The onset of autumn in France means the resorts are emptying, domestic tourists are returning to the cities, and it's all the more tempting to enjoy the still warm weather.
If you don't have to take a vacation only at certain times of the year, you should experience France in the autumn. Both the south and the north of the country have their own beauties. You can even swim in the sea until the end of October in the parts close to the Mediterranean. You can follow cycling and walking routes in mountainous regions.
Why You Should Visit France in Autumn
- Prices are cheap: from the beginning of September, housing costs are reduced. Boutique hotels, hostels, and campings located outside the city center can offer great deals.
- It's easy to find a place to stay: The places you would prefer for your autumn vacation in France are the countryside. And you can find a lot of accommodation options here. You can make an early reservation in case of crowds during the festival periods.
- The weather is wonderful: neither cold nor hot, the weather is just right. Of course, this is true for September and October. In November, it is rainy and cold, except for the Mediterranean coast.
- There are tourist crowds: While you wait in line to enter a museum during the summer months, you can travel anywhere you want comfortably in Autumn.
Autumn Festivals in France
Since October is the harvest season, you have the opportunity to participate in many activities. If you are going to regions famous for their vineyards and wines, we recommend that you book in advance.
Of course, there are many more things that make the autumn of France attractive, but we still want to mention a few festivals that may interest you.
Montmarte Grape Harvest Festival (October 6 – 10): The small historic vineyard in Montmarte hosts a wonderful festival in October every year. If you happen to be in Paris, don't miss it.
Le Salon du Chocolat (October 28 – November 1): You may want to take a look at the delicious and flamboyant chocolates of the producers who turn chocolate making into art.
Lanvellec Autumn Festival (October 8 – 24): You can listen to master musicians from all over the world for 12 days at this annual music festival in Brittany.
Best Destinations for Autumn Vacation in France
Would you like to take a wonderful cruise on one of France's most beautiful waterways? You can watch the night sky as you move calmly down the Canal du Midi. There are great places to take a break along the canal. You can try the famous cassoulet. You can see the castle in Carcassone and explore medieval villages and vineyards. For a bit of difference, bike rides are also a good option. Of course, continue to enjoy the deck at the end of the day.
Another beauty to discover in Languedoc is the Roman ruins. The best-preserved ruins outside of Italy are located in this region. To see these, you can stop by Nîmes for the Musée de la Romanité.
For wine lovers, France in the fall is heaven. Especially in Burgundy. Winemaking, led by the towns of Dijon and Beaune, is the primary reason why the region attracts attention. Vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see turn red and orange in September and October, creating a wonderful sight.
Warm October passes in the villages with the sweet rush of preparations for the Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction to be held in November. You can taste local delicacies such as boeuf bourguignon and visit the castles and villages from the Renaissance period.
There are many reasons to explore Provence in Autumn. Sipping wine on the cobblestone streets decorated with colorful flowers in front of the windows, wandering the local markets, and feeling the abundance of harvest time are just a few of them. With the cooling of the weather, you will be surprised at the beauties that Provence has to offer.
The best wines in the world come from the vineyards here. Also, the haven of world-famous artists. It's easy to come across a painter or sculptor while walking through an ordinary street. Provence in the fall is a wonderful blend of rural culture and intellectuality.
The region of Aveyron is a place where time stands still, surrounded by hills, forests, fields, and streams, filled with ancient castles and mystical villages. You'll find dynamic landscapes to take long hikes, bike mountain trails, photograph the beautiful scenery, and rejuvenate your artistic spirit.
You should definitely see Najac, one of the wonderful villages where the blue sky meets the bright yellow leaves. Don't miss the famous Villefranche de Rouergue with its Thursday market, the medieval village of Conques, a pilgrim stop for centuries, and the Rodez Museum.
The Côte d'Or in Burgundy deserves a separate heading. The "d'Or" in its name perfectly sums up the golden color of leaves that turn yellow with autumn and the sun created together. "Côte" means hill, not coast. In other words, shining heights like the treasure of Karun await you here.
The region's famous Pinot Noir will be indispensable for your picnics. But beware, this magical atmosphere may knock you out. At this point, we recommend you to walk to experience the beauties of Autumn. In this way, you can continue to taste local wines at the hotel in the evening.
Located in Occitanie, Toulouse is known as "the pink city of France" because of the bricks used in the architecture. It attracts tourists at all times of the year to see these unique structures. But Autumn is different. Thanks to its southern location, it is still warm and the summer crowds have dispersed. In short, the ideal time to visit!
The wines of the region contain special notes. The unique harmony of different fruits, licorice, and violet can turn your head. If you are wondering where these wines, which you cannot find anywhere else, come from, we recommend that you meet the kind villagers.
Albi and the medieval village of Cordes-sur-Ciel are also here. Albi is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Let's not forget the Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, a brick-built church with the majesty of a castle, and the Palais de la Berbie, where Toulouse-Lautrec works are exhibited in its gardens on the banks of the Tarn River.
7. Loire Valley
The Loire Valley embraces the autumn season in all its glory. The international garden festival, held from October 23 to November 7 at the famous Château de Chaumont, brings together gardening and artistry. Colorful flowers and fruit trees harmonize with the unique garden arrangements.
The interior of the castle is also worth seeing. If you are wondering about the social life of Marie Say, who lived here in the 19th century.
Château Rivau, another castle near Chinon, also hosts an autumn flower festival on October 23-24.
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