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When’s the best time to visit the south of France?

Old stone houses with shutters in a small square, a restaurant with red parasols, southern France

We asked Julia Girard-Gervois of TripUSAFrance who has run brilliant tours of the south of France for many years – when’s the best time to visit the south of France in the summer?

“The last week of August is pretty good” she said, to our surprise. We asked her to tell us more…

Why the south of France is great at the end of August

A river leads to the sea in Palavas-les-Flots, southern France, cafes line the quaysides, boats bob in the water

You are thinking but I thought August was the most crowded time to visit the South of France… Well this is only partly true. Let me explain:

August is the most busiest month of the year in south of France, this is true. But… The first three weeks of August are very busy in the South as people from northern France join visitors from around the world looking for hot sunny weather. Kids are off school as it is the summer break. And, its when most administrative businesses ask their employees to take mandatory leave, often three weeks vacation. And most head to the south.

However, the big secret is that most people go home by the end of the third week of August. Families with kids need to get ready for the beginning of the school year at the start of September. Workers and businesses are getting ready for the start of a new season. And retired/off season travellers don’t arrive until a bit later.

What’s the weather like in southern France at the end of August?

Towers and turrets reach for the sky at the Citadel of Carcassonne, southern France

The weather is fantastic at the end of August. In fact it’s pretty much perfect: cooler than mid/July – early August but the Mediterranean sea is at its warmest because it has been heating up all summer. The days are still long and filled with sunlight. Bonus: there are way fewer tourists! You might even find yourself at the beach all by yourself.

Is September a good time to visit the south of France?

Pink lakes at Aigues-Mortes, caused by salt deposits, in the background, an ancient stone fort

September is more crowded than the last week of August as off season travellers arrive then. The weather is cooler though with luck, you’ll still be able to enjoy the beach. Evenings are starting to get  chilly. If you are lucky you will experience an “Indian Summer” and enjoy warm temperatures until the end of the month. But each year is different, and it’s hard to predict.

Discover more about TripUSAFrance unique tours of southern France – including Carcassonne, Montpellier, Aigues-Mortes, Provence, lavender fields, quaint French villages, vineyards and more…

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