German German | ()
Available languages English English French French Spanish Spanish Italian Italian
Available currencies EUR (€) GBP (£) USD ($)

French Weather

France has one of the most varied climates of any country in the world. From the snow-covered mountains of the Pyrenees to sun-soaked Mediterranean beaches, it is possible to find almost any weather conditions you desire in this beautiful country.

What is it that makes France’s climate so diverse?

Beaulieu, Dordogne in the morning mist

See Weather Forecast for France >>.

Climate is governed by a number of considerations;

  • Latitude – The distance from the equator can affect how warm or cold a particular area is. Therefore, the South of France has a considerably milder climate than the north.
  • Altitude – Distance above sea level also plays a part in the temperature of an area, hence the mountainous regions of France, such as the Pyrenees and the Alps, can see much colder temperatures than low-lying areas.
  • Distance from the sea – Areas near to the sea tend to be warmer in winter and cooler in the summer than nearby inland areas. They can also experience more rain. The west coast, in particular, is notorious for high rainfall. However, the climate is moderate and relatively warm. Central France is subject to very cold winters and long hot summers.
  • Winds – The wind on the west coast comes from the Atlantic Ocean and is generally wet and warm. The South of France often experiences a cold wind, which blows from the Alps, called the Mistral, which brings a chill to the air in this normally temperate region.

These factors mean that France’s climate can be split into five distinct areas.

Maritime

The North and West of the country have a climate which is very similar to the south of the UK. You can expect mild winters and warm summer months.

Alpine

In the highest areas, such as the Pyrenees and the Alps, it may be cold all year round. The mountain peaks remain covered in snow, even in the height of the summer. Winter often sees the formation of glaciers and heavy snowfall. This makes these areas perfect for skiing.

Lower Alpine

The lowest regions of the Alps can experience very hot weather in the summer, although they can also be prone to stormy weather.

Continental

The north east of France has a continental climate, which means it experiences hot summers and harsh winters.

Mediterranean

The south east coastline is hot and dry in the summer and has mild, wet winters. Temperatures can drop rapidly if the Mistral blows down from the Alps

What about Sunshine?

As a rough guide, the further south you travel in France, the more sunshine you will see. Annual sunshine in France varies considerably with less than 1750 hours in the north, to over 2750 hours in the south.

French Weather by Region

Alsace

Alsace has a continental climate, with low rainfall and warm summers. Skiing is possible in the Vosges Mountains in the winter months. Average temperatures are 18oC in the summer months and 3.5oC in the winter, with average sunshine of 1636 hours per year.

Aquitaine

Aquitaine has a mild maritime climate. The region has plentiful sunshine and ample rain which makes Aquitaine one of the greenest areas of France. Average temperatures are 22oC in the summer months and 5oC the winter, with average sunshine 2200 hours per year.

Auvergne

The Auvergne experiences long cold winters and short summers, meaning the region is particularly known for its quick-growing herbs. Average temperatures are 18oC in the summer months and 3.5oC in the winter, with average sunshine 1907 hours per year.

Brittany

Brittany, with its maritime climate, has mild winters and pleasant summers. Although rain from the Atlantic is common, there is rarely a day in Brittany which does not experience at least some sunshine. Average temperatures are 17.5oC in the summer months and 5.6oC in the winter, with average sunshine 1851 hours per year.

Burgundy

Burgundy has a maritime climate, with continental tendencies. Weather can be changeable, with frequent snow showers in the winter and occasional thunderstorms during the warm summers. Average temperatures are 19.6oC in the summer months and 1.6oC the winter, with average sunshine 1830 hours per year.

Centre

The centre of France has a continental climate, with maritime influences. It has long, pleasant, hot summers and short, mild winters. Average temperatures are 17.6oC in the summer months and 3.7oC in the winter, with average sunshine 1804 hours per year.

Champagne Ardenne

The Champagne region, with its maritime climate, has thundery summers and long cold winters. Typically, the region experiences 20 to 30 days snow fall each year. Average temperatures are 18oC in the summer months and 2oC in the winter, with average sunshine 1500 hours per year.

Corsica

Corsica’s Mediterranean climate makes it one of the warmest and sunniest regions of France, even in the winter months. Whilst the mountain areas can be cool, and there are brief periods of heavy rain, in general the island is warm and pleasant all year round. Average temperatures are 27.2oC in the summer months and 13oC in the winter, with average sunshine 2737 hours per year.

