Summer in France: Weather, Sun-soaked Beaches and More

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WEATHER AND TEMPERATURE IN FRANCE DURING WINTER

Lavender field and a house in France during summer.
Mid-June to mid-August is when the French lavender fields are in full bloom.

Summer in France is characterized by long, clear, sunny days. Temperatures vary across the country. In Paris, mornings are pleasant, with the mercury hovering at 18°C (64°F), while daytime temperatures can range from 25°C (77°F) to 30°C (86°F). Venture south to Nice along the French Riviera, and you will find warmer temperatures, with the daytime range of 22°C (71°F) to 33°C (91°F). Nights are cooler, thanks to the Mediterranean breeze.

Wind patterns vary, with coastal regions experiencing refreshing sea breezes while inland areas may have calmer conditions. Rainfall is scarce during summer, ensuring dry and sunny days. Snowfall is a rarity, confined only to the mountainous regions in the south.

Month June
July August
Avg high 21°C (69°F)

24°C (75°F)

24°C (75°F)
Avg low 12°C (53°F) 14°C (57°F) 15°C (58°F)
Rainfall (mm) 38 36 30

For a more detailed seasonal overview, check out our guide on the best time to visit Denmark.

More information:
Switzerland in June
Switzerland in July
Switzerland in August

WHY VISIT FRANCE IN WINTER?

From visiting the scenic lavender fields of Provence to holidaying in the glamorous seaside town of Cannes and from exploring historic castles like Chateau de Versailles to attending iconic events like Le Mans 24-Hour Grand Prix , there are endless reasons to tour France in summer.

  • Mediterranean beach bliss: During the summer, the Mediterranean coastline boasts temperatures perfect for sunbathing and refreshing dips in azure waters. Nice, Cannes and Saint-Tropez become lively hubs with bustling markets, al fresco dining and a laid-back coastal atmosphere. The French Riviera is perfect for a sun-soaked beach retreat.
  • Festivities and events galore: Summer in France is synonymous with festivals and events that celebrate everything from music and art to food and wine. Bastille Day sees a military parade in Paris dating back to 1880, and the historic city of Avignon comes alive with performances and street art at the Avignon Theatre Festival in July. You’ll also find many wine festivals in regions like Bordeaux and Burgundy, where you can savor world-class wines at more affordable rates compared to peak grape harvesting seasons. The iconic Le Mans 24-Hour Grand Prix takes place in June.
  • Best time to explore sites and attractions: Longer daylight hours during the summer season mean more time to explore the sites and culture. In Paris, for instance, the iconic landmarks, from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre, are beautifully illuminated well into the evening. You can also take leisurely strolls along the Seine, where you can visit charming cafés and experience the city's vibrant nightlife.
  • Perfect biking and hiking conditions: Summer in France boasts the perfect weather for a leisurely bike ride through the vineyards of Bordeaux. The rolling hills adorned with vine rows create a scenic route for wine enthusiasts and casual bikers alike. Pedal through famous wine regions like Saint-Émilion, stopping at chateaux for wine tastings — a quintessentially French summer experience. You can also head into the French Alps for a summer adventure of hiking or biking through alpine meadows, offering panoramic views of snow-capped peaks.

If you're considering a trip to France, we recommend looking at our France guide for a clear overview to help you plan your journey effectively.

TOP 3 DESTINATIONS TO VISIT DURING WINTER IN FRANCE

Beyond the well-trodden paths of Paris and the French Riviera, there's a kaleidoscope of hidden gems waiting to be explored in France during your summer trip. Here's a glimpse of the best places to visit in France during summer.

1. Brittany

Boats in the harbor of Port Tudy and a red lighthouse in the background.
Head to Port Tudy in Brittany to enjoy the scenic costal views from its lighthouse or simply take a boat trip taking advantage of the balmy weather in summer.

