Summer isn’t over yet, but as many students across the country get ready to head back to school, it’s hard not to think about making those fall and winter travel plans. Plus, with airfares still low to just about everywhere (including to France), now is a great time to take advantage of the buyers’ travel market and book your cheap airfare to Paris now—even if it’s for a trip later this winter.
While most people think of traveling to France in the summer, fall and winter are actually some of my favorite times of the year to enjoy France. Sure, the weather may not be quite as nice (or warm), but there are fewer tourists, smaller crowds just about everywhere, no “Closed for August” signs and everything seems to be a whole lot cheaper. Whether you are trying to visit one of the many Paris museums without having to fight through throngs of people or trying to score a deal on an oh-so elusive cheap hotel in Paris, everything is easier in the quieter in the winter months. Fewer tourists means a lot of empty rooms at hotels and hostels in Paris, which means cheaper room rates and other discounts. (Need help deciding on a Paris hostel? Check out the this great Paris Hostel Guide). Plus, you’ll probably spend about half on airfare from what you might in the summer, which means a whole lot of extra cash in your pocket for food, wine and pastries.
There are also some great events and festivals that happen around France in the fall and winter. Fall marks grape harvest season in France, so all over the country you’ll find big festivals celebrating the new crop of grapes that will hopefully make the newest and better batches of wine.
During the third week in November, France erupts in massive celebration in honor of the unveiling (or should we say uncorking) of the Beaujolais Nouveau wine, which is a young wine from the Burgundy region of France. All over the country, grand traditions have developed in honor of the release of the Beaujolais, with the biggest festival taking place in Beaujeu, the capital of the Beaujolais region.
December and the coming of Christmas in Paris is also one of my very favorite times of the year to be in France. As the big Parisian department stores light up with beautiful decorations, lights are strung on trees everywhere, Christmas trees decorate plazas and colorful decorations cover the city, the City of Lights becomes even more illuminated and even more beautiful (who even knew that was possible).
If you find yourself in France during February or March and love Bob Dylan and home cooked French food, there may be just the perfect opportunity for you this winter to travel and indulge in both. In a unique travel offer, Michael Gray, a Bob Dylan expert and Telegraph travel writer is planning on hosting a series of “Winterlude Weekends” at his home in wine-soaked South-west France next February and March. These “winterludes” will be small and initiate, allowing space for three to four paying guests (or three couples). Guest will enjoy meals cooked buy his wife, Sarah Beattie, a food writer, followed by discussions about Dylan’s work with themes chosen by guests. The cost is £399 per person, or £599 per couple sharing, plus flights and transfers and you can read more about the opportunity in the Telegraph
With so many great things happening around France in the Fall and Winter, it’s a wonder more people don’t take advantage of the super low airfares and cheaper hotel rooms and head to France during this time of year.