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Julia van der Sluis

The historic Palais des Papes (Pope’s Palace) in Avignon
Best Time of Year to Visit Provence

The shoulder season months of May and September are the best times to visit Provence if you like warm weather, clear skies, and beaches without the throngs of tourists. But for travelers who can handle the crowds and surging prices, the summer (June to August) is a close second, as the lavender fields are in full bloom and the French Riviera is open for business. If you’re here in winter (December to February), enjoy a ski holiday in the Southern Alps or stick to the coast for wild carnival celebrations.

Château de Villandry on a stunningly gorgeous cloudy spring day
Best Time of Year to Visit France: Weather, Travel Tips, & More

France offers year-round appeal, whether you're craving sun and sea, powdery snow, or a peaceful, crowd-free escape. The winter months (December to February) are great for a ski holiday and cultural exploration, while the summer (June to August) is the busiest and priciest time of year due in part for its great weather. The best time to visit France, however, is in the spring (April to May) or fall (September to November) when the weather is warm and the crowds are manageable.

Stroll through Marseille's Vieux Port
Provence in December: Travel Tips, Weather, & More

Though the nights are a little longer and the days cooler, December kicks off La Calendale Christmas season in Provence brightening spirits. Every village, town, and city gets a festive makeover of twinkling lights, lively window displays, and bustling Christmas markets. Plus, it's time to hit the slopes of the Southern Alps now that the ski season is underway.

The well-preserved ancient Roman amphitheater in Arles
Provence in November: Travel Tips, Weather, & More

Summer is a distant memory with cooling temperatures and changing foliage. The vineyards of Provence transform into a blaze of gold, bronze, and red while towns and villages celebrate the "primeur" tastings of the season’s harvest from months earlier. And with the Toussaint holidays, you can expect reduced hours at major sites and attractions.

Saint-Tropez looks out onto the Mediterranean
Provence in October: Travel Tips, Weather, & More

Even though it’s the rainiest month of the year, it’s still Provence. That means the showers are short and heavy, leaving you time to enjoy the bouts of sunshine. Plus, the Mediterranean Sea is pleasant enough to entice beachgoers and harvest festivals are plenty. Let this monthly guide help you find the best places to visit and things to do.

Tour the number of vineyards strewn throughout Provence, like this one in the Gigondas region
Provence in September: Travel Tips, Weather, & More

There’s a welcome change in the air as August’s chaos turns into September’s calm. Temperatures taper off as the month progresses and the holidaymakers migrate home. Plus, the vineyard's darkened vines bear grapes ready for the picking: it’s the start of the vendange (grape harvest) season!