Seasonal ideas

Springtime in France

Spring is the perfect time to visit France. From Brittany to the French Riviera, you will have plenty of fun – and hopefully plenty of sun.

Springtime in France

France blossoms in spring, as the country bursts into life with festivals and events of all kinds. It is a great time to visit, and the further south you go the warmer it (hopefully) gets.

Is spring a good time to visit France?

We couldn’t think of anywhere better! It could even be the perfect time, as you avoid the crowds and heat of the summer months, but there are still lots of things to do for all the family, at less than peak prices, and so many within easy reach of Eurotunnel Le Shuttle Calais Terminal. 

Great spring destinations in France

For couples, families or solo travellers, French destinations in the springtime offer so much to see and do.

Paris

Paris in the spring, what’s not to love? The perfect destination for a romantic getaway, the French capital has everything you could wish for – the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Sacré-Coeur, the Tuileries gardens, to name just a few of the attractions that await you in one of the world’s great cities. 

In the spring the boulevards throng once again with café culture, there is cherry blossom on the trees, and even if there is a shower or two, refuge can be taken at events like the Art Paris Art Fair, held every April and featuring works from 130 galleries from over 20 different countries.  
Driving to Paris from Eurotunnel Le Shuttle Calais Terminal takes around 3 hours 30 minutes (with tolls). 

Loire Valley

Romantic castle sits high above a row of buildings on a town’s river bank, with a church spire also prominent. Pink flowers in foreground

One of the most captivating regions of France, the Loire Valley is abundant with sophisticated cities, picturesque villages, châteaux, vineyards and orchards. In spring the fruit trees and gardens of the Loire burst into colour, and towns and cities like Orléans, Tours, Saumur, Nantes and Angers are ideal bases for your visit. Wine lovers will be in paradise, with over 1,000 vineyards open to the public.  

Every sight to see in the Loire Valley attests to thousands of years of rich architectural and cultural history.

Saint-Malo, Brittany

For some bracing spring sea air, beautiful beaches and stunning views, head to Saint-Malo, the walled port city on the Brittany coast. 

Saint-Malo has a lovely selection of hotels and, incidentally, the highest concentration of restaurants in Europe! Other highlights are the town’s aquarium, the Cathedral St Vincent, and the Fort National military base, which can be accessed across the beach when the tide is low. In early June every year an international literary festival, the Étonnants Voyageurs, takes place in the town. 

The French Riviera

In spring in the French Riviera it is possible to ski in the morning and sunbathe in the afternoon. Mountain resorts like Isola are just two hours drive from the coast, so that could be you, sipping cocktails in your salopettes watching the superyachts dock! 

We can’t lie, the Côte d'Azur is always on the expensive side, but spring could be the best time of year to get the most from your budget here. You get better room rates and the beaches at Nice, Cannes and St Tropez are much quieter. 

Nantes

Giant elephant walks around fair, with people in the elephant on viewing galleries

Nothing sums up Nantes more perfectly than the Grand Éléphant, a mechanical, well, elephant which takes passengers on a 40 minute tour of this bustling, quirky city at the head of the Loire Valley. More traditional attractions come in the form of the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, a restored medieval castle in the heart of the city, the Jardin des Plantes, a botanical garden which also houses the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle, and the Cathédrale St-Pierre et St-Paul.  

Nantes is also home to a thriving art scene, with an eclectic mix of bars, clubs and restaurants for every taste in food and music. 

Popular events in France in springtime

From foodies to sports fans, gardeners to music lovers, there is something for everyone at festivals, fairs and events in France at this time of year. 

International Garden Festival - Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire

There are seasonal floral displays every year between April and November at the Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire, but Spring is easily the best time to go if you want to appreciate the International Garden Festival in all its glory. 

Less than one hour’s drive east of Tours, the International Garden Festival features up to 30 themed gardens created by the best garden designers from France and around the world. The colour and fragrances of the plants and flowers are arguably at their best in the Spring. Check the International Garden Festival website for the latest exhibition information.

Bourges Spring Festival

For several days in April, the small city of Bourges, in central France, comes alive with music of all genres. The city’s concert halls and marquees play host to ticketed events while a ‘fringe’ festival showcases up and coming artists on free stages. 

From large venues to small bars in the town centre, the entire city is buzzing during this Spring Festival, so it’s a brilliant time to visit. Bourges is located on the pretty banks of the Yèvre river, so there’s plenty to explore outside of the city, too.

International Art and Antiques Fair

Located in the town of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, in southern France, the International Art and Antiques Fair is a must-visit for anyone who loves picking up a unique item on their travels. An event steeped in history, the fair has been taking place since 1920, selling unique second-hand trinkets, works of art, furniture, antiques, books and other hidden gems. 

Each year the entire town is transformed into one huge market, made up of a handful of different exhibition centres to house over 200 exhibitors from France and wider Europe. 

Cannes International Film Festival

Conference centre type building with a red carpet and huge billboard, a few people walk on a plaza in front

For 12 days each May, the world’s most stylish celebrities and movie stars descend upon Cannes on the French Riviera for the world’s most glittering celebration of film.

Around 2,000 films are promoted at the film festival each year, attracting more than 30,000 directors, producers, actors, publicists, distributors and movie fans, so be prepared for quite the crowd.

The Palais des Festivals is the place for the premieres, so get there around lunchtime to be in the front row for the evening’s event and some serious star spotting.  

Kite and wind festival at Châtelaillon-Plage

Whether you’re a kite enthusiast or not, the annual Kite and Wind Festival is a great day out for the whole family. The festival is world famous and attracts kite flyers from all over France and indeed the globe. Held along the beach in Châtelaillon-Plage (on France’s south west coast), the event sees kits of all shapes, colours and sizes take to the skies. 

If you need to brush up on your kite flying skills, you can learn the basics at the local kiting school.

The French Open at Roland Garros

Tennis match on clay court, watched by packed crowds in the stadium

The second tennis Grand Slam of the year takes place from the middle of May to early June every year and is one of France’s most watched sporting events. Held at the Roland Garros tennis complex right in the heart of Paris, the tournament is the only Grand Slam event to be played on clay, and represents a unique challenge for the world’s top players. 

Fans flock to watch the matches on the distinctive orange courts, but, like at Wimbledon, demand for tickets is high so early booking is advised. 

Cheese and Wine Fair in Coulommiers

Does anything go together better than cheese and wine? Perhaps only a cheese and wine festival! A town just to the east of Paris, Coulommiers is home to some of the best food and wine in the country, and is known for its famous cheese of the same name. Over 350 exhibitors come together at this annual festival to delight taste buds with their culinary offerings.

What to pack for your springtime visit to France

The French weather in the spring is as unpredictable as the UK, so pack for sun, cold and rain. If you are in the south you could bask in summer-like temperatures, but take plenty of layers and a warm coat especially if you are in the north of France.  

Giant squid kite flying over beach and sea front in cloudless blue sky

Explore France in springtime with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

It really is the perfect time to visit France and these are just a few ideas on where to go. You could also try Aquitaine, a lovely spring destination. Your spring in France starts with just a 35 minute crossing from Folkestone to Calais via Eurotunnel Le Shuttle.

Explore France in springtime with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

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