Every summer, the South of France attracts millions of tourists from all over the world, but is summer really the best time to visit France?
Granted, you’re almost guaranteed 24/7 sunshine, the beachside resorts are at their liveliest and inland villages celebrate their ‘fêtes du village’ and ‘férias’ (village festivals). The event calendars are filled to the brim, all while still being able to find a relatively deserted beach or wander alone through a lesser known medieval hilltop village.
Then, why would spring be better? Well, here’s 5 good reasons why!
1. It’s Cheaper
There, it’s been said! But it’s true, and it’s an important factor for many people. Hotels, holiday homes and campsites are all considerably cheaper in springtime compared to peak summer season, mainly because demand is a lot lower, deals can be negotiated and ‘fully booked’ is a sentence you won’t hear too quickly. Overall, prices in April-May can be half of July-August rates, making even a luxurious holiday villa in the Côte d’Azur, affordable. It’s not only accommodation that’s cheaper in spring as many restaurants, bars, and excursion organisers put their prices up in peak season, so you can make the most of lower prices.
2. It’s Quieter
Springtime in the South of France is mellow and laid back, kids are still in school and the masses aren’t on holiday yet, which means that you can have what’s a usually crowded beach, all to yourself! No more fighting that lobster-red father-of-two for the last table at your favourite restaurant or for one of the best sunbeds. Other benefits include that the chances of being stuck in traffic for hours on end are a lot lower, so you can use the beautiful French roads what they’re meant for – bowling down in a haze of vineyard-green frenzy. Most restaurants and bars that have been closed down during the winter are already open from April-May, welcoming the early tourists and expats waking eagerly from their hibernation.
3. It’s Still Warm and Sunny
There’s no reason to be too worried about the weather, as French winters are generally already very mellow, and even in January-February temperatures can smoothly hit 20 °C at times. April-June in turn, translates to wonderful weather where daytime temperatures usually stay between 20 and 30 C°, considerably better than the soaring 40°C summer heat. True, the chance of some grey skies or a thunderstorm every now and again are slightly higher in springtime, but the region overall is known to have over 300 days of sunshine per year – so, no need to worry!
4. It’s Still Blooming Beautiful
The fact that there are occasional showers and that the soaring heat is still to come, means that the landscapes are at their best. Trees are blossoming, flowers blooming, and the fields and vineyards are oceans of hundreds of shades of green. Views are unspoilt and lack the many tourists trampling through your insta-perfect cadre, beaches are almost deserted and instead of vineyard tours, you’ll see actual workers on the fields preparing for the summer season.
5. It’s More Relaxed
Pleasant temperatures, beautiful surroundings and a calm atmosphere before the summer season, all contribute to the locals’ good mood. The French are known for being very laid back, friendly and are pros at going with the flow no matter the situation, and the spring is the best time to experience that. During the summer, locals in the tourism industry are understandably stressed, whereas during the spring, they’re calm and collected and always happy to supply a friendly wave or a chat. Spring is also the period in which expats prepare their homes for the letting season, so amongst all of the French you will hear some English, Dutch and German.
So, if you’re lucky enough to be able to have a holiday in the spring, why not go for the South of France? The climate is guaranteed to be better than back home, it’s easy to reach (both via land and air), and the change of scenery will leave you both relaxed and satisfied!
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