Best Time to Visit French Riviera
When is the best time to visit the French Riviera?
Otherwise known as the Côte d’Azur, the French Riviera is a popular holiday destination with tourists from all over Europe and beyond. Stretching from Monaco to the Alps, and spanning vibrant and glamorous cities likes Cannes, Nice and Menton, visitors should expect a mixture of pristine palm-fringed beaches, high-end boutiques, award-winning restaurants, Roman ruins, quaint medieval villages, trendy beach clubs and harbours filled with eye-wateringly priced yachts. Here’s our guide to when is the best time to visit the French Riviera.
Summer (June – August)
The best time of year to visit the French Riviera is undoubtedly the summer, when dry, hot and sunny conditions are frequent, and the mercury hovers between 25°C and 29°C. In some cases, summer heatwaves have even pushed temperatures into the low 30s. Summer storms are not as common on the Riviera (unlike mainland France), and sea temperatures are around 24°C, which is ideal for swimming. Pack plenty of swimwear, sun cream and light, loose clothing for the heat of the day. On the 21st June, you can enjoy the Fête de la Musique – a day that is enjoyed all over France with live music bands and street parties taking over many major city squares, streets and parks.
Autumn (September – October)
The months of September and October are one of the best times to visit the French Riviera. Temperatures are pleasantly warm, ranging from highs of 26°C – 21°C, making it an ideal time to hit the beach and sunbathe, or swim in the sea, which has been warmed up throughout the sizzling heat of the summer months to a pleasant 24°C. It is however worth nothing that as November creeps up and October ends, the rainy season approaches, so it is worth taking a waterproof coat to protect yourself from the odd shower if you are out and about sightseeing. A reduction in the number of daylight hours also means there is less time available to enjoy the sun, but you can easily party the night away at a beach club or music venue. Between the 23rd – 26th September, Monaco hosts its annual yacht show, which is worth a visit to see some of the world’s most luxurious yachts.
Spring (March – May)
Expect the mercury to start climbing up in spring on the French Riviera. This is arguably the best time of year to visit the French Riviera, with temperatures ranging from 16°C to 24°C. Gardens and parks are alive with flora as everything starts to bloom. That said, pack a light coat, as there can be some rainfall in spring. Layers will also be needed for fresh, cool mornings and evenings, but feel free to pack a swimsuit for beach visits during the afternoons, or for time spent relaxing in the pool and gardens of your Villa Mas des Fleurs during the heat of the day. May is a big month for the region, as movie stars and celebrities flock to Cannes for its Film Festival, and the F1 Monaco Grand Prix takes place between 21st – 24th May.
Compared to other regions of France, winters in the French Riviera are relatively mild, so you can get out and enjoy the region’s attractions without the busy crowds of the summer. Snowfall is very rare, but you may encounter some chilly winds that come off the coast. Expect January to have lows of 4°C, and highs of 10°C. Temperatures can rise to around 13°C by February. You will need to pack some winter clothing, just in case. On the 5th January, there is a New Year’s run on the Promenade des Anglais, while between the 20th – 26th January, Monte Carlo hosts its annual rally with iconic racing cars. Nice’s annual carnival is hosted between 15th – 29th February, attracting millions of visitors every year.
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