France, May or September?

Oct 10th, 2003, 08:42 AM
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France, May or September?

My wife and I are planning on traveling to France next year. It will be our first trip to France together. (I was stuck at CDG for a few days after the 9/11 attacks, on my way back from Germany, but sightseeing was not really on my mind at the time!). We are considering going in either May or September, somewhat trying to skirt the high season (?) and see some beautifull countryside. What is your favorite time of year to visit France, keeping in mind those considerations? Paris, Loire, Provence, Alsace and maybe Normandy, I cannot wait!!
Cheers,
Mac
McHellfire is offline  
Oct 10th, 2003, 09:08 AM
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My favorite time to go to France is September. After the crowds, and the weather is changing. Also, May has alot of holidays - everything closes.
LoriNY is offline  
Oct 10th, 2003, 09:34 AM
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September is one of my favorite months to visit France, too, but given the regions you're contemplating going to, I'd go in May when the weather is likely to be a little warmer. The fruit trees should be in bloom in NOrmandy and Alsace, and that is even more lovely than the fall foliage.

One of the May holidays is being eliminated, by the way.

StCirq is online now  
Oct 10th, 2003, 09:49 AM
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We were in Paris in September 2001 - the weather was lovely. It rained on some mornings but if you're prepared with a handy umbrella, it shouldn't be a problem. I also wore a light sweater (but I grew up in the tropics so I get cold easily).

Out day trip to the Loire Valley was a great sunny day!
jmoy is offline  
Oct 10th, 2003, 10:11 AM
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StCirq what holiday are they considering dropping? One of the "floating" religious holidays like Ascension day?
indytravel is offline  
Oct 10th, 2003, 10:24 AM
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May in Paris!!! I don't think it can get more romantic. We love May but would probably enjoy September as much.
How long are you planning on being in France?
Pat2003 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2003, 10:40 AM
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Hi, Indy:

I knew someone would ask...I just found that out on a recent trip when I was traveling with PBProvence - she's the one who told me, and now I can't remember which it is. When I find out, I'll post it.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 10:51 AM
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StCirq,
What happened to PBProvence? She hasn't posted here for months and months. She gave us such great advice and recommendations for our trip to France last year!
JoeG
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Oct 10th, 2003, 10:54 AM
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Joe:

PB is alive and well. We just had a great trip through the Languedoc-Roussillon and then at her place in Provence. I've seen a few of her postings here recently, so I don't think she's disappeared, just busy.
StCirq is online now  
Oct 10th, 2003, 10:57 AM
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I'd go with September, on two trips I have found bad weather (still quite cold, and very rainy) in May and in early June. It might of course just have been bad luck--you can check for historical weather trends at some weather websites.

elaine is offline  
Oct 10th, 2003, 11:09 AM
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StCirq,
That is good to hear - I've missed seeing her posts. I forgot to mention to Mac - we were in Provence last October just at this time. Daytime high temps were 70's, lows in the 50's - no rain - perfect. We really had no sense of comparison in regards to crowds. It seemed as though most places were still busy but certainly not crowded at all.
JoeG
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Oct 10th, 2003, 11:22 AM
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Thanks StCirq. In May 2002 I was dinged three times: May 1st, May 8th and Ascension Day was on May 9th. The French didn't have to "faire le pont" that year, the four day weekend just happened.
indytravel is offline  
Oct 10th, 2003, 11:39 AM
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We were in Cannes a few years ago at the beginning of September. The weather was magnificiant, the water was still warm, and the crowds were significantly less than just a week earlier (according to the staff.)

It was also a good time to go as their rates drop overnight.
Ryan is offline  
Oct 10th, 2003, 11:51 AM
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Yes, the weather in the south of France is often stunning - even hot - in September. But the poster is going to Alsace and Normandy and Paris as well.

A week ago today I took the TVG from Avignon to Paris. It was about 82 Fahrenheit in Avignon, but by the time we got to Paris we were in another climate - high 50s and raining. Normandy and Alsace are even farther north and have generally yuckier climates.

Weather's always chancy, but I'd still opt for May if I were traveling in the northern parts of France.
StCirq is online now  
Oct 10th, 2003, 12:01 PM
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In the NY Times Sept 8th issue, there was an article entitled, "Paris May End A Holiday To Improve Care Of Aged". The French Government is considering asking people to give up one of their treasured national holidays for the sake of helping the elderly by raising money for their health care. They estimate that this "plan could yield almost $2 billion a year".

This was in the context of "la canicule", their national tragedy and scandal over deaths caused by last summer's heat wave.

TuckH is offline  
Oct 10th, 2003, 12:03 PM
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I have a perfect plan for getting good weather, but for financial reasons have not been able to put it into effect. However the idea may be of use to someone else.

First, you buy a jet plane. Second, you prepay rooms at your favorite hotels for six months. Then it's just a matter of keeping your eye on the ten day forecast.

The only flaw is that sometimes that forecast is going to be wrong.
RonZ is offline  
Oct 10th, 2003, 12:05 PM
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BOTH!
flygirl is offline  
Oct 10th, 2003, 12:36 PM
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We traveled in June this year, and except for the Mont St. Michel, there were no crowds. I would go June or September.
Michael is offline  
Oct 10th, 2003, 12:40 PM
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I am going tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!
Pat2003 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2003, 12:47 PM
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ira
 
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Hi

Last time we went at the beginning of September, this time we are going April 27 to May 5.
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