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French Riviera climate: when to go to the French Riviera?

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The French Riviera (Côte d’Azur) extends along the Mediterranean Sea, from the border with Italy to the town of Cassis, on the eastern outskirts of Marseille. Thanks to its position, the climate of the French Riviera is Mediterranean, mild and sunny with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The French Riviera is famous for its Mediterranean climate, mild and sunny, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters with temperatures moderated by the presence of the Mediterranean Sea.

The western coast, especially in winter, is hit by the Mistral, a dry and cold wind that blows from north-northwest. In the city of Toulon there are on average 115 days a year when the Mistral blows. The Nice area, on the other hand, is well sheltered by the surrounding mountains and the Mistral blows more rarely.

Rainfall is heaviest in the eastern section of the coast. In the city of Nice there is over 800 mm of rainfall per year. While in the western part of the coast the rains tend to decrease. In the city of Toulon, less than 700 mm of rain is recorded in a year. Snow and frost are very rare events. The rainiest period is the autumn and winter months, between October and January, October is by far the rainiest month of all. The summer months, however, are particularly dry with only 2/3 days of rain per month. Rainy days are typically just over 60 in a year.

Nice has an annual average of almost 2,700 hours of sunshine. Rainfall is greatest between October and January, with October being by far the rainiest month. The driest months are between May and August. The city has an annual average of 803 mm of rainfall. The average minimum winter temperatures remain between 5°C and 6°C, while the average maximum winter temperatures vary between 13°C and 14°C. In summer there are average minimum temperatures of 20° in July and August and average maximum temperatures of 27°C.

Going west the rains decrease, in Toulon at the western end of the Côte d’Azur there is 665 mm of rain per year. The summer dry season is very marked, the rains are more intense from October to February. Toulon is one of the sunniest locations in France with almost 2,900 hours of sunshine per year.

The average maximum summer temperatures in Toulon are a few degrees higher than in Nice. In fact, in Toulon average maximum temperatures of 29°C are reached in July and August, while average minimum summer temperatures are slightly lower than in Nice with values of 18°C/19°C. Winter temperatures, on the other hand, do not present large differences, the Mistral in Toulon blows for 115 days a year.

On the French Riviera the sea water has temperatures above 20°C from June to September, with over 23°C in August.

FRENCH RIVIERA WHEN TO GO?

Due to its mild climate, visiting the French Riviera is possible at any time of the year. However, the most beautiful months are those between April and September, considering that the central months of summer, July and August, are very crowded. The best time to visit the French Riviera are the warm and sunny months from April to September. However, consider that July and August are very crowded months, so probably the absolute best months are May and June. Thanks to the mild climate, even the winter months can be suitable for visiting the French Riviera.

CLIMATE TABLES OF THE FRENCH RIVIERA

NICE (4 m)
MonthAverage low (°C)Average high (°C)Rain (mm)
January5,312,985
February5,913,459
March7,614,960
April9,716,569
May13,520,149
June16,723,638
July19,726,615
August20,027,223
September17,024,375
October13,220,6143
November8,816,394
December6,213,887
YEAR  803
TOLON (3 m)
MonthAverage low (°C)Average high (°C)Rain (mm)
January5,812,776
February6,213,388
March7,515,356
April9,617,855
May12,721,645
June16,125,622
July18,829,16
August18,728,928
September16,625,749
October13,321,493
November9,216,369
December6,713,673
YEAR  665
NICE
MonthSea Water Temperature (°C)
January13
February12
March13
April14
May16
June20
July22
August23
September21
October19
November16
December14
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