8 Wonderful Reasons to Travel to France in Springtime

Inspiration

EcolabelNature and Outdoor ActivitiesCitiesSpring

Jardines del Castillo de Valmer, en el Valle del Loira
© Jean-Christophe Coutand / Touraine tourisme - Un paseo primaveral por los jardines del Castillo de Valmer, en el Valle del Loira.

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 25 March 2024, updated on 7 May 2024

If the return of spring makes your desire to travel blossom, come to France! This time of year is so beautiful. You can enjoy the gentle rays of sunshine on the terraces, stroll through parks and gardens in full bloom, and walk quietly along the seashore, in the mountains or in the countryside. Benefit from the longer days to experience great exhibitions and joyful festivals. An ideal time to engage all of your senses before the summer rush.

Enjoy the Beautiful Days without the Crowds

Balade bucolique en Normandie.
© Besttjobers - Balade bucolique en Normandie.

From Brittany to the French Riviera, from Normandy to the Basque Country, from the Bay of the Somme to Corsica, not to mention the creeks of Provence or the great Dune du Pilat in the Bay of Arcachon, France has bountiful options for a seaside getaway. From the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, small charming harbors, sandy beaches, and enchanting creeks punctuating the coastal landscapes. In the spring, you won't find a sea of beach umbrellas and towels blocking your view of the ocean. The scenery is all yours to enjoy during a stroll along a coastal trail sentier du littoral or a gourmet picnic, in complete privacy.

In the warmth of spring, even the bustle of French cities can be enjoyed with greater pleasure. On the main boulevards or along piers of the Seine in Paris, on the Old Port in Marseille, in the alleys and covered passages of the Old Lyon, and in all the cultural heritage sites, the air seems lighter and you can enjoy sightseeing at your own pace.

Like it was meant to be!

Experience Nature Come to Life

Balade à vélo au Col de la Faucille, dans les Montagnes du Jura.
© girlborntotravel - Balade à vélo au Col de la Faucille, dans les Montagnes du Jura.

Does spring make your heart feel happy and restless at the same time? With 22,800 kilometers of cycling routes and greenways, 3,000 road and mountain bike paths, 11 national parks, 54 regional nature parks, and 180,000 kilometers of marked trails, France invites you to come for a ride!

The return of good weather and ideal temperatures for walking, cycling, riding, and sailing gives you a front-row seat to observe chamois and marmots in the Alps or Pyrenees. Count the sleeping volcanoes amongst the daffodil meadows in Auvergne, pick wild garlic in the Vosges or in the intoxicating blue wild hyacinth-scented undergrowth in Normandy, and sail through flowering locks on the beautiful canals of Alsace, Burgundy, and Brittany. Be one with nature and explore many peaceful and inspiring itineraries to gently awaken all your senses.

Savor Seasonal Products

A Blois, dans le Val de Loire, le chef du restaurant Fleur de Loire puise son inspiration dans les produits de son potager.
© Alexandre Moulard / Fleur de Loire - A Blois, dans le Val de Loire, le chef du restaurant Fleur de Loire puise son inspiration dans les produits de son potager.

Tender peas, tasty asparagus, new potatoes and carrots, fava beans, crisp radishes, and beautiful big salads. There's a spring party in the vegetable garden! Gone are the hearty winter dishes, long live the beautiful green markets with their abundant gourmet stalls. Place des Lices in Rennes in Brittany, the Wazemmes district in Lille in the Hauts-de-France, Sarlat in the Périgord, Cours Saleya in Nice or under the Halles de Narbonne in Occitanie.

In France, every region, city, and village has a taste for gastronomy and enjoys sharing recipes that are enhanced by local products. More and more chefs are incorporating a type of cuisine that respects farm-to-table sourcing of seasonal products. Did you say locavore? Yes! And for the latest and greatest places to go, Fleur de Loire, Christophe Hay's starred restaurant, a stone's throw from the Chambord castle. It is home to a large permaculture vegetable garden with an incredible asparagus grove with 50 varieties. Spring explodes with flavor.

Foraging in parks and gardens in Paris and the surrounding area

Avec l'arrivée du printemps, les parcs et jardins de Paris comme le parc des Buttes-Chaumont offrent une pause détente aux visiteurs.
© Hoa.film - Avec l'arrivée du printemps, les parcs et jardins de Paris comme le parc des Buttes-Chaumont offrent une pause détente aux visiteurs.

Squares on almost every street corner, large elegant and romantic gardens, Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes; with more than 400 parks and gardens, Paris is the most wooded capital in Europe! In spring, it's a bloom of greenery and as many places for walks or bucolic breaks, between a shopping trip and a visit to a museum. If you have to choose? Between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, the flowerbeds of the Jardin des Tuileries host each year the magnificent event "Jardin, Jardin".

Spring is also the best season for a trip to Versailles where the Potager du Roi, just a stone's throw from the castle, can be discovered in its most beautiful vegetable and fruit gardens. Likewise, a spring excursion to Giverny, in Normandy, is the height of happiness. Claude Monet's gardens exult in colors and scents. And of course, the Loire Valley and its beautiful castles, from Chambord to Chenonceau, from Azay-le-Rideau to Villandry, they are an apotheosis as the art of gardens from April.

