Sara and John say...
The climate of France is as varied as its cuisine! From the mild Atlantic, through the continental interior to the Mediterranean - not forgetting the Alps and Pyrenees - there’s something for everyone, depending on what region and time of year you're visiting.
In general, summertime brings a comfortable warmth. Temperatures in the capital, Paris, reach the mid-20s Celsius on a typical summer’s day. It’s cooler on northern and western coasts, when winds blow from the sea; but progressively warmer further south - routinely reaching 30C towards the Med. However, summer heatwaves are not uncommon, when highs nearer 40C can waft northwards. The heat can be stifling, irregularly broken by thunderstorms. But in general, the summer months are punctuated by softer refreshing showers that keep the countryside reasonably verdant; and most days remain dry.
Summer heat can linger into autumn - a mellow time for visiting. Away from the mountains, frost and snow are uncommon before late November or December.
Winter warmth is confined to southernmost areas, where temperatures still manage to reach the mid-teens. But elsewhere, single-figure highs are typical, with fairly regular overnight frosts. Conditions can vary quite markedly through the winter months - between mild and cold, rain and snow. However, in general, there are more grey days in winter, compared with summer.
Spring brings a haphazard recovery in temperatures. But by April and May, the days are long and genuine warmth returns. It's a favourite time to visit.
The Massif Central and Jura ranges bring lower temperatures and more rain or snow, depending on time of year. However the Alps and Pyrenees are a ‘different world’! In summertime the mountain valleys present a lush playground for hikers, cyclists, paragliders and kayakers. Days are comfortably warm, but winters are routinely freezing for many months, making these some of the most popular worldwide venues for winter-sports. Enjoy France and bon appetit!