season in France for traveling?
From January to December, all the seasons in France are wonderful. A year-round destination, all the France seasons bring their own advantages to visitors. But there are definitely better destinations for each season in France, and your visit will be different depending on the time of year.
Generally speaking, the best time to visit France is April to late May (Spring) and September to early October (Fall). These months are cooler and less busy than the summer months. At these times you can visit the coast, mountains, and cities with lesser crowds and more comfort.
However, depending on your destination, schedule, and travel interests, the best time to visit France may be different than the above-mentioned French seasons. To help you decide the best season for your French holiday, we’ve broken this article down by season, with some trip ideas for each France season.
Seasons of the Year in France
Spring in France – March to May
Summer in France – June to August
Fall in France – September to November
Winter in France – December to February
SEASONS IN FRENCH: the seasons of France in French are Printemps (Spring), Été (Summer), Automne (Fall), Hiver (Winter).
The 4 Seasons in France
Spring in France
The Spring Season in France (March to May) is a fantastic time to visit the country for most travel interests and destinations. This France season is part of the shoulder season except for the Easter holidays and the days around 1st May (Labour Day) and 8th May (Armistice WW2).
The weather during the spring months in France is mostly mild and pleasant and there are lesser crowds than in the summer months. France in spring is a great time to visit the French Riviera, Corsica Island, and all the south in general before temperatures soar. Spring in France is also ideal for hiking, bike trips, city escapes, and fun French road trips.
In Spring you can generally find good deals on flights, train tickets, and accommodation when compared to peak season, as long as you stay out of the Easter holidays and school holidays in France.
Summer in France
The Summer Season in France (June to August) is the peak season in France. These are the busiest and most expensive months to visit France, especially along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts so you will need to book transportation and accommodation well in advance.
That being said, summer is the season of the lavender fields in Provence, the Tour de France, Avignon’s Theatre Festival, Versailles’ Musical Gardens, and other fun (but seasonal) events in France.
The Summer months in France are hot, and the heat can be unbearable in the south of France and in the cities. France in the summer is a great time to visit the mountains, the Alps or the Pyrénées, and the region of Brittany where temperatures are always cooler. Summer in France is also good for chateau hopping in the Loire Valley (if you don’t mind the crowds), or for water activities.
Fall (Autumn) in France
The Fall Season in France (September to November) also makes up part of the shoulder season and it is one of our favorite France seasons for exploring France. Fall in France carries many of the same benefits as spring, with lesser crowds and pleasant weather.
In France, fall is when the harvest takes place and the wine areas are an explosion of autumn colors and harvest festivals. Fall in France is ideal for city breaks, road trips, and hikes.
Much of France, particularly the east, does get cold toward the end of fall and some tourist attractions may be closed at that time. September and October are better months to travel for nice weather and atmosphere during Fall in France.
Winter in France
The Winter Season in France (December to February) is considered off-season in France except for the Christmas holidays and the days around Saint Valentine’s Day in Paris. As the tourist crowds slow with the falling temperatures, the streets are quiet and the lines to visit the tourist attractions are shorter or unexisting.
This can result in reduced prices on transportation and accommodation and most of the time it is not necessary to book tickets to your favorite sites months in advance.
That being said, the winter months in France are the months for skiing, and the ski resorts in the Alps and the Pyrénées are jam-packed, so booking in advance is paramount.
February is carnival time in France, and trips to the Venetian Carnival of Annecy, the Carnival of Nice, or the Carnival of Dunkirk must be booked well in advance.
And there you have it, all about the French seasons, with some ideas of trips for all the seasons in France.