When is the Best Time to Visit France?
The best time to visit France depends on what you want to do, and where you want to go - as it's a vast country. Regions such as the French Alps, Loire Valley and French Riviera have their own climates. Nov-April is the winter season, the perfect time for skiing and mountain sports. Late May and June are France’s spring, a great time for walking when the spring flowers are in full bloom. Autumn is a picture-perfect time to visit the Loire Valley. The Pyrenees is only available for hiking during the months of July – September when the snow has cleared. If you’re heading to the coast, May to July is recommended.
Mountains: Alps & Pyrenees
July, August and September are the months to travel when the snow is gone, and the risk of avalanche is minimal. The French Alps are a haven for avid mountaineers and hikers that want to tick off those classic bucket-list adventures. At Macs Adventure our most popular trip is the Tour du Mont Blanc you can find out why here.
Top Tip: We recommend booking the Tour du Mont Blanc at least 6 months in advance, especially for the Classic hut-to-hut itineraries. You can find all of our Tour du Mont Blanc itineraries here.
Autumn in the Loire Valley is a must! Although known for its fairy-tale châteauxs, and gardens this is also the land of wine. Red, White, Rose, Sparkling - it has it all. September and October is a time of tranquillity -find yourself surrounded by vineyards, wildflowers and rolling farmlands. The only noise to be heard is the snipping of grapes in the distance.
Top Tip: Do try Sancerre wine if possible while in the village of Sancerre. It won't disappoint.
Provence and French Rivera
Tuscany and Piedmont are a wine-lovers dream during harvest season. September is generally the month of the grape harvest which makes late-September and early October a great time to visit. The days are warm, and the nights are cool, and most towns in the region will have a harvest festival. It’s not difficult to find a quaint wine bar nestled within the hilltop towns, where you can soak up the buzzing atmosphere.
Five Best Regions to walk in France
- The Alps – Walking in the French Alps is an experience that you will never forget. The peace, the scenery, the crisp, ultra-clear air, but again….The Scenery! The Alps are beautiful, snow-capped peaks drop to lush, green valleys divided by glacial blue rivers and lakes. The classic route is the Tour du Mont Blanc, but the GR5 from Lake Geneva to Chamonix is well worth a walk too.
- Provence – Provence is the French dream made real. The colour palette is stunning, with ochre cliffs towering over fields of lavender, stone perched villages with bright orange roofs, local markets bursting with fresh local produce. Lose yourself (metaphorically, not physically) in Classic Provence or explore the Provençal vineyards on the Provence: Walking and Wine tour
- Burgundy – Every country has a gastronomic heart. Provence may shout about its great produce, but really when you are looking at quality, Burgundy takes France’s crown. Arguably the finest of France’s wine, coming from just two grapes, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Fine dining restaurants stand shoulder to shoulder with rustic bistros. Explore the Burgundy Vineyard Trails to uncover the best of this stunning region of France.
- Dordogne – Explore rustic France at its very best. The Dordogne is filled with delightful hilltop villages, sweeping valleys, rivers and forest trails. Famous for their truffles and foie-gras, this region can be hedonistic if you want it to be, or you can pare it back and live the simple life. The stunning Hilltop Villages of the Dordogne are well worth exploring as are Sarlat and the Périgord Noir.
- Loire – The Loire Valley is the former home of royalty and the rich and famous of France. A landscape of rolling hills and vineyards, regularly punctuated by the most stunning chateaux you are ever likely to see. Famed for its minerally white wines and the most delicate Sauvignon Blancs in the world, the Chateaux Trail is where you will find a heady mix of all the Loire Valley has to offer.
Why Choose Macs Adventure to book your Walking Holiday in France?
Macs Adventure has been running self guided walking holidays in France since 2008. Our extensive research on the Tour du Mont Blanc, lead us to seek out more and more areas where we could help people to discover France on foot.
From humble beginnings, we now send over 2000 walkers to France every year, each walking the route that excites them the most. We provide the freedom to choose your route, itinerary and travel companions and discover France at your own pace.
We know how daunting it can be, setting off on an adventure of this scale and we quickly realised how important it was to have amazing partners on the ground in France to deal with any issues that you might come across. We are proud to say that we work incredibly closely with all our accommodation suppliers and luggage transfer teams and should you have the slightest issue, they will fall over themselves to help you out.
We offer a flexible, tailor-made hiking experience that gets you in comfortable, friendly overnight accommodation in local B&Bs and guesthouses. We carry your bags to lighten your load so you can concentrate on simply putting one foot in front of the other and enjoying the unique culture, food and scenery of France. No hostels, no leaky tents, no heavy bags on your back just a straightforward active holiday that you can book with confidence that we have it all covered for you.
We want to showcase our expertise, by giving you all the resources you will ever need. In the planning stage, we have free guides, comprehensive videos and a host of staff with their own French experiences, waiting to answer your questions. On the route, we use high-quality digital mapping as well as the best maps and guidebooks to make sure you find your way.
We love the diversity of walking in France and our main aim is to make sure that you do too.