The best places for Autumn colour in France

It is early November and, thanks to the exceptionally warm October in France, the colours have  been slow to change this autumn.

But the process is now in full swing and the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows are exploding all over the country.

So where in France will you see the best autumn colours?

Autumn colour in the vineyards of France

For the most spectacular show, head for one of the vineyard regions of France.

You’ll be greeted by waves of vibrant, fiery colour as the vines put on their autumnal display.

A short drive down the autoroute from Calais (count on 5 hours or so) and you will arrive in Burgundy.

The vineyards of Burgundy in France in the autumn

The vineyards of Burgundy in France in the autumn. Photo by Burgundy on a Plate Wine Tours.

Head for the Beaune area where you really will be in the heart of the vineyard action. For the full experience, take a vineyard tour with Sue from Burgundy on a Plate Wine Tours.

Or for a more active stay amongst the vineyards, hire bikes and cycle along the infinite tracks and trails that criss-cross the vines. Top tip – don’t forget your camera and make sure your camera batteries are fully charged!

For a great value stay in Burgundy, head to the Dijon area and this welcoming B&B near the vineyards of Nuits-Saint-Georges and Clos de Vougeot.

B&B accommodation near Dijon and Burgundy vineyards

Great value bed and breakfast near Dijon and the vineyards of Nuits-Saint-Georges and Clos de Vougeot

The Loire Valley

Take the vibrant colours of the vineyards, set them against a backdrop of stately castles and a wide meandering river and you have something really quite stunning. The Loire Valley is a special place for an autumn break, no question about it.

The grapes that were harvested last month have started their journey to the wine glass and indeed many ‘primeur’ or young wines are now available to purchase.

Spend a day with Cathy from Le Tasting Room, let her be your guide and discover some remarkable vineyards and amazing wines from this rich area.

Visit one of the too many to mention castles that are dotted along the banks of the River Loire. Play at being a child again and kick fallen leaves along wide, majestic alleys of age-old trees and then treat yourself to a chocolat chaud in a village café.

The Chateau d'Amboise in the autumn

The Chateau d’Amboise in the autumn

For a special autumn break in the Loire Valley, this boutique B&B near Amboise is a great base. It’s perfectly placed for chateaux and vineyard visits.

Boutique B&B near Amboise, Loire Valley France

Beautiful boutique B&B in a peaceful situation near Amboise in the Loire Valley

Autumn colour in the Pyrenees

The changing colours in the foothills and mountains of the Pyrenes in SW France make for a stunning backdrop for an Autumn break.

The deciduous woodland, the heather and bilberry bushes and the bracken are transformed into a spectacular pallet of orange, copper, red and yellow.

Autumn colours in the French Pyrenees

Spectacular autumn colours in the Pyrenees

The weather in SW France is generally stable in the autumn. Sunny days and perfect temperatures mean ideal conditions for hiking, climbing, road and mountain biking.

The Pyrenees are also remarkably accessible. Take a cheap flight into Toulouse airport and you can be in the foothills in under an hour. Take a short break or a long weekend. Stay in a home-away-from-home bed and breakfast and explore at your leisure.

A B&B base for a walking holiday in France

Beautiful autumn colours in the Ariege Pyrenees

France in the autumn is a special place and so very different to France in the summer months.

From the dramatic colours of the autumn landscape to the perfect temperatures. From the peace in the countryside to the autumn produce that fills the market stalls.

Autumn truly is my favourite time of year in this beautiful and varied country.


  1. Laura says:

    Thanks so much for the great ideas! It’s our first year living in France and we are hoping to see some fall foliage from the car. The Loire Valley sounds like a great place to do this!

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