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Best time to visit France

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France

Best time of year to visit France

You can find something unique in France at any time of year. However, the warmer period provides the best opportunities to explore its stunning natural and historical sites. Therefore, the best time to visit France is from May to October. In summer, you can witness the majestic lavender bloom in Provence, go hiking in the Alps, explore scenic Normandie, and find secret beaches on France's Mediterranean coast. In July, celebrate Bastille Day or La Fête Nationale in Paris and go on a picnic with the view of the Seine River and historical monuments. In September, visit saffron farms and marvel at autumn foliage.

36 THINGS TO DO IN FRANCE (JULY 04 - JULY 13)

Lavender Fields in Bloom

Lavender Fields in Bloom

June–August • nature

One of the first things that come to mind when you think of Provence is a magnificent lavender field

Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

February 27–March 7, 2023 | June 20–25, 2023 | July 3–6, 2023 | September 25–October 3, 2023 • event

One of the world's coolest fashion parties!

Secret Hideaways

Secret Hideaways

April–September • activity

Ever dreamed of escaping to a hideaway resort?

Tour De France

Tour De France

July 1–23, 2023 • event

The world's biggest, most challenging and beautiful cycling event

Fromage de Chèvre or Goat Cheese

Fromage de Chèvre or Goat Cheese

April–October  • food

Wine and cheese are a classic, but in Provence, ​these words have a whole new meaning

Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse

May–September • food

Not only the flavour of this fish soup is special, but the method of serving it as well

Passage du Gois

Passage du Gois

all year round • activity

Do you dare to meet the hour of driving on one of the world's most dangerous roads?

Jazz à Vienne

Jazz à Vienne

unconfirmedlate June–mid-July 2023 • event

Two weeks of jazz in an amazing outdoor setting

Mont Saint Michel Tide

Mont Saint Michel Tide

all year round on selected dates • nature

At one moment it's coastal, at another—an island in the open sea, cut off from the land with 15-meter high tide

Hiking the GR20 or Grande Radonnee 20

Hiking the GR20 or Grande Radonnee 20

late June–September  • activity

The most challenging and beautiful hiking trail in Europe

Étretat

Étretat

April–October • nature

Known for its white cliffs and beaches strewn with rocks, Étretat attracts both tourists and world-famous artists

Aïoli

Aïoli

June–September | Christmas | Ash Wednesday • food

You might think it's only mayonnaise but you'll discover that it's the centre piece of delicious provençal cuisine

Boat Trips Around Corsica

Boat Trips Around Corsica

May–October • activity

Discover Corsica's beautiful seaside and mountain landscape on a remarkable boat ride

Mont Ventoux

Mont Ventoux

mid-April–mid-November • activity

Take a scenic drive to the highest mountain of Provence

Hiking in Normandy

Hiking in Normandy

April–October • activity

If you are looking for some fresh air and beautiful landscapes, Normandy is the place to go

Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles

all year round • activity

Get a sense of royal lifestyle in the residence of the Kings of French Monarchy

Col d'Izoard

Col d'Izoard

mid-June–October  • activity

An iconic high mountain pass featured in the iconic Tour de France race

Ratatouille

Ratatouille

June–September  • food

Not the Disney movie, but the mouthwatering stewed vegetable dish from Nice

Sun and Fun: Beach Season

Sun and Fun: Beach Season

July–August • activity

Prepare for lively and energetic beach holidays in Corsica

Corsican Chestnut Beer

Corsican Chestnut Beer

May–September • food

A native beer flavour invented on Corsica

Claude Monet's House & Gardens in Giverny

Claude Monet's House & Gardens in Giverny

late March–November 1 • activity

Observe the famous lily pond in the painting and in reality

Col du Tourmalet

Col du Tourmalet

late May–October • activity

A legendary road climb, most known as a Tour de France stage finish

Col de la Bonette

Col de la Bonette

July–October • activity

Ride along one of the highest roads in Europe nestled in the French Alps

Tour du Mont Blanc

Tour du Mont Blanc

mid-June–mid-September • activity

Conquer Europe's highest mountain and test your endurance

Musée d'Orsay

Musée d'Orsay

November–March (all year round) • activity

Some of the best of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art is collected at one neat place on Seine's left bank

Vichy Spa

Vichy Spa

all year round • activity

Engage in the recreational activities of the highest society of “la belle époque”

