France is located in the heart of Western Europe, a land of contact between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. At the edge of French territory there are rugged mountain ranges, to the south the Pyrenees and to the south-east the Alps, in the heart of the country are the volcanic peaks of the Massif Central, the rest of the country is made up of plains and hilly areas.
The French climate is very varied, but can be divided into four main climate types: along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and those of the English Channel the climate is oceanic, characterized by great variability, rich in precipitation in every period of the year and without large excursions in temperature values.
As we move further into the interior of the country, the climate becomes semi-continental, the influence of the sea becomes less and less important, the rains gradually decrease, the summers are hot and rainy, and the winters cold and dry.
Along the coasts washed by the Mediterranean Sea, in Provence and Corsica, the climate is mild Mediterranean, characterized by mild winters, hot and dry summers, pleasant springs and mild but rainy autumns.
Finally, in the region of the Alps, the Pyrenees and on the highest peaks of the Massif Central, the climate is alpine, that is, characterized by cold, snowy winters and summers with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. In these areas of France there are over 150 days with temperatures below zero and snow covers the ground for almost six months of the year.
The French climate is influenced by the presence of the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south-east, and the European continental mass to the east, this means that the French climate is generally temperate, but with notable differences between the various regions.
The country has four main types of climate: oceanic, continental, Mediterranean and alpine. A large part of France falls within the area subject to the influences of the Atlantic Ocean, the continental climate affects the eastern and central part of the country, only the south is subject to the Mediterranean climate, while the mountains of the Alps, the Massif Central and the Pyrenees, they are subject to the alpine climate.
This type of climate characterizes the western part of France, the one located along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, in this area there is abundant rainfall, on average 1,000 mm of rain falls annually, well distributed throughout the year, the summers they are cool and humid, the winters are cold.
The continental climate affects the eastern and central part of France, it is characterized by hotter summers and colder winters than those of the coastal areas affected by the oceanic climate. Precipitation is considerable and snow is frequent in winter.
The Mediterranean climate affects the regions of southern France, those overlooking the Mediterranean such as Provence, the Côte d’Azur, Corsica and Languedoc-Roussillon, and is characterized by hot summers with little rain, while winters are mild and rather rainy .
The regions of the Alpine chain, the Pyrenees, the Massif Central and the mountains of Corsica are affected by a mountainous, alpine climate with high rainfall on the Pyrenean, Alpine and Massif Central mountain slopes where peaks of 2,000 mm per year are recorded.
WHEN TO GO TO FRANCE?
Due to the variety of climate, any time of year can be suitable for visiting the country. In general, however, the best time to visit France are the spring and summer months between April and September.
THE CLIMATE OF THE REGIONS OF FRANCE
Climate of Auvergne.
Climate of Franche-Comté.
Climate of Languedoc-Roussillon.
Climate of Midi-Pyrenees.
Climate of the Nord-Pas de Calais.
Climate of the Pays de la Loire.
Climate of Poitou-Charentes.
FRANCE CLIMATE TABLES
|PARIS (75 m)|
|Month||Average low (°C)||Average high (°C)||Rain (mm)||Rainy days|
|MARSEILLE (Marignane) (5 m)|
|Month||Average low (°C)||Average high (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Month||Sea Water Temperature (°C)|