I’ll just come right out and say it – there is no better time to visit France than the autumn months. It’s crisp in the north, warm in the south, and after a summer of fun the French get back int their routines and you can get a real feel for the country. So, let’s see what there is to see and do in France in the fall!
First, here are some trip planning tools to help you get started:
- How to plan a trip to France
- France first-time visitor’s guide
- France weather
- Map of France
- Getting around France
And here are some handy month-by-month guides:
The vendange, or grape harvest, is a nationwide event that runs to the heart of French culture. But what many visitors to France don’t know is that you can take part in the vendanges at vineyards all over the country. For example, here are just a few of the many celebrations:
- Heralding the Harvest—September marks the beginning of grape harvest season in France and in the medieval and picturesque city of Saint Emillion (in 1999, the vineyards of Saint-Emilion became the first viticultural landscape registered under the worldwide patrimonial protection of the UNESCO). For centuries, the wines of Saint-Emilion have been well recognized and respected and were once heralded as the “Nectar des Dieux” (Gods’ Nectar) by Louis XVI. While today, the wines receive world wide acclaim from both critics and enthusiasts. A celebration honoring the harvest of these very special grapes takes place in the middle of the moth, making it a great time to head to Burgundy.
- Feria des Vendanges—This festival in Nîmes (Languedoc) is yet another festival celebrating the grape harvest. In this region of France, you will nto only find some of the country’s best wines, but grape harvest festivals in southern France often are paired with bullfighting events that are sure to keep you entertained after you’ve downed a bottle or two.
- Fete des Vendanges in Banyuls-sur-Mer—Located in the heart of the Roussillon wine region in France, over 2,000 people come to Banyuls-sur-Mer each year in October to celebrate the grape harvest. Children can stomp grapes the traditional way, there is lots of wine, music and food and a traditional wine-growers lunch is served on the beach.
Here’s more information about wine in France:
- Dom Pérignon: Drinking The Stars
- Wine Regions of France
- French Wine Guide
- Understanding the four categories of French wine
- Champagne: The Drink of Kings
- French Apéritifs
- Self-guided Provence wine tour itinerary
- Beaujolais Nouveau: Get Your Grape On
- Making vin chaud
There’s a whole world outside Paris, and fall is a great time to explore it without the hordes of tourists packing the trains and highways. Take a look at some of these links to give you some inspiration for getting out of the City of Light for at least a day!
- Four Side Trips From Paris: A No-Nonsense Guide
- Beautiful foliage and great wines in the Loire Valley
- Fall in Provence
- Top 10 Things to do in Provence
- Eight Enchanting Villages in Provence
- 3 Days in Nice: Itinerary Ideas
- 3 Omaha Beach Itineraries
- Top 10 Things to do in Normandy
- Things to Do in France
Vendange photo: jean-louis zimmermann