Col du Lautaret

Col du Lautaret

all year round • activity

The highest year-round pass in France

Pastis

Pastis

May–September • food

The favourite apéritif of Provence

Kite and Windsurfing

Kite and Windsurfing

April–October • activity

Corsica is a great place to learn kite and wind surfing

Col du Galibier

Col du Galibier

late May–late October • activity

An iconic climb that inspires cyclists and drivers

Picnics

Picnics

May–September • activity

Icons of Paris provide some of the world's most romantic settings for a picnic

Hiking in Gorges du Tarn

Hiking in Gorges du Tarn

April–October • activity

Explore a magnificent canyon and search for a medieval castle

Fort Boyard

Fort Boyard

May-October (year round) • activity

The famous French fort built by Napoleon is now used for filming shows

The Cave of Saint-Marcel d’Ardèche

The Cave of Saint-Marcel d’Ardèche

all year round • nature

One of the largest caves in France offers an exceptional show

Grande Motte Cable Car

Grande Motte Cable Car

all year round (best mid-June–August) • activity

The second-highest cable car in France offers terrace views in the summer

Puerto de Somport

Puerto de Somport

all year round • activity

A beautiful and exciting ride in the Pyrenees

69 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

Wheels and Waves in Biarritz

Wheels and Waves in Biarritz

unconfirmedlate June–early July 2023 • event

Moto and surf festival on the France’s southwestern Basque coast

The Gitan Pilgrimage

The Gitan Pilgrimage

out of rangeMay 24–May 25 • event

Watch a small sleepy seaside town of Saintes Maries de la Mer turns into a noisy and wild carnival with Gypsy dancing and music

Exploring the Calanques

Exploring the Calanques

out of rangeOctober–May • nature

This natural treasure of Provence and cousin to the Scandinavian fjords is an essential highlight of any trip to the region

Sunset in the Arc de Triomphe

Sunset in the Arc de Triomphe

out of rangemid-May | early August • nature

A biannual natural phenomenon that was not planned by the architect of the monument

Grape Harvest & Festivals

Grape Harvest & Festivals

out of rangeSeptember–mid-November • event

Grape cultivation and wine festivals constitute the tangible part of the French lifestyle. Everyone can join in!

Louvre with Shorter Queues

Louvre with Shorter Queues

out of rangeSeptember–May • activity

Whether you are a keen museum goer or not, the world's finest art is worth exploring!

Parks and Gardens in Autumn Foliage

Parks and Gardens in Autumn Foliage

out of rangelate September–November • activity

Parisian parks and gardens are beautiful at any time of the year but in autumn they become especially charming and poetic

Quiksilver Pro France

Quiksilver Pro France

on holdOctober 16–24, 2021 • event

An elite surfing competition on the legendary Landes coast

Festival De Cannes

Festival De Cannes

out of rangeMay 16–27, 2023 • event

One of the world's biggest and most important events, the Cannes Film Festival speaks for itself

Pétanque World Championship (Mondial La Marseillaise à Pétanque)

Pétanque World Championship (Mondial La Marseillaise à Pétanque)

out of rangeJuly 3–6, 2022 • event

A sport in which the French are the ultimate champions

Christmas Market in Strasbourg

Christmas Market in Strasbourg

out of rangeNovember 25–December 26, 2022 • event

Welcome to Christkindelsmärik—one of Europe’s oldest Christmas markets

Christmas Markets (Marchés de Noël)

Christmas Markets (Marchés de Noël)

out of rangemid-November 2022–early January 2023 • event

Alsace, Aquitaine and the French Riviera have their beautiful Christmas traditions

Carnaval de Nice

Carnaval de Nice

out of rangeFebruary 10–26, 2023 • event

The most important winter event in the French Riviera and one of the largest Carnivals in the world​​

Lyon Festival of Lights (Fête des Lumières)

Lyon Festival of Lights (Fête des Lumières)

out of rangeDecember 8–11, 2022 • event

Once a year, night time in Lyon reveals the city's special colors

Chestnut Season and Fête de la Châtaigne

Chestnut Season and Fête de la Châtaigne

out of rangeOctober • food

A little province in the South of France is the chestnut capital of the world

Bastille Day or La Fête Nationale

Bastille Day or La Fête Nationale

out of rangeJuly 14 • event

The military parade held in Paris's main avenue proves to be the largest one in Europe

Marathon de Paris

Marathon de Paris

out of rangeApril 2, 2023 • event

It's not just about running beside world-famous monuments—music, cheese, and wine tasting wait en route too

