June is an excellent time of year to visit France, now that the weather is consistently warm (on land and in the sea!), the flowers are in bloom, and there are exciting festivals and cultural events taking place throughout the country. Yet, opportunities to snag airfare or accommodation deals are dwindling, and the crowds of tourists are ever-growing—so the earlier you can go in the month, the better. Read on for more tips on where to go and what to expect in France this month.

Weather

The weather and sea in June are consistently warm enough to entice visitors to the beach along the southern shore, with an average range of 63-73°F (17-23°C) while the sea is now an inviting 72°F (22°C). You’ll want to pack your beach gear alongside a light sweater for the slightly cooler evenings. Similarly, in Atlantic France, you can count on sunnier days with lows of 57°F (14°C) and highs of (21°C).

Elsewhere in the country, the weather is a bit of a mixed bag, with sunny warm days broken up with bouts of rain or thunderstorms. If you’re in Paris, for example, you can expect a temperature range of 57-73°F (14-23°C) and 54-77°F (12-25°C) in Northeast France. The focus of your packing should be on light summery clothing, though you’ll want a sweater and jacket with your umbrella, too.

Crowds & Costs

In early June you're still ahead of the tourist crush in most cities, with the exception of Paris. Here the tourist season is well underway, so plan ahead and make your necessary reservations. Whether you're visiting Paris or the popular southern coast of France, you can expect an uptick in prices as all hotels and restaurants are open for business.

Ferry schedules to Corsica are running on their summer schedule and are fully operational making it more convenient to plan your day. Toward the end of the month, some of the more popular venues can feel crowded and most airlines, hotels, and car rental companies no longer offer bargain prices.

Where to Go

June marks the beginning of the high festival season, when France commits to celebrating everything, from music and wine to history and the arts.

If you’re not crowd-shy, this is one of the best times of the year to be in Paris. Spend a morning café-hopping in the city’s historic Latin Quarter or in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. Order a glass of vin blanc (white wine) at one of the most famous left bank cafés, Café Les Deux Magots, and sit where Hemingway, Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir once sat. Enjoy a picnic in Champ des Mars with a pretty view of the Eiffel Tower before finding your way to Île-de-France for ParisBeerWeek, a festive event dedicated to craft beer. And for a little cultural enlightenment get yourself to Versailles now that the Versailles Festival is happening. You can expect concerts of classical music, operas, masked balls, dance, and pyrotechnic displays.

Rent a car or take the train (generally a faster option) and visit Samois-sur-Seine, just north of Fontainebleau and dance with abandon in the streets while the Django Reinhardt Jazz Festival takes place. There’s also the country-wide Fête de la Musique to consider. No matter where you are come the summer solstice (June 21) the whole nation comes alive with the sounds of music. Enjoy free performances taking place on the streets, in bars and restaurants, museums, concert halls, and in parks.

Northeast of Paris is Reims, the unofficial capital of the Champagne wine-growing region, where you’ll find a weekend-long festival commemorating the coronation of Charles VII in Reims Cathedral. Watch the historical reenactment of the procession, as well as see live music performances, falconry displays, and workshops showcasing traditional stone cutting and wool spinning practices. And in Bordeaux, one of the world’s leading wine-producing regions, you’ll find the Bordeaux Wine Festival taking place. You can sample a wide diversity of wines as well as tour vineyards, attend wine workshops, and see vibrant firework displays.

What to Do

A trip to France would not be complete without a visit to the coast now that the weather is beach-perfect and the sea is finally warm enough for swimming, particularly in the South of France. If you’re in want of visiting the French Riviera, some less busy beach alternatives to the more frequented, glamorous counterparts are the small beaches of Plage Graviers and Plage des Salins around St. Tropez. There’s also Villefranche-sur-Mer next door to Nice, as well as the even quieter, Plage de Passable.

There’s more to Provence than its beaches. If you’re an active hiker, consider heading inland to hike the Valley of Wonders in Mercantour National Park. It’s a great option that combines world-class hiking with fascinating archaeological history—over 40,000 petroglyphs from early man to be discovered—in the Southern Alps. And for a unique experience, head further north to Tignes for a little summer skiing or snowboarding on the Grande Motte glacier (the summer season runs from late June to early August). There’s also the Pyrenees to consider for an alternative hiking destination. Choose the Cirque du Gavarnie route for rewarding views of Europe’s largest waterfall at its center.

Events in June

D-Day Festival. From late May to mid-June, Normandy hosts a number of events including a parade and musical salute to veterans on June 6 (the anniversary of the D-Day landings and France’s liberation). You can also expect fireworks, historical reenactments, concerts, and special tours.

La Fête de la Musique (Music Festival). On the day of the summer solstice (June 21), you’ll find all genres of music celebrated throughout France. Catch free performances: on the streets and in parks, in museums and concert halls, and in bars and restaurants.

Festival des Jardins (International Garden Festival). From April to October the gardens of Château Chaumont-sur-Loire host this annual festival showcasing up to 30 themed gardens put on by landscape architects, designers, and artists.

Traveling to France in June? Check out these great itineraries.

Southern Alps and the French Riviera: Hiking & Culture Tour – 4 Days. On this nature and culture tour, you'll experience the best of the Southern Alps and French Riviera, famous for their alpine scenery and Mediterranean coastal beauty. Over three days, you'll discover the historic city of Nice, the valleys of Mercantour National Park, ancient petroglyphs, and much more.

Discover France: Paris, Normandy, Bordeaux, the Dordogne Region – 14 Days. You will be delighted by this trip in Paris, Normandy, Bordeaux and the Dordogne region. This is a subtle mix of French history and culture, wine and flavors, and some bucolic landscapes such as the Atlantic coast and Dordogne perched villages. A great road trip adventure for the whole family!

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