Weather in France in October

Is October a good time to go to France?

October is a refreshing time to visit France and experience it without the tourist frills of summer. It’s perfect for budget holidays and, because there are few tourists, main attractions, galleries and museums are quiet. With many harvest festivals, France is a wine and food lover’s paradise and, as long as travellers dress appropriately, the cold and wet weather is easily manageable, especially down south.

Climate in France in October

South France sometimes hits 20°C (68°F) and most areas hover in the mid-teens, or drop slightly below 10°C (50°F). Rainfall in the south and west regularly exceeds 100mm (3.9in) in some cities, while central, northern and eastern areas are slightly drier regions. 


What’s on in France in October

Find great food and art at one of many October festivals and lookout for special local events. The Harvest Fesitval in Banyuls-sur-Mer is family-friendly and parents can sample the season’s vintage, while children have fun stamping the grapes in traditional fashion. Those with a sweet tooth should go to the Chocolate Fair in Paris and sample the best mouth-watering French dessert delicacies, and, for a savoury delight, visit the Pepper Festival in Espelette, which draws in excess of 200,000 people each year.

The Marseille International Festival fuses the best French cuisine with different flavours from across the world and has been hosting these cultural exchanges for over 90 years. The Lyon Film Festival has screenings of award winning French cinema, while Jazz between the Two Towers is a nine-day international music festival with a number of free concerts in La Rochelle.  Finally, the Parisian parks, pools, museums and major galleries remain open well into the morning during the one-night Nuit Blanche festival.


What to pack for a holiday in France in October

Pack light, but warm clothing, with dark colours and synthetic materials, as they dry quickly and don’t show dirt easily– useful for wet weather. Bring a few long sleeved shirts, T-shirts with jerseys, jeans and trousers, thermals, as well as a warm waterproof coat or raincoat. Take warm hats, gloves, scarves and a small umbrella, especially those going hiking. Boots or amphibian walking shoes are best for the consistent rain, but trainers or closed toe shoes will suffice for city travel. Finally, pack something smart for a special evening out because some restaurants require formal attire.