10 family walks in the green lungs around Paris

A breath of fresh air in the mountains

On profite des températures douces du printemps pour s'oxygéner en montagne comme ici à Peyragudes, dans les Pyrénées.
© Entre2poles - On profite des températures douces du printemps pour s'oxygéner en montagne comme ici à Peyragudes, dans les Pyrénées.

What if you tried the mountains in spring? For skiers, the snow is usually still there, with the assurance of optimal sunshine and long days. The resorts in the Alps, but also in the Pyrenees, the Vosges and the Jura take care of the festivities (concerts, exhibitions, gastronomy, farm outings, meetings with craftsmen and their know-how...), and also the prices, which become almost as mild as the temperatures in April and May.

For all, it is the occasion to linger on the terrace when the resorts are already taking on a little summer air. Everywhere you go, you can smell the fresh grass and the flowers ready to grow under the snow. There is no better season to take a deep breath of fresh air while winter and spring pass the baton between nature activities and alpine skiing. Some high-altitude resorts like Val Thorens are playing it safe by keeping their ski area open until the beginning of May.

Discover the spring activities offered by mountain resorts

Taking care of yourself

Séance bien-être en plein air à l'hôtel Sofitel Quiberon Thalassa Sea and Spa, en Bretagne.
© Emmanuel Berthier / Bretagne tourisme - Séance bien-être en plein air à l'hôtel Sofitel Quiberon Thalassa Sea and Spa, en Bretagne.

It's time to get out of the winter cocoon! To revive numb bodies and regain energy and vitality, France is an ideal wellness destination. Along its 2,000 kilometers of coastline, it combines spring with the ocean in some fifty thalassotherapy centers with state-of-the-art facilities. On the Atlantic coast, from Brittany to the Basque Country, the good weather invites you to head for Saint-Malo, Quiberon, La Baule, Pornic or Saint-Jean-de-Luz for fitness cures and treatments at lower prices than the rest of the year.

Do you prefer the cocoon spa of a charming hotel or a Palace? France has a wide range of beautiful addresses. In Paris alone, the Ritz Club &Spa Sense, A Rosewood Spa at the Hôtel de Crillon or the spas at the Mandarin Oriental, the Four Seasons George V or the Lutetia. A rebirth of body and mind that can also be enjoyed, in harmony with the first buds, at the Sources de Caudalie, in the vineyards near Bordeaux, or at altitude, in the Alps at Courchevel.

Extend the evenings on the terrace

A Bordeaux, le printemps rime avec bains de soleil aux terrasses de cafés comme ici sur la Place du Palais.
© Rémy Martineau / Bordeaux tourisme - A Bordeaux, le printemps rime avec bains de soleil aux terrasses de cafés comme ici sur la Place du Palais.

Spring equinox on March 19, change from winter to summer time on the night of March 30 to 31, 2024. You don't need to be a specialist to understand that the days will get longer and even longer. An ideal time to enjoy what the French do so well and are so fond of: to settle down on the terraces of cafés, restaurants, bistros, in the streets, on the squares to welcome the first rays of sunshine and to linger while enjoying the mild spring evenings.

A good idea? Take a little height to feel the good vibrations of the return of beautiful days. In Paris and all over France, rooftops have flourished in recent years. Among the new star spots not to be missed this spring: the Sky bar of the new TOO Hotel at the top of the Duos Towers to have Paris at your feet or, on the roof of the Samaritaine, the well-named Tout Paris and its charming garden from which the view goes from Montmartre to the Eiffel Tower, passing by Notre-Dame and the Louvre colonnade.

Fill up on exhibitions and festivals

Séance de cinéma en plein air pendant le Festival de Cannes, sur la Côte d'Azur.
© Valentina Claret / FDC - Séance de cinéma en plein air pendant le Festival de Cannes, sur la Côte d'Azur.

In France, culture is celebrated to the rhythm of the four seasons, but spring marks the great return of festivals with the aptly named "Printemps de Bourges" launching the festivities. We also "jazz" under the apple trees in Normandy and in Paris, "We Love Green" goes green in the Bois de Vincennes. On the Côte d'Azur, it's the cinema that takes all the light with the Cannes Film Festival, while on the exhibition side, spring promises exceptional encounters: "The Orientalists" at the Atelier des Lumières, "Robert Ryman" at the Musée de l'Orangerie, "Vertiges" at the Bourse de Commerce and "Paris 1874, inventing Impressionism" at the Musée d'Orsay to mark the 150th anniversary of Impressionism in 2024. We also take advantage of the mild temperatures for great sporting events: the mythical Paris Marathon or the French Tennis Open at Roland-Garros. What a way to crown spring with a beautiful energy!

By Rédaction France.fr

The magazine of the destination unravels an unexpected France that revisits tradition and cultivates creativity. A France far beyond what you can imagine…