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France climate guide
Below are average maximum temperatures at popular destinations in France for next month - January. Select a destination to see the climate guide for all months of the year.
The climate guide for France shows long term monthly weather averages processed from data supplied by CRU (University of East Anglia), the Met Office & the Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Find out more about our data sources.
Metric (°C) | Imperial (°F)
Discover more about France
France climate overview
France is the largest country in Western Europe, and the relaxed French culture is evident throughout, from cosmopolitan cities with their historical architecture, to picturesque rural villages and sleepy Mediterranean towns.
France contains three separate mountain ranges, the Massif Central in the centre of the country, the Alps in the southeast, and the Pyrenees along the Spanish border. All have spectacular mountain scenery with craggy peaks, forested slopes and lush meadows below.
The main river valleys draining the mountains, most notably the Loire, the Rhône and it's many tributaries, and the Garonne, are all great centres of wine production. Winters see extensive snow across all the mountain ranges, supporting top-class ski resorts in the Alps and Pyrenees, while summers are mostly warm and sunny.
The western half of the country is largely flat, fertile and intensively cultivated. France is the world's fifth largest producer of wheat giving rise to miles upon miles of featureless arable farmland, particularly noticeable in Normandy where the occasional field of sunflowers brightens up the landscape.
The west is also the wettest part of France with showers throughout the year, which can turn thundery in the warm summers. Winters are cool or cold.
France's coasts are long and varied. The Atlantic coastline is known for its sandy beaches in the south, distinctive chalk cliffs in Normandy, and rugged rocks in Brittany.
The Mediterranean beaches are typically pebbly, although sandy stretches also exist along the Cote d'Azur on the French Riviera. This is the sunniest part of the country with hot dry summers, and cool to comfortable winter temperatures with scattered showers.
The island of Corsica in the Mediterranean is also part of France. Named 'the scented isle' from the flowers of the 'maquis' shrub that covers much of the island and whose fragrance carries far out to sea, Corsica is wild and mountainous.
More France destinations
- La Rochelle
- Le Havre
- Le Touquet
- Les Sables d'Olonne
- St Malo
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