Our favorite months to go on a Loire Valley driving tour are May, June, July and September. Although the average maximum summer temperature is around 24°C/74°F, it can get much hotter, especially in August. In 2022, parts of the Loire Valley had temperatures of over 40°C/104°F.
In the winter months, the weather can drop to as low as 0°C or less, and the days are shorter. So unless you’re planning to enjoy the festive Christmas atmosphere, we recommend waiting until at least April to visit the Loire Valley, or preferably May, when the weather tends to be much better.
Visiting the Loire Valley during late spring, early summer and early fall will help you to avoid the most extreme temperatures, and are the ideal times to enjoy walking and cycling in the region.
If you’re visiting the castles of the Loire Valley (a must-see!) traveling between April and June or September and October will mean you avoid the largest tourist crowds. You’re also likely to see the castle gardens at their most beautiful. Some gardens open at night during the summer months and offer a beautifully lit musical setting, such as the ‘Nocturnes in the Garden’ at the Chateau de Chaumont. This can be a magical and romantic experience!
The Loire Valley by Month
March and April
Some of the castles will have Easter egg hunts, which are fun if you’re traveling with children. You’ll see tulips and blossom in bloom in the gardens.
April through November
Enjoy the International Garden Festival at the Chateau de Chaumont. The gardens evolve throughout the year, so they’re always beautiful to see.
Look out for the sound and light shows at the castles of Blois, Chartres, Orleans, Tours and more.
The wine fairs at Vouvray are the ideal opportunity to try some of the Loire Valley’s sparkling wines.
July and August
In the gardens of Villandry you can enjoy candlelit evenings - ‘Nights of a Thousand Lights’ - on certain evenings during these months. However, this is also the busiest, hottest, and driest time in the Loire Valley.
The grape harvest starts in September and can run to mid-November. The fall colors in the vineyards are a splendid sight while you sample some of the fabulous wine at local wineries. When you book with France Just For You, we’ll send you to our favorite wineries and vineyards!
There are Fall Festivals at some chateaux from September to November. If you’re interested in experiencing one of these, let us know and we’ll see if any of these are taking place on your tour dates.
Some chateaux close during the quieter winter months to carry out restoration and renovation work. Those that stay open may have pretty Christmas decorations and lights in December. We recommend checking ahead to see what’s open if you’ll be traveling to the Loire Valley in the winter.
Winter and early spring
The Loire Valley can get a lot of rain at this time of year, which makes walking and cycling less enjoyable or practical.
So to summarize, the best time to visit Loire Valley is in May, June, July, September and early October.