Best time to visit France

+74
France
11 days
  • Dec
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Thu Jan 16Jan 26 Sun
/>

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.

34 THINGS TO DO IN FRANCE (JULY 05 - JULY 14)

Lavender Fields in Bloom

Lavender Fields in Bloom

June–August • nature

One of the first things that may come to mind when you think of Provence is views of magnificent blooming lavender fields

Tour De France

Tour De France

June 27–July 19, 2020 • event

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

Secret Hideaways

Secret Hideaways

April–September • activity

Ever dreamed of escaping to a hideaway resort?

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

Pétanque World Championship (Mondial La Marseillaise à Pétanque)

Pétanque World Championship (Mondial La Marseillaise à Pétanque)

July 05–09, 2020 • event

A sport in which the French are the ultimate champions

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

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?

Boat Trips Around Corsica

Boat Trips Around Corsica

May–October • activity

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

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

Ratatouille

Ratatouille

June–September  • food

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

Jazz à Vienne

Jazz à Vienne

June 25–July 11, 2020 • event

Two weeks of jazz in an amazing outdoor setting

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

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

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

Étretat

Étretat

April–October • nature

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

Tour du Mont Blanc

Tour du Mont Blanc

mid-June–mid-September • activity

Conquer Europe's highest mountain and test your endurance

Mont Ventoux

Mont Ventoux

mid-April–mid-November • activity

Take a scenic drive to the highest mountain of Provence

Col d'Izoard

Col d'Izoard

mid-June–October  • activity

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

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

Col du Tourmalet

Col du Tourmalet

late May–October • activity

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

Kite and Windsurfing

Kite and Windsurfing

April–October • activity

Corsica is a great place to learn kite and wind surfing

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

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

Picnics

Picnics

May–September • activity

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

Pastis

Pastis

May–September • food

The favourite apéritif of Provence

Vichy Spa

Vichy Spa

all year round • activity

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

Hiking in Gorges du Tarn

Hiking in Gorges du Tarn

April–October • activity

Explore a magnificent canyon and search for a medieval castle

Guédelon Castle

Guédelon Castle

April 02–November 01, 2020 • activity

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

Fort Boyard

Fort Boyard

May-October (year round) • activity

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

Col du Lautaret

Col du Lautaret

all year round • activity

The highest year-round pass in France

Col du Galibier

Col du Galibier

late May–late October • activity

An iconic climb that inspires cyclists and drivers

Puerto de Somport

Puerto de Somport

all year round • activity

A beautiful and exciting ride in the Pyrenees

50 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

Exploring the Calanques

Exploring the Calanques

October–May • nature

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

Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Grand Prix

May 21–24, 2020 • 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

Parks and Gardens in Autumn Foliage

Parks and Gardens in Autumn Foliage

late September–November • activity

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

Louvre with Shorter Queues

Louvre with Shorter Queues

September–May • activity

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

Festival De Cannes

Festival De Cannes

May 12–23, 2020 • event

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

Sunset in the Arc de Triomphe

Sunset in the Arc de Triomphe

mid-May | early August • nature

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

The Gitan Pilgrimage

The Gitan Pilgrimage

May 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

Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

September 23–October 01, 2019 • event

One of the world's coolest fashion parties!

Chestnut Season and Fête de la Châtaigne

Chestnut Season and Fête de la Châtaigne

October • food

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

Marathon de Paris

Marathon de Paris

April 05, 2020 • event

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

Ironman 70.3

Ironman 70.3

May 17, 2020 • event

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

Mont Saint Michel Tide

Mont Saint Michel Tide

December 10–17, 2019 | December 24–30, 2019 • 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

Snorkelling and Diving

Snorkelling and Diving

March–April • activity

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

Warm Up in Covered Passages

Warm Up in Covered Passages

November–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

Bastille Day or La Fête Nationale

Bastille Day or La Fête Nationale

July 14 • event

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

Saffron Farms

Saffron Farms

September–October • activity

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

Rise Festival

Rise Festival

December 14–21, 2019 • event

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

Strasbourg Christmas Markets

Strasbourg Christmas Markets

November 22–December 30, 2019 • event

Welcome to Christkindelsmärik—Europe’s oldest Christmas Market

Grape Harvest & Festivals

Grape Harvest & Festivals

September–mid-November • event

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

Brocciu

Brocciu

October–May • food

An exquisite Corsican sheep cheese

Chorégies d'Orange

Chorégies d'Orange

June 19–August 06, 2019 • event

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

Medieval Festivals

Medieval Festivals

June 13–14, 2020 • event

France is proud of its rich history. It's no wonder that Medieval festivals in the country are so popular

Hellfest Open Air Festival

Hellfest Open Air Festival

June 19–21, 2020 • event

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

Olive Picking

Olive Picking

November–December • food

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

Black Truffle

Black Truffle

mid-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

Oyster Season

Oyster Season

September–April • food

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

The Thirteen Christmas Desserts

The Thirteen Christmas Desserts

December 24–December 25 • food

The sweetest Provençal tradition—lei tretze dessèrts

French Alps Ski Season

French Alps Ski Season

late December–late April • activity

This is one of best skiing destinations in Europe

Lyon Festival of Lights (Fête des Lumières)

Lyon Festival of Lights (Fête des Lumières)

December 05–08, 2019 • event

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

Frog Legs (Cuisses de Grenouille)

Frog Legs (Cuisses de Grenouille)

early March–early May • food

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

Christmas Markets (Marchés de Noël)

Christmas Markets (Marchés de Noël)

November 22 2019–January 05 2020 • event

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

Mardi Gras (Carnaval)

Mardi Gras (Carnaval)

February–March (check official websites for details) • event

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

Dunkirk Carnival (Carnaval de Dunkerque)

Dunkirk Carnival (Carnaval de Dunkerque)

February 01–March 14, 2020 • event

A unique celebration with a strong fishing theme

Snowboxx

Snowboxx

March 21–28, 2020 • event

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

Halloween

Halloween

late September–early November • event

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

Surfing

Surfing

September–February • activity

Good waves arrive to Corsica with the cold

Sardines

Sardines

September–February • food

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

Cider, Calvados, and Pommeau

Cider, Calvados, and Pommeau

September–November • food

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

Marathon du Médoc

Marathon du Médoc

September 12, 2020 • event

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

Carnaval de Paris and Carnaval des Femmes

Carnaval de Paris and Carnaval des Femmes

March 22, 2020 • event

The graceful moves of the colourful procession drives away winter and brings spring

Espelette Pepper Harvest & Festival

Espelette Pepper Harvest & Festival

mid-August–December 1 • activity

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

Herri Urrats Festival

Herri Urrats Festival

May 10, 2020 • event

Every year, Basque people celebrate their language and culture

Tomorrowland Winter

Tomorrowland Winter

March 14–21, 2020 • event

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

Quiksilver Pro France

Quiksilver Pro France

October 03–13, 2019 • event

An elite surfing competition on the legendary Landes coast

Wheels and Waves

Wheels and Waves

June 12–16, 2019 • event

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

Château Perché Festival

Château Perché Festival

July 25–28, 2019 • event

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

Snowattack

Snowattack

January 25–February 01, 2020 • event

A week-long snowboarding and music extravaganza

Musilac

Musilac

July 11–14, 2019 • event

The festival renowned for its diverse lineups and scenic locations

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

late March–early April • nature

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

French Open (Roland Garros)

French Open (Roland Garros)

May 18–June 07, 2020 • event

The most prestigeous clay court tennis championship of the world