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When is the best time to travel to France?

One of the most visited countries in the world, 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.

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.

That leaves the perfect months of June and September. Everything is open; the climate is pleasant; the roads are uncongested.

Weatherwise, so much depends on which region you plan to visit and when you want to visit it. Despite its latitude, France generally has a temperate climate with mild winters, except for the region of Alsace and the Alps. Brittany leads the way for plenty of rain, which falls on average 200 days a year. Basking in a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters, the south of France is delightful all year round. If it does rain, it will pour in spring and fall; summers are usually dry. The south also attracts the mistral, a cold dry wind that blows relentlessly down the Rhône Valley. It is said to drive people to madness.

Throughout the year, art festivals, sporting events, and traditional festivals can be found everywhere, with food and wine playing the starring role. By spring, the weather warms up enough to enjoy the outdoor terraces. Summer kicks off 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. Come winter, not everyone flees inside, the mountain ski resorts come alive with activity. Christmas is an especially magical time with traditional fairs and markets.

Join the crowds, join the fun. Any day of the year is a great time to go to France!