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LowCountryIslander Oct 19th, 2007 12:29 PM

Help me decide...France in July or September of 2008
I am trying to decide if I want to go to France next year in either July or September. I will be spending time in Paris, and Provence. The trip will most likely be 2-3 weeks.

I have checked out and to see what the average temperatures and rainfall are for both months and to be honest July doesn't seem to be too "excruiatingly hot", but I know these are just averages. I live in the South Carolina low country so I am very used to hot and humid summer weather in July.

My other concern with going in July is more crowds then in September, but in July I would anticipate the day light hours to be slightly longer than in September.

I would like to hear from any Fodorites who have traveled to Paris and Provence in July or September and what your experience there was during those times, primarily weather and crowds!

Thanks for any input you can give to help me make my decision!

Underhill Oct 19th, 2007 12:38 PM

We much prefer September. The Paris weather then is very comfortable, as it is in Provence--and there are fewer tourists.

TuckH Oct 19th, 2007 12:43 PM

For Provence, the lavender will be in full bloom in early July and it's a sight to behold!

We were there this past summer and we didn't find it too crowded nor too hot. Just right.

And of course, we got the maximum out of the long daylight hours...

ira Oct 19th, 2007 12:53 PM

Hi L,

I think that Paris is at her best in mid-May/mid-June and mid-Sept/mid-Oct.

I think that Provence is best in late Spring/early Summer.


StuDudley Oct 19th, 2007 01:58 PM

Think real hard about how important it is to you to see the Lavender & Sunflower fields in bloom. If this is VERY important, then go to Paris first then Provence in July. If not, go in Sept - but hit Paris last.

I've been in Provence durning massive heatwaves several times and there are ways to avoid the effects of the heat - like drives in the car with the AC blasting away. Also refreshing dips in the pool help. I was in Paris once during a heatwave, and except for ducking into museums, I could not get away from the heat and it sapped all the energy out of me. I refused to hole-up in our hotel. We've never returned to Paris during summer months. I think high temps do more damamge in cities than in the countryside.

I live in the San Francisco area - where it rarely gets real hot.

Stu Dudley

nytraveler Oct 19th, 2007 03:50 PM

What you're forgetting is that in South Carolina everyplace has air conditioning. In France, many/most places, including hotels, restaurants and stores don't.

So - it's not like you're out in the heat for 15 minutes from one place to another - or an hour in the evening - you're in it constantly - with no relief - unless you book a hotel with american style AC (fairly rare).

connecticutyankee Oct 19th, 2007 03:56 PM

I don't like July just about anywhere in the world so I vote for September! :D

connecticutyankee Oct 19th, 2007 04:00 PM

Seriously, though. I've been to Paris in March, April, July, Sept and October. I liked it best in October. Loved the slightly crisp nights walking in the parks. I've only been in Provence in April which was quite lovely. I hate heat, so take that into consideration. Also, as noted, air conditioning is not as prominent as it is in the US. I also feel that it is less crowded in general in Sept/Oct.

LucieV Oct 19th, 2007 04:05 PM

I haven't been in September, but I've been twice in March and twice in July, and I definitely vote against July!

cigalechanta Oct 19th, 2007 04:25 PM

I prefer July but my husband doesn't and also rates are less expensive.
In September, lots of places close or only open weekends. This September was mixed weather. July is usually nice, hot but not like the humidity here in Boston.
The Lavender will be at its peak in July, drive around Sault to see the glorious fields like in those coffee table books. With Global warming, no one can be sur what weather will be like. We were cold in Burgundy, and started hot in Provence and than th Mistral and heavy rains came.
That did not deter us. We had a wonderful time!

stokebailey Oct 19th, 2007 05:00 PM

I love the countryside during harvest time.

Celiaanne Oct 19th, 2007 05:21 PM

Hi, I just got back from almost 4 weeks in France -- 2+ weeks in Provence (and Nice) and then 2 weeks in Paris. This was the BEST weather ever!

It was cool every day, sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy, and it was dry every day but one -- and that day it rained for just a few hours.

I highly recommend Sepember/October. Good luck.

Bonjour_Voyageurs Oct 19th, 2007 05:30 PM

We honeymooned there in September of 1978 and it was terrific but also had a great time in May of 2006. You can see the latter by going to:
or if that doesn't work try:;tid=34822259
The weather was fine both times.

LowCountryIslander Oct 19th, 2007 05:42 PM

Thank you all for the great replies. I have decided to go with planning the trip for September.

Reading all your replies re-affirmed my concerns with going in July.

Now I have almost a year to plan, which I love just as much as going! :)

cigalechanta Oct 19th, 2007 06:06 PM

Most of the fetes are in August.
For me, there are no bad months but we don't stay in crowdd places,
Whatever you choose, welcome to my favorite Earthly Paradise

LoriS Oct 21st, 2007 07:27 PM

France, and Paris in particular, can be dreadfully hot in July. I've found that even though the temperatures don't seem high, they feel hotter to me in Europe. And I live in Texas!

I haven't been to Provence in July, but September there is gorgeous. Generally, I would say that September is better for France, although July can be perfect for the Cote d'Azur.

NeoPatrick Oct 21st, 2007 07:33 PM

Since we are always escaping hot and humid Florida in the summer, we seem to always end up in Paris in either July or August. It's been fine. I wouldn't think of getting a hotel or apt. that isn't air conditioned, but surprisingly we've used it less than expected. And the evenings are really glorious. I have no issue with Paris in July. If I'm not mistaken there can be more rain in September, and we ended up in Paris the end of September and first of October one year and thought we'd freeze -- and really missed the outdoor cafes and strolls at night.

luveurop Oct 21st, 2007 10:33 PM

I've traveled to Paris in March, May, July, December and January. July is my favorite. You have the Soldes, Bastille Day, and at the end of July the Paris plage. I haven't found July to be crowded at all.

Dukey Oct 21st, 2007 11:25 PM

This past year we were in southern France in July and the weather was wonderfully below normal heat-wise but I agree that September would be better.

LowCountryIslander Oct 22nd, 2007 04:30 AM

Thanks again for all the input. It's set, I will be going from the end of September until early October 2008! Let the planning begin! ;)

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