When to Go to the French Riviera

Advertisement

When to Go to the French Riviera

Unless you enjoy jacked-up prices, traffic jams, and sardine-style beach crowds, avoid the coast like the plague in July and August. Many of the better restaurants simply shut down to avoid the coconut-oil crowd, and the Estérel, the rocky hillside that overlooks the Mediterranean, is closed to hikers during this flash-fire season. Cannes books up early for the film festival in May, so aim for another month (April, June, September, or October). Between Cannes and Menton, the Côte d'Azur's gentle microclimate usually provides moderate winters; it's protected by the Estérel from the mistral wind that razors through places like Fréjus and St-Raphaèl.

Sexy south of France may be reputed for many steamy things, but it's not at all humid. It is, in fact, hot and dry for most of the year. Over the past ten years high-season temperatures have gone up to 105°F, while spring and fall still see highs of 68°F. Summer wear usually boils down to a bikini and light wrap. Rainfall between March and October cools things off. According to the locals, winter (November–early March) is cold, rainy, miserable—which may be relative, as the area's famous for having more than 340 days of sunshine per year.

More travel tips

Advertisement