French weather and climate

French weather and climate

Before you book your visit to France, why not learn about what the weather conditions are likely to be. Some areas of France benefit from excellent weather conditions in summer, but its winters can be cold, especially in northern areas and eastern of France.

The South and South East of the country are known for their warmer climates. And there are a few hidden gems that are also great for warmer weather. Charentes is actually the second sunniest region of France. Whether you want to know how much snow there will be in Alps during January, or whether it will be raining in Marseille in March, planning ahead can make your trip so much more enjoyable.

Despite the fact that France is not a huge country, the weather varies greatly from region to region. In France there are four types of climate, each one linked to one of the assorted coastal, mountainous or inland areas.

  1. Mediterranean – This can be found on the south coast of France and is popular with holiday makers looking for some summer sun. This area benefits from warmer climates thanks to the Languedoc bordering with Spain in the western parts, along The French Riviera and Monaco down the Italian border on the east. The Mediterranean coast is known for its long, hot summers and milder than average winters.

  2. Oceanic – This area lies just off the north coast of France. At one end is Dunkerque, then along the English Channel, known for its freezing cold waters, reaching all the way round to the far western area of Brittany. The west coast from Brest in the north to Biarritz in the south also has a similar climate of having a mild climate all year round.

  3. Continental - A huge portion of eastern France is landlocked thanks to the borders of Belgium and Germany. This means the weather in these areas is a lot like other continental areas. This means the winters can get very hot and the winters can get incredibly cold.

  4. Mountain – France is home to five mountain ranges, the most famous being the Alps, but also on the eastern border with Germany, Italy and Switzerland is Vosges, and Jura. Next there is the Massif Central between the middle of France and the south coast; and the Pyrenees separating France and Spain. All these areas will have cool climates all year round with the Southern Alps being warmer than the Northern Alps.

Like its neighbour, England, France has interchangeable weather so nothing is guaranteed. As a general rule, The Loire is considered to be the dividing line between the northern climate and the significantly warmer climate in the south.

The French talk about the weather (la météo) as much as the English do, and you can even phone up a recorded weather forecasting line for daily updates!