Olive Picking

Olive Picking

out of rangeNovember–December • food

In Provence you can still experience traditional farming and take part in olive harvesting

Warm Up in Covered Passages

Warm Up in Covered Passages

out of rangeNovember–March • activity

When it's cold and windy outside find a beautiful and cozy old passage and have a cup of tea or shop for souvenirs

Ironman 70.3

Ironman 70.3

out of rangeMay 21, 2023 • event

The home of a famous triathlon, Aix-en-Provence, annualy gathers triathletes from all over the world for a big race

Snorkelling and Diving

Snorkelling and Diving

out of rangeMarch–April • activity

Corsican marine life is rich and diverse attracting both professional and amateur divers

Marathon du Médoc

Marathon du Médoc

out of rangeSeptember 10, 2022 • event

A fun race combining wine, sports, delecious food and health

Hellfest Open Air Festival

Hellfest Open Air Festival

out of rangeJune 16–18, 2023 • event

Join fans of Sepultura, Iron Maiden or Cannibal Corpse during one of the biggest heavy metal music festivals in Europe

Saffron Farms

Saffron Farms

out of rangeSeptember–October • activity

A precious spice is made out of the beautiful and tender flowers of saffron in Provence

Oyster Season

Oyster Season

out of rangeSeptember–April • food

Even if you don't like oysters, you'll love them in France!

Chorégies d'Orange

Chorégies d'Orange

unconfirmedJuly 2–22, 2021 • event

Visit the world's best preserved Roman theater in Orange when it hosts summer opera festival

Martinique Carnival

Martinique Carnival

out of rangeFebruary 19–22, 2023 • event

Feel the real tropical vibe at this French carnival, held on a Caribbean island

Mountain of Hell

Mountain of Hell

out of rangeJune 24–26, 2022 • event

How about a bike race on a mountain covered in sheer ice, snow, and rocks?

Medieval Festivals

Medieval Festivals

out of rangemid-May 2023 | June 10–11, 2023 • event

In the context of the country's rich history, it's no wonder, Medieval festivals in France are so popular

Mardi Gras (Carnaval)

Mardi Gras (Carnaval)

out of rangeFebruary 10–March 5, 2023 • event

Amazing floats, masquerades, and delicious food make winter festivities season in France unforgettable

Brocciu

Brocciu

out of rangeOctober–May • food

An exquisite Corsican sheep cheese

Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Grand Prix

out of rangeMay 25–28, 2023 • event

Formula One race time is nothing but speed, glamour, passion, noise, and a hint of danger because the cars are never too far away from the barriers

Tomorrowland Winter

Tomorrowland Winter

out of rangeMarch 18–25, 2023 • event

The new edition of the world's biggest dance festival in snowy Alps

French Open (Roland Garros)

French Open (Roland Garros)

out of rangeMay 22–June 11, 2023 • event

The most prestigious clay court tennis championship of the world

Dunkirk Carnival (Carnaval de Dunkerque)

Dunkirk Carnival (Carnaval de Dunkerque)

out of rangeJanuary 7–April 16, 2023 • event

A unique celebration with a strong fishing theme

Lake Annecy Festival (Fête du Lac d'Annecy)

Lake Annecy Festival (Fête du Lac d'Annecy)

out of rangeAugust 6, 2022 • event

Watch the Bay of Albigny hosting one of the most fascinating pyrotechnic shows in Europe

Paris New Year's Eve (La Réveillon de Saint Sylvestre)

Paris New Year's Eve (La Réveillon de Saint Sylvestre)

out of rangeDecember 31 • event

What could be more inspiring than a New Year countdown in Paris?

Fêtes de Bayonne

Fêtes de Bayonne

out of rangeJuly 26–30, 2023 • event

The biggest celebration in the South-West of France

Frog Legs (Cuisses de Grenouille)

Frog Legs (Cuisses de Grenouille)

out of rangeearly March–early May • food

To eat or not to eat, that is the question ?