Experience a captivating blend of Celtic traditions, picturesque landscapes, and lively coastal towns in Brittany. France’s northwesternmost region comes alive in summer with lively festivals, fresh seafood, and panoramic views. Explore the medieval fortress of Saint-Malo and its architectural gems, such as the Grand Fort National and the Cathedral of Saint Vincent. Head to Dinard, often referred to as the ‘Nice of the North,’ to enjoy beautiful Belle Époque architecture, pristine beaches, and vibrant gardens. Stroll through the cobbled streets of the old town and visit the impressive Cathedral of Saint Peter in Vannes. For a taste of rugged beauty, head to the Quiberon Peninsula and visit the wild and windswept Côte Sauvage for a refreshing seaside experience. Dive into the regional culinary scene with a feast of fresh seafood in local bistros. For a tranquil escape, discover the serene Île de Cézembre or take a boat to the nearby Channel Islands.

Major Attractions: Saint-Malo, Dinard, Côte de Granit Rose (Pink Granite Coast), Île de Bréhat, Vannes, Quiberon Peninsula, Île de Cézembre

Pros:

  • Brittany’s coastal towns are a seafood paradise during the summer season, where you can indulge in the freshest catches at seaside restaurants and markets.
  • The summer weather in Brittany is perfect for outdoor activities and exploration. From relaxing coastal walks to exhilarating water sports, the region offers a variety of summer outdoor fun.

Cons:

  • While the lively atmosphere is a pro, it can also mean more tourists. Popular destinations like Saint-Malo and Dinard may get crowded during the peak summer months.

2. Toulouse 

A kid and an old couple spotted near Canal du Midi.
Cycle along the picturesque Canal du Midi.

Known as 'La Ville Rose' for its distinctive pink brick buildings, Toulouse comes alive in summer with colorful festivals, charming sidewalk cafés and sunny squares. Wander through the streets of the old town and take in architectural gems like the magnificent 14th-century Saint-Sernin Basilica and the Capitole de Toulouse with its grand columns. Take a cruise along the Canal du Midi, a Unesco World Heritage Site noted for its tree-lined banks, locks, and beautiful bridges. For a taste of the summer sun, stroll to the riverfront quays of the Garonne and enjoy riverside cocktails and dining.

Major Attractions: Saint-Sernin Basilica, Canal du Midi, the Garonne river quays, La Place du Capitole

Pros:

  • Toulouse's summertime café culture creates a relaxed and vibrant atmosphere perfect for outdoor dining with a glass of local wine.
  • Summer weather is ideal for cycling the city or canal boat rides along the Canal du Midi.
  • Various summer music and cultural festivals celebrate the arts, cinema, and local traditions.

Cons:

  • Toulouse’s popularity in summer can lead to increased traffic and limited parking spaces, especially in the town center. Consider using public transportation or planning your visits during less busy times to avoid these challenges.

3. Provence

Charming vintage Provencal home adorned with vibrant fresh flowers, featuri
Experience the timeless allure of Provence staying in an enchanting vintage home, framed by vibrant flowers, classic shutters, and elegant windows.

Provence blossoms in summer with sun-soaked landscapes, fragrant lavender fields, and historic towns that exude timeless charm. The region, known for its vibrant markets, delightful cuisine, and artistic legacy, becomes an enchanting haven during summer. The Valensole Plateau transforms into a surreal canvas of purple during summer as lavender fields burst into full bloom. Witness these iconic landscapes near quaint villages like Valensole and Sault. Explore the medieval charm of Avignon and the Palais des Papes. Immerse yourself in the vibrant ambiance of Aix-en-Provence's markets like the Marché aux Fleurs (Flower Market) and the daily food market in Place Richelme. Savor local produce, cheeses, and artisanal goods while soaking in the Provençal atmosphere. Gordes, perched on a hilltop, is one of the most beautiful villages you can explore on your Provence trip. Wander through narrow streets lined with stone houses, explore the castle, and enjoy panoramic views of the Luberon Valley.

Major Attractions: Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Gordes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the Luberon, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Les Baux-de-Provence, the Valensole Plateau

Pros:

  • Provence enjoys warm and sunny weather in the summer, making it ideal for outdoor activities. Whether it's exploring historic villages, hiking in the Luberon, or cycling through vineyards, the pleasant climate enhances the overall experience.
  • The warm summer evenings in Provence invite outdoor dining in charming squares and along cobblestone streets. Enjoying a leisurely meal or a glass of wine at a café while soaking in the ambiance is a quintessential Provençal experience.

