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The Seasons in France: Weather by Months and Regions

While planning a trip to France, it is important to pick the best time of year to capitalize on the weather and other seasonal activities. France’s expansiveness gives rise to various regions and climate zones, making picking the perfect time tricky.

The overall best times to visit France are either in the Spring or Autumn. There will be fewer crowds than during the summer months, and the temperature will be comfortable for spending time outdoors. 

Read on to learn more about the seasons in France and what you can expect during whichever season you choose to visit.

The Seasons in France Explained

France is situated on the coast of Western Europe. Its climate is heavily controlled by the Atlantic Ocean wind currents, as well as its altitude, air pressure, distance from the sun, and topography.

France is a lot bigger than most people realize. It stretches about 600 miles from north to south and east to west and is the third-largest country in Europe, following Ukraine and Russia. Because of this, France has multiple climate zones that influence its seasonal and regional weather.

France has approximately four climate zones, including the oceanic zone, continental zone, alpine zone, and Mediterranean zone. These are classified by the following characteristics:

  • Oceanic zone: Warm (not hot) summers, cool (not freezing) winters, scattered precipitation throughout the year
  • Continental zone: Hot and wet summers, cold and snowy winters
  • Alpine zone: Cold, windy, snowy, low seasonal temperatures, short frost-free period
  • Mediterranean zone: Hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters

As you can see, the climate zones across France vary a lot. Depending on where you go in France, this can affect what time of year is best to visit.

Tower Eiffel with pink Flowers

What Seasons Can You Expect in France?

France has all four seasons: summer, fall, winter, and spring. Though these may look different in various regions across the country, they are more or less what you expect.

The various season in France fall between these general months:

Summer: June to August

Fall: September to November

Winter: December to February

Spring: March to May

Best Time to Visit France

In France, summer is usually warm and crowded, while winters are cold but have far fewer crowds. Spring and fall are more moderate months with respect to both temperature and tourists.

In general, the fall and spring are the best time to go, simply because there are fewer people and you don’t need to worry about it being too hot or too cold.

However, every season is a great time to go to France. Each of them offers a little something special that you could not experience during the other seasons.

Summer Season in France

Most of France does not have that insufferably humid summer heat. Though it can get hot, the average temperature falls around 75-80°F. The only downside of France in the summer is the crowds.

Exploring the nature of France in the summer is remarkable. The country’s national parks are native to an array of creatures and plant life and stunning hiking trails and rivers to fish, kayak, or swim in.

Summer is one of the best times to visit the coastal towns of France situated in the Mediterranean climate zone. The heat is dry and enjoyable.

Summer Weather in France

  • Max avg. temp: 75.2°F (24°C)
  • Min avg. temp: 59°F (15°C)
  • Precipitation: Avg. 55 mm (2.2 inches) per month
  • Rainy days: Avg. 8 per month
  • Sundial: Avg. 8 hours

Summer Holidays in France

June 18: Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival

June 21: Music Day in France

June 23 (even-numbered years): Wine Festival in Bordeaux

July 14: Bastille Day

August 15: Assumption of the Virgin Mary

Summer Events in France

Best Places to Go During the Summer

  • Coast of France
  • Alps or Pyrenees
  • Brittany region
  • Loire Valley
  • Avignon
Lavender Fields in Bloom, Provence

Fall Season in France

As the warmth of the summer begins to cool, France becomes increasingly cozy. Autumn is the harvesting season in the country. You will be sure to smell the sweetness of wine and chestnuts in the later months.

The fall aromas mixed with the bursts of colors as the leaves change and fall make France exceptionally pleasant in this season.

There are an array of autumn festivals for you to enjoy on your fall trip to France, full of wine, spices, and local seafood.

Fall Weather in France

  • Max avg. temp: 60.8°F (16°C)
  • Min avg. temp: 48.2 °F (9 °C)
  • Precipitation: Avg. 50 mm (2 inches) per month
  • Rainy days: Avg. 8 per month
  • Sundial: Avg. 4 hours

Fall Holidays in France

  • October 9: The Day of Chestnut
  • October 16: Reading Festival in France
  • October 31: Halloween (Samhain)
  • November 11: Memorial Day (End of the First World War)
  • November 17: Festival of New Beaujolais

Fall Events in France

  • Paris Oktoberfest
  • Les Trois Glorieuses (wine and auction festival)
  • Cider and Chestnut Festival
  • Wine Harvest Festival
  • Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Horse Race

Best Places to Go During the Fall

  • Bordeaux
  • Paris
  • Normandy
  • Beaune
  • Haute-Marne

Winter Season in France

France’s climate regions have an extremely varying degree of severity when it comes to the winter. While the mountainous south has biting cold temperatures, coastal and central France is usually moderate, even in the dead of winter.

Like the summer, French winters are not too severe for most of the country. It is more common for the winters to be wet than snowy. However, in the more mountainous regions of the country, you will be sure to find lots of snow.

Winter Weather in France

  • Max avg. temp: 42.8 °F
  • Min avg. temp: 35.6 °F
  • Precipitation: Avg. 55 mm (2.2 inches) per month
  • Rainy days: Avg. 10 per month
  • Sundial: Avg. 2 hours

Winter Holidays in France

  • December 25: Christmas
  • December 30: New Year’s Eve
  • January 1: New Year’s Day
  • January 6: Catholic Epiphany
  • February 6: Violet Festival in Toulouse
  • February 13: Carnival in Nice and Menton Lemon Festival
  • February 14: St. Valentine’s Day

Winter Events in France

  • Christmas Markets in Alsace
  • Festival of Lights in Lyon
  • Paris Carnival
  • Lemon Festival
  • Corrida de Houilles
  • Carnival of Nice
  • Carnival of Dunkirk
  • Venetian Carnival of Annecy

Best Places to Go During the Winter

  • Alps and Pyrenees Mountains (skiing)
  • Alsace
  • Paris
  • Marseille
  • Cannes
  • Lyon
Colmar with Christmas decor

Spring Season in France

Spring is the season of blossoming flowers, green abundance, and flowing rivers from melting snow. In France, spring is incredibly romantic. It is the season of weddings!

If you want to head out to the French countryside or meander through small towns surrounded by blooming colorful buds, spring is one of the best times to go. You can enjoy warm weather that’s not too hot while getting a chance to witness France’s natural beauty.

Spring Weather in France

  • Max avg. temp: 59°F (15°C)
  • Min avg. temp: 44°F (7°C)
  • Precipitation: Avg. 40 mm (1.6 inches) per month
  • Rainy days: Avg. 6 per month
  • Sundial: Avg. 6 hours

Spring Holidays in France

  • The first Saturday of March: National Day of Grandmothers
  • March 8: International Women’s Day
  • March 20: International Day of Francophonie
  • April 1: April Fool’s Day
  • May 1: Labor Day
  • The first weekend of May: Festival of the Parrot
  • May 8: Day of Liberation from Fascism

Spring Events in France

  • The French Open in Paris
  • Cannes Film Festival
  • Kite and Wind Festival in Chatelaillon-Plage
  • Bayonne Chocolate Festival
  • Flowers festivals

Best Places to Go During the Spring

Giverny in Spring with tulips

France Seasons in French

Here are the French-language equivalent of the four seasons:

Summer – Été

Fall – Automne

Winter – Hiver

Spring – Printemps

Plan Your Trip to France

France Seasons

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