Reims Christmas Market

Reims Christmas Market

out of rangeDecember 1–30, 2022 • event

The country's third largest holiday fair with 140+ beautiful chalets and a perfect setting

Black Truffle

Black Truffle

out of rangemid-November–mid-March • food

You'll be able to not just taste some black tr​uffles, but also hunt them, visit the truffle fair, or try out other interesting activities offered by local farmers

The Thirteen Christmas Desserts

The Thirteen Christmas Desserts

out of rangeDecember 24–December 25 • food

The sweetest Provençal tradition—lei tretze dessèrts

Fiesta des Suds

Fiesta des Suds

out of rangeOctober 6–9, 2022 • event

This international music festival is an essential part of Marseille's cultural identity

French Alps Ski Season

French Alps Ski Season

out of rangelate December–late April • activity

This is one of best skiing destinations in Europe

Rise Festival

Rise Festival

out of rangeDecember 10–17, 2022 • event

Lots of snow, music and adventures in the famous French ski resort

Snowboxx

Snowboxx

out of rangeMarch 18–25, 2023 • event

A week filled with famous DJs, legendary Après parties, and lots of snow in the French Alps

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

out of rangelate March–early April • nature

Spring is in the air when thousands of pink buds cover cherry trees

Les Montgolfiades de Rocamadour

Les Montgolfiades de Rocamadour

unconfirmedSeptember 23–24, 2023 • event

At this spectacular hot-air balloon festival, you'll take the best pictures ever

Carnaval de Paris & Carnaval des Femmes

Carnaval de Paris & Carnaval des Femmes

out of rangeFebruary 19, 2023 (Carnaval de Paris) | March 19, 2023 (Carnaval des Femmes) • event

The graceful moves of the colorful processions drive away winter and bring spring

Halloween

Halloween

out of rangeearly October–early November 2022 • event

Check out the city's best amusement parks or take a special cruise on Seine

Journées Européennes du Patrimoine (European Heritage Days)

Journées Européennes du Patrimoine (European Heritage Days)

out of rangeSeptember 17–18, 2022 • event

Take advantage of the Open Doors Days to visit prominent cultural and historical sites across France

Colmar Christmas Markets

Colmar Christmas Markets

out of rangeNovember 23–December 28, 2022 • event

A holiday showcase of Alsace cuisine, decor, and culture

Lille Christmas Market

Lille Christmas Market

out of rangelate November–late December • event

This amazing Christmas market in Lille has all the chances to become your go-to place during the winter holidays

Metz Christmas Market

Metz Christmas Market

out of rangemid-November–late December • event

Discover what Christmas Market in Metz has prepared for you

Cider, Calvados, and Pommeau

Cider, Calvados, and Pommeau

out of rangeSeptember–November • food

Normandy is known for its apples and the best drinks are made from them

Herri Urrats Festival

Herri Urrats Festival

canceledMay 7, 2023 • event

Every year, Basque people celebrate their language and culture

Grand Est Mondial Air Ballons

Grand Est Mondial Air Ballons

out of rangeJuly 21–30, 2023 • event

One of the largest hot air ballooning festival in Europe

Espelette Pepper Harvest & Festival

Espelette Pepper Harvest & Festival

out of rangeOctober 29–30, 2022 • activity

Visit the town of Espelette and check out the #1 Basque spice called Piment d’Espelette

Guédelon Castle

Guédelon Castle

out of rangeApril 2–November 6, 2022 • activity

Watch the team of volunteers that aim to build their own medieval castle, using traditional techniques and eco-friendly materials

New Year's Eve in France

New Year's Eve in France

out of rangeDecember 31 • event

Welcome the new beginning shouting out "Bonne année!" at midnight

Sardines

Sardines

out of rangeSeptember–February • food

Try a delicious Corsican specialty—sardines with brocciu and wild herbs

Surfing

Surfing

out of rangeSeptember–February • activity

Good waves arrive to Corsica with the cold

Château Perché Festival

Château Perché Festival

out of rangeJuly 7–10, 2022 • event

Techno and deep house in the medieval castle in the heart of France

Snowattack

Snowattack

out of rangeJanuary 21–28, 2023 • event

A week-long snowboarding and music extravaganza

Musilac

Musilac

out of rangeJuly 6–10, 2022 • event

The festival renowned for its diverse lineups and scenic locations

Underwater Wine of Saint-Malo

Underwater Wine of Saint-Malo

unconfirmedJune • event

A town in Brittany sends its wine to the bottom of the sea

Easter (Pâques)

Easter (Pâques)

out of rangeApril 9, 2023 • event

One of the largest annual holidays for the Catholic Church

Les Montgolfiades de Chalon-sur-Saône

Les Montgolfiades de Chalon-sur-Saône

unconfirmedJune 24–25, 2023 • event

A spectacular ballooning event taking place on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day in rural Bourgogne

Montgolfiades de Thouars

Montgolfiades de Thouars

out of rangeSeptember 1–3, 2023 • event

The annual ballooning event in Thouars is held during the first weekend of fall

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