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.

34 THINGS TO DO IN FRANCE (JULY 07 - JULY 16)

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

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

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?

Bastille Day or La Fête Nationale

Bastille Day or La Fête Nationale

July 14 (Private ceremony at Place de la Concorde in 2020) • event

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

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

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

Jazz à Vienne

Jazz à Vienne

June 25–July 11, 2021 • event

Two weeks of jazz in an amazing outdoor setting

Boat Trips Around Corsica

Boat Trips Around Corsica

May–October • activity

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

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

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

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

Mont Ventoux

Mont Ventoux

mid-April–mid-November • activity

Take a scenic drive to the highest mountain of Provence

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

Sun and Fun: Beach Season

Sun and Fun: Beach Season

July–August • activity

Prepare for lively and energetic beach holidays in Corsica

Col du Tourmalet

Col du Tourmalet

late May–October • activity

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

Chorégies d'Orange

Chorégies d'Orange

July 02–22, 2021 • event

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

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

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 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

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

Vichy Spa

Vichy Spa

all year round • activity

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

Fort Boyard

Fort Boyard

May-October (year round) • activity

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

Musilac

Musilac

July 08–11, 2021 • event

The festival renowned for its diverse lineups and scenic locations

Puerto de Somport

Puerto de Somport

all year round • activity

A beautiful and exciting ride in the Pyrenees

52 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

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

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

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!

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

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

Tour De France

Tour De France

August 29–September 20, 2020 • event

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

Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

September 01–03, 2020 • event

One of the world's coolest fashion parties!

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

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!

Mont Saint Michel Tide

Mont Saint Michel Tide

September 29–30, 2020 | October 01–06, 2020 | October 14–21, 2020 | October 29–31, 2020 | November 01–05, 2020 | November 12–19, 2020... Show all • 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

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

Pétanque World Championship (Mondial La Marseillaise à Pétanque)

Pétanque World Championship (Mondial La Marseillaise à Pétanque)

August 30–September 02, 2020 • event

A sport in which the French are the ultimate champions

Carnaval de Nice

Carnaval de Nice

February 13–27, 2021 • event

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

Strasbourg Christmas Markets

Strasbourg Christmas Markets

November 22–December 30, 2019 • event

Welcome to Christkindelsmärik—Europe’s oldest Christmas Market

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

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

September 27, 2020 | May 16, 2021 • event

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

Olive Picking

Olive Picking

November–December • food

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

Snorkelling and Diving

Snorkelling and Diving

March–April • activity

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

Saffron Farms

Saffron Farms

September–October • activity

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

Lyon Festival of Lights (Fête des Lumières)

Lyon Festival of Lights (Fête des Lumières)

December 05–08, 2020 • event

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

Medieval Festivals

Medieval Festivals

May 16–17, 2020 (online event) • event

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

Brocciu

Brocciu

October–May • food

An exquisite Corsican sheep cheese

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

Dunkirk Carnival (Carnaval de Dunkerque)

Dunkirk Carnival (Carnaval de Dunkerque)

February 1–March 14, 2020 • event

A unique celebration with a strong fishing theme

Oyster Season

Oyster Season

September–April • food

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

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–mid-March • event

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

Wheels and Waves in Biarritz

Wheels and Waves in Biarritz

September 03–06, 2020 • event

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

Hellfest Open Air Festival

Hellfest Open Air Festival

June 18–20, 2021 • event

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

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

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

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 ?

Tomorrowland Winter

Tomorrowland Winter

March 14–21, 2020 (cancelled) • event

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

Rise Festival

Rise Festival

December 12–19, 2020 • event

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

Marathon du Médoc

Marathon du Médoc

September 11, 2021 • event

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

Quiksilver Pro France

Quiksilver Pro France

October 01–11, 2020 • event

An elite surfing competition on the legendary Landes coast

Snowboxx

Snowboxx

March 21–28, 2020 • event

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

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

late March–early April • nature

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

Halloween

Halloween

late September–early November • event

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

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

Sardines

Sardines

September–February • food

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

Surfing

Surfing

September–February • activity

Good waves arrive to Corsica with the cold

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

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

Herri Urrats Festival

Herri Urrats Festival

May 10, 2020 • event

Every year, Basque people celebrate their language and culture

Château Perché Festival

Château Perché Festival

August 13–14, 2020 • event

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

Carnaval de Paris & Carnaval des Femmes

Carnaval de Paris & Carnaval des Femmes

March 22, 2020 • event

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

Snowattack

Snowattack

January 30–February 06, 2021 • event

A week-long snowboarding and music extravaganza

Lake Annecy Festival (Fête du Lac d'Annecy)

Lake Annecy Festival (Fête du Lac d'Annecy)

August 01, 2020 • event

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

French Open (Roland Garros)

French Open (Roland Garros)

September 21–October 11, 2020 • event

The most prestigious clay court tennis championship of the world

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