Authentic France Travel Tip #17: Come in the Winter


These times of economic uncertainty can be a good thing, I figure, if it teaches people to think outside the box. This definitely goes for travel planning. One thing that I am always amazed at is that more people don’t think to come to France during the winter.

Of course France is lovely in the Spring, Summer, and Fall; I certainly don’t deny that. However, it is also gorgeous on a day like today – a 20th of January. The sun is shining and it is about 10 degrees outside – perfect for walking, biking, our touring.

Here are the reasons why I think it is high time winter travel should be discovered by the masses;

1. Both your airline tickets and vacation rental or hotel rents will be less expensive, sometimes up to as much as a 50% discount off high season.

2. There are few tourists here during the winter, so it is that much easier to integrate into the local population and meet the natives.

3. Many activities, especially in a wine region such as Burgundy, are not weather dependent; wine tasting, eating wonderful meals, going to the market, visiting chateaux and museums…Franck and I and the girls bike and walk throughout the whole year, so as long as you dress appropriately there is really very little you cannot do.

4. The winter period is the ideal time of year for the wine enthusiast to visit. For all of our winemaker friends here winter is their only downtime during the year. As a consequence, the winter months are far and away the best time for long, relaxed wine tastings with local vinters. It is no coincidence that the biggest annual wine festivals – the Trois Glorieuses and the Saint Vincent also happen during the winter when the winemakers have the time to party.

5. There is nothing like relaxing in front of a crackling fire with a glass of local red wine. This is less satisfying, however, in August.

6. If you come in January, you can eat many galettes.