When to Go

You can expect pleasantly warm weather as early as April and as late as October, but be prepared for rainstorms and/or heat waves at almost any time. The weather is especially unpredictable in the Pyrénées: a few passing clouds can rapidly turn into a full-blown storm. Needless to say, during July and August towns high on tourist lists—like Albi, Carcassonne, and Collioure—are packed, so perhaps opt for April and May, which are delightful months on the Côte Vermeille and also the time when the Pyrenean flowers are at their best. June and September (grape-picking season, or vendange) are equally good for both inland and coastal areas. As October draws near, the chilly winds of winter begin to blow and frenzied mushroom hunters ferret amid the chestnut and pine trees. Olive harvesters set to work in November.

No matter the season, there's plenty here to occupy those who love the outdoors, whether it be hiking the Grandes Randonnées (GRs), scaling lofty peaks, or skiing sun-dappled snowfields.

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