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!

Gardens at the Chateau de Villandry
Gardens at the Chateau de Villandry
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France Just For You

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.

Summer

Look out for the sound and light shows at the castles of Blois, Chartres, Orleans, Tours and more.

June

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.

September

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!

Fall colors in the French vineyards
Fall colors in the French vineyards
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Fall

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.

Winter

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.

France Just For You

Experts in self-drive tours in France

Travelers Reviews

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Judy
This was one of the best trips we have taken to Europe. We have often done our own planning. It was so nice to have Laura help. We were very delighted with accommodations and friendliness of all our hosts and tour guides. As Americans that don't speak much French, we would never have been able to arrange a trip like this ourselves - and we've done …
Sandy & Dennis
Emilