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Many areas of France are beautiful in March. Spring is just starting, bringing flowers, fresh produce and slightly warmer temperatures, without the hordes of crowds that descend during the summer. Especially if you choose to travel to France earlier in the month, you’ll likely benefit from cheaper flights, better hotel rates and more space to visit the main attractions.

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France Weather in March

Skier skiing in the Alps mountains near Chamonix in France in March.
Skiing in France in the spring can be very rewarding as the days are longer and the weather is better.

France is a big country with some differences in weather depending on the location. On average, daily temperatures in March hit highs of 12°C and go down as low as 5°C. As a rule, temperatures get warmer the further south you go, with the exception of the mountain regions which still have open ski seasons in March. The temperature in the south of France during March averages between 14–15°C. Also the closer you get to the coastline, you should account for the increase in wind and drop in temperature.

For a seasonal overview, see our guide on the best time to visit France.

Weather in France in March - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)81216
Avg Nightly (°C)357
Avg Daily (°F)475461
Avg Nightly (°F)384145
Avg Rainfall (mm)222425

Why Visit France in March

A traditional book market along River Seine in Paris, France in March.
The Paris Book Fair showcases books on art, comics, children's literature, and cookbooks.
A snowboarder jumps of a cliff in Les Portes du Soleil in France in March.
Snowboarding events like Snowboxx happen in the French Alps in March.

Honestly, there isn’t a bad time to visit France, but there are quite a few reasons why March is an ideal month to travel, from balmy temperatures to festivals. Let’s find out more!

  • Cheaper rates: After the main ski season but not quite warm enough for the late spring/summer holidays, the rates often go down in March for the shoulder season.
  • Less crowded: Fewer people visit France in March which means you have more time and space to explore the places that are normally overrun with tourists.
  • Carnival season: Although like most of Europe, the bulk of the carnival season is in February, there are some huge events in March too, including La Rochelle Carnaval on the southwest coast. The Paris Book Fair also takes place in the capital every year in March. This is one of the most renowned annual literary events in France; it welcomes 3000 authors showcasing books in all genres.
  • Snowboarding events: The week-long skiing event, Snowboxx, is held in the French Alps in March. You can zip down the slopes as you explore the world’s largest ski area. The event also features igloo parties, spa sessions, and music performances, all of which make for an amazing trip in the south of France.

Where To Go and What To Do

Hikers enjoying the panoramic view of Gorges de la Loire Nature Reserve.
The balmy temperature in France during spring is ideal for some lower-altitude hiking.

If you’re planning on visiting France in March, then we have lots of recommendations for things to do and see. March is a great month to go snowboarding in the Alps or Pyrenees; there is plenty of snow to enjoy and the resorts are quieter than they sometimes are in February. You could also go for some lower-altitude hiking and cycling in the Loire Valley as it has a pleasantly warm temperature with low humidity.

If you’re into blues and jazz, head to Paris in late March for Banlieues Bleues, a music festival that spans over 16 towns around the city. Each town offers something slightly different and showcases acts from all around the world. It's a jazz lovers' dream.

Into motorsports? Head up to the north of France to take in the exciting carnage that is Le Touquet Car Rally, where over 150 cars take to the historic streets of this beautiful seaside town. Or, if you prefer poetry, why not head further south to Nice and check out their poetry festival called Les Printemps Des Poetes for some spoken word culture in the springtime sunshine. You will find plenty of writers and poets offering readings and workshops across the French Riveria during this time.

Looking for something more relaxing? Then head to Provence, the food and flower hub, to discover the Fete of the Violets, the Violet Festival. Here the whole area is overrun with the smell and color of beautiful violets. It’s a gardener’s paradise and definitely something that needs to be seen to be appreciated - and exclusive to March time!

What To Bring

A Paris street with view on the Eiffel Tower on a cloudy spring day.
France in March is a blend of art, music, festivals and events which make for a spectacular spring holiday.

As the old adage goes, ‘there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing’. This is definitely something to keep in mind if you’re visiting France in March. As the bridge between winter and spring you might need both your raincoat and sunglasses within a matter of hours. French weather in spring is pretty unpredictable so come prepared for all weather—layers are your best bet here and then you can at least bundle up or strip off accordingly. Don’t forget to bring sun cream, especially if you’re on the slopes—the UV is powerful in the mountains!

So to round up, if you’re looking for culture and arts, there are jazz and poetry festivals going on all across the country, as well as unique and dazzling carnivals. If you’re up for some serious shredding out on the slopes, there is plenty of powder across the French resorts to get your fill. If you just want to relax with a great French plate of food, all the good produce is starting to emerge in March so definitely bring your appetite.

With so much to discover in France in March, it can be difficult to decide where to go and what to do. Ask a travel expert for fully customizable trips.

Looking for some inspiration for your March trip to France? Check out some of our favorite tours.

Other articles:
France in February
France in April

Published by Tim Green, updated on October 18, 2023

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