Franche Comte

The Franche Comte region combines the lower Alpine climate with the continental. The area has a tendency to be quite damp and weather can be variable. As a general guide, you can expect summers to be hot and winters to be long. Average temperatures are 17.9oC in the summer months and 2.3oC in the winter, with average sunshine 1872 hours per year.

Paris Ile de France

The Paris Ile de France region benefits from both maritime and continental climates. Because of the layout of the surrounding countryside (flatlands surrounded by hills), the area is relatively sheltered, leading to warmer than anticipated temperatures. Average temperatures are 19.5oC in the summer months and 5oC in the winter, with average sunshine 1798 hours per year.

Languedoc Roussillon

Although certain areas of Languedoc Roussillon can be fairly cold in the winter months, in general the region benefits from a Mediterranean climate and experiences long, hot, summers. Average temperatures are 23.7oC in the summer months and 8.1oC in the winter, with average sunshine 2506 hours per year.

Limousin

Although it is wholly inland, the Limousin climate is primarily a maritime one. High altitude areas can experience long cold winters, while lower regions are much milder. Summer months are warm and pleasant, with some humidity. Average temperatures are 18oC in the summer months and 4.5oC in the winter, with average sunshine 1974 hours per year.

Lorraine

The continental climate of Lorraine leads to warm summers, pleasant springs and autumns and cold winters. The weather is similar to that of the nearby Alsace region. Average temperatures are 17.6oC in the summer months and 2.2oC in the winter, with average sunshine 1638 hours per year.

Midi Pyrenees

The Midi-Pyrenees experience both maritime and alpine climates, with temperatures in the highest areas cool and the lower areas humid. Summers are usually hot and sunny. Average temperatures are 20.2oC in the summer months and 6oC in the winter, with average sunshine 2047 hours per year.

Nord pas de Calais

The maritime climate of this region is very similar to that of the UK. Despite the French believing that it never stops raining in the north, in actual fact, rainfall is lower here than it is in the South of France. Average temperatures are 16.5oC in the summer months and 3.2oC in the winter, with average sunshine 1600 hours per year.

Lower Normandy

Lower Normandy has a mild maritime climate, which is cold in the winter and pleasantly warm, but rarely hot, in the summer. Average temperatures are 17oC in the summer months and 4.5oC in the winter, with average sunshine 1763 hours per year.

Upper Normandy

The Upper Normandy climate is almost identical to that of neighbouring Lower Normandy. Statistics show that you can expect slightly more rainfall but also slightly warmer temperatures in the summer. Average temperatures are 17.1oC in the summer months and 3.6oC in the winter, with average sunshine 1687 hours per year.

Pays de la Loire

Pays de la Loire with its maritime climate experiences mild winters and warm summers. Both spring and autumn are pleasantly warm. Average temperatures are 17.6oC in the summer months and 5.9oC in the winter, with average sunshine 1956 hours per year.

Picardy

Picardy’s northerly position and maritime climate leads to the area being cooler than most, with powerful winds. Summers are short but warm. Average temperatures are 16.5oC in the summer months and 3.2oC in the winter, with average sunshine 1600 hours per year.

Poitou-Charentes

Poitou-Charentes' southerly position and maritime climate mean that it has gained a reputation for one of the pleasantest climates in France. Winters are mild and summers hot, but not muggy. Average temperatures are 20.4oC in the summer months and 5.6oC in the winter, with average sunshine 2400 hours per year.

Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur

This region is well known for its Mediterranean climate of hot, sunny weather. The region benefits from cooler temperatures from the nearby mountains and it is possible to find a comfortable area, even on the hottest of days. Average temperatures are 22.7oC in the summer months and 6.4oC in the winter, with average sunshine 2835 hours per year.

Rhone Alpes

Rhone Alpes, with its combination of Alpine, Lower Alpine and Mediterranean climates, has one of the most diverse mixes of weather in France. As a general guide, summers are hot and dry in the South, whereas winters tend to be cold and damp. Average temperatures are 19.6oC in the summer months and 3.4oC in the winter, with average sunshine 1976 hours per year.

The variable French climate, which includes ample rainfall and plenty of sunshine, means that almost all regions of France are rich with vegetation.

North-eastern France plays host to dense forests, the north rolling fields, the mountains and abundance of herbs and in the south vineyards aplenty. Wherever you go you are treated to a verdant landscape which is easy to enjoy.

Finde Immobilien

£ 0
£ 0
0
0
0
0
Mein Ferienhaus finden >

Join the Guest List

Your Email Address *
First Name
Last Name