Winter in France

Winter is the least liked time of the year in France by natives but not tourists (more on that later). The average temperatures are often just below zero and can go up to a maximum of ten degrees in the afternoon.

This is the coldest time of the year when the weather, rough and gloomy, strong arms the vegetation into a pause. The trunks of leafless tress are a darkish-grey colour, and snow cover entire regions, disrupting human activity.

Once the yuletide and New Year’s celebrations have gone, the long months of January and February are not a season one particularly anticipates in Europe. However, they are many light-hearted celebrations and events happening to cheer everyone up. Officially the season of Winter starts on the 21st December and ends on the 20th March the following year.

On the calendar of many French people, Winter runs from circa 1 December to the beginning of March. Although most of December officially belongs to Autumn, the last month of the year is often thought to be part of Winter because cold and snow occur throughout the country. The weather in winter.

Winter can be tough in some mountainous parts of France. In the Mountains of Jura, a record of -40°C was recorded in 1985 in the little town of Mouthe.

On the opposite, the coastal towns of Corsica can enjoy average temperatures of 9°C during the season of Winter.

In Provence, the mistral is a strong, cold and dry wind originating from the Alps that blows in Winter for periods of only a few days up to a couple of weeks.

In Paris, sunshine is rare but the closeness of the sea means that temperatures are generally above freezing (around 7°C). For a few nights, temperatures can go down to – 5°C.

Often Winter is synonymous with snow but it appears infrequently on the plains in the South of the Loire and in Paris. However, snowfalls abundantly in the mountain areas particularly in the Alps and the Pyrenees. The first snow of winter can massively disrupt commute in a region.


On a personal level I like admiring the snow turning a familiar landscape into a fantastic winter wonderland. It’s… Uplifting.

Visiting France in Winter as a Tourist

Visiting sites and monuments in France is ideal in Winter as it is a low touristic season.

During Winter in France, people on vacation will choose between cool winter sports in the mountains and mild Mediterranean destinations.

During your exploration, you may be surprised by the beauty and harshness of Winter in France!

Winter in the mountains

The country’s mountains are the best places to be to unfold the wonders of winter in France! There, you can walk through snow, marvelling at the unique design of each snowflake.

Enough of me though the story can be experienced instead of read. Cheers!

Winter in France

Winter in France is generally quite chilly, even in more temperate coastal regions. Snowfall is rare outside of the mountainous regions of the Alps and Pyrenees. Temperatures often fall below zero, with average temperatures ranging from 32 F to 45 F, depending on the region. In recent years, unusually warm temperatures have been recorded in many regions.

What to Pack: If you’re visiting the south of France or the west coast, you can probably get away with packing clothing and gear for mild winter conditions. But do bring a warm jacket, sweaters, and a scarf in case temperatures dip into the 40s. For trips to Paris, Central, Eastern, and Northern France, bring a heavy winter coat, scarf, gloves, and hat. Also pack warm sweaters and socks.

Be sure to visit the Official France Website here.

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