5 reasons why autumn in France rules

I love autumn, especially autumn in France. It’s my very favourite time of year. I always seem to end up taking a holiday to France in the autumn or, if I’m very busy, content myself with just a few days break away.

It’s usually around the end of September which falls neatly in line with my birthday. But even if I didn’t have that excuse for a holiday I’d still make the effort to get away then. Here’s why.

The weather in the autumn in France

The summer heat in France has generally dissipated with the arrival of September. Autumn in France is a time of generally stable weather, blue skies and sunny, dry days, particularly in the south west of France where I seem to be inevitably drawn at this time of year.

The days are still long and the cooler temperatures bring with them the desire to get out and do all those activities that were just too much effort in the summer heat.

Pyrenees mountains view

The cooler autumn weather is perfect for more active pursuits like hiking and cycling in the mountains of the Pyrenees

Autumn colours in France

I’m not going to repeat myself by eulagising about the spectacular colours to be found in the vineyards of France in the autumn. That’s a given. There really is no autumn colour like it. But the colours that light up the deciduous woodlands in the mountains of France come a very close second, don’t you think?

The autumn colours in the mountains and foothills of the French Pyrenees are stunning

Stunning autumn colours in the mountains and foothills of the Pyrenees

The rich reds of the changing bilberry foliage and the coppery red of the bracken give the mountain environment a breathtaking beauty all of its own.

You are probably not aware of just how accessible the Pyrenees mountains of the SW of France are. You can be safely settled into your bed and breakfast in the foothills of the Pyrenees in under an hour thanks to the proximity of Toulouse airport.

This special, unspoilt and un-endingly beautiful corner of France is always my first choice for an autumn break.

Autumn peace and quiet

If you don’t have children of school age you will be in the best position to take advantage of the ‘arrière saison’, the quieter months that follow the madness of the peak summer school holiday months of July and particularly August.

Everything from the roads to the shops to the countryside heaves a collective sigh of relief as the pressure of the summer crowds is relieved and a semblance of normality returns once again.

Peace and quiet are the order of the day on a holiday to France in the autumn

Peace and quiet are the order of the day on an autumn holiday to France

Those in need of some serious downtime and a rejuvenation of the spirit eagerly grab this special time of year with both hands. They head for the peace and quiet of the countryside before the arrival of the shorter days of winter that are on the horizon.


Keats was spot on. Autumn is indeed the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Whilst the summer months are all about peaches, apricots and strawberries in France, I simply love nature’s autumn bounty of quince (oh, how I love quince!), apples, pears, walnuts, figs……

Autumn fruitfulness in France. Fresh figs.

Autumn fruitfulness in France. Fresh figs, quince, roadside plums….

The best bit? There is sure to be a country lane near to where you are staying in France with trees that are heavy with the fruits of the season. Fruit-laden branches overhang the quiet roads shouting pick me, pick me! It would be rude not to, wouldn’t it?!

Autumn brings cheaper holiday prices

OK, so the nitty gritty. Budget. Let’s face it, not all of us have money to burn. Not all of us can afford the market-driven higher prices that are an inevitable part of the ubiquitous summer holiday.

The autumn is an ‘in-betweeny’ season and accommodation prices reflect this. Whether your preference is for bed and breakfast in France or something more luxurious, there are great deals throughout France for those looking for a great value autumn break.

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