Best Time to Fly to France
Spring is a very popular time to visit France (especially Paris) when the weather is usually warm and cheap plane tickets to France are plentiful. Summer is peak season in the South – the beaches warm up from May onwards and tourists flock to the Cote d’Azur.
Wintertime is (obviously) peak season for skiing, both in the Alps and the Pyrenees. You can ski in the Alps from approximately December through March or April. Flights to France peak around the Christmas holidays and mid-February. Winter holiday periods such as Christmas are often popular in the major cities as well, especially Paris.
Fall is generally off season throughout France. Temperatures can still be warm though the days are quite short. Cheap flights to France and accommodations for skiing are lowest before Christmas – though snow is not guaranteed at this time and the temperatures can be excruciatingly cold – and at the end of the season (late March to early April).
Its reputation as one of the most romantic places on Earth is what keeps visitors booking airline tickets to France. And it’s no wonder…with all the champagne, croissants and Camembert available on a whim, what more could any traveler want? France is known for its fine cuisine and romantic landscapes, but it’s also a country oozing in culture, couture and charm –chances are you’ll experience some of it on your flight to France.
International travelers book trips to France all year long. Whether you find cheap international flights to France for a romantic weekend getaway in Paris, or plan a week in the luxurious French Riviera, there is something for everyone in this country. From Gothic cathedrals to medieval castles to vast vineyards, exploring France is like taking a walk through European history. Most flights to France land in Paris, where first-time travelers stand in awe at the Eiffel Tower. The City of Light is the perfect starting point for your France vacation, and a perfect way to say bonjour to a country you’ll never forget.
France has a fairly temperate climate. The northeast has hot summers and cold winters while the northwest has lots of rain, high humidity, westerly winds and cool summers. There are harsh winters and hot summers in the Alps, Pyrenees and Massif Central mountains. The Mediterranean climate in southern France is very pleasant with mild winters and very hot summers. For 100 days out of the year, la Mistral, a cold, dry wind, blows in this area, especially in the spring. From mid-July through August, the cities empty out as the French take their vacations. If you can stand the heat, this can be a great time to visit the cities.
Trains are run by SNCF. They are excellent and speedy throughout the country, cover an extremely extensive network. Small towns without train stations are normally linked to the local station by bus.
The TGV is the high speed inter-city train service. There are also many night trains which travel more slowly than their counterparts in the day so you can go to sleep in one town and wake up in another. You can book online at the SNCF Web site.
Driving is easy. Wide, well-maintained roads with little traffic run throughout most of rural France. Remember to keep some spare change to hand to pay for the tolls.
Buses are cheaper than trains, but generally a lot slower and less comfortable. It is best to save bus travel for shorter trips.
France flights are available between major cities. Air France has many domestic flights.
The following chart gives approximate journey times from Paris (in hours and minutes) to other major cities and towns in France.
(prices quotes are from London)