Cons:

  • Summer is a popular time to visit Provence, attracting tourists from around the world. Major attractions, especially in well-known villages and towns, can get very crowded.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN FRANCE IN SUMMER

In summer, France promises a diverse and unforgettable array of experiences, from the beautiful beaches and glitz and glamor of the French Riviera to the tranquil beauty of the Dordogne Valley. Here are some of the best things to do in France in summer:

  • Indulge in the coastal charm of the French Riviera: In summer, the French Riviera offers a dazzling array of experiences, from glamorous beaches and cultural exploration to scenic drives and vibrant nightlife. Bask in the Mediterranean sun on the pebbly beaches of Nice and enjoy picturesque seaside strolls along the Promenade des Anglais. Wander through the charming, cobbled streets of Antibes' Old Town, surrounded by medieval walls and dotted with lively markets. Experience the vibrant nightlife of Saint-Tropez, where chic beach clubs and lively bars come alive after sunset. Indulge in a shopping spree in the high-end boutiques of Saint-Tropez and Cannes and visit the Palais des Festivals, famous for the Cannes Film Festival. Take a coastal drive along the Corniche d'Or, hike the Cap d'Antibes coastal trail, and take a boat trip from the charming peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
  • Visit the iconic Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy: Venture to Mont Saint-Michel, a medieval abbey perched on a rocky island off the coast of Normandy. Explore the impressive halls, chapels, and cloisters of the abbey and enjoy a guided tour of the Abbey Church, with its soaring spires and striking stained glass. Wander through the medieval village, discovering quaint shops, artisan boutiques, and charming eateries. After the abbey, explore the historic D-Day Landing Beaches, such as Omaha Beach and Utah Beach, where the Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944, during World War II. Marvel at the Bayeux Tapestry displayed at the Bayeux Museum for a fascinating glimpse into medieval history. Visit the picturesque port town of Honfleur, known for its charming harbor, colorful buildings, and cobbled streets. Take a tour of local cideries and distilleries to sample Normandy's renowned apple-based beverages like cider and Calvados.
  • Go wine tasting in Bordeaux: Explore the world-famous vineyards of Bordeaux in summer. Take a quintessential Italian wine tour through the rolling hills, visit prestigious châteaux, and indulge in wine tastings. Bordeaux's wine regions, including Saint-Émilion and Pessac-Léognan, offer a delightful journey for wine connoisseurs. Visit vineyards along the Left Bank (Médoc, Graves) or the Right Bank (Saint-Émilion, Pomerol) to discover the diversity of Bordeaux wines. Check for wine festivals and events happening in Bordeaux during the summer, like the Bordeaux Fête le Vin, where you can enjoy tastings, vineyard tours, and opportunities to meet winemakers.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR VISITING FRANCE IN THE SUMMER

A pretty alley in the Eze village on the French Riviera coast.
Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate when exploring the Eze village on the French Riviera coast.
Woman walking the coastline of Arcachon Bay.
Take advantage of the long daylight hours in summer to walk the coastline of Arcachon Bay.
  • To enjoy popular attractions like the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Mont Saint-Michel with fewer crowds around, plan your tour early in the morning.
  • French dining culture tends to include later dinner times. Be flexible with your dining schedule, especially in smaller towns, and embrace the leisurely pace of French meals.
  • Learn a few basic French phrases. While many people in tourist areas speak English, trying to speak basic French phrases will endear you to locals and enhance your overall experience.
  • Embrace the French tradition of ‘l'apéro’ — a pre-dinner drink and snack session. Join locals in sipping a refreshing beverage and nibbling on appetizers while enjoying the early evening atmosphere.

A summer sojourn in France promises a diverse and memorable experience. Whether you're exploring bustling markets, wandering through medieval villages, sipping Champagne on the Seine, or relaxing on secluded beaches, there's something for every traveler.
Reach out to our local travel experts to plan a customized trip to France in the summer, where you can pick and choose the destinations for your itinerary. 

France tours in Summer
Published by Supriya Rayamajhi, updated on January 26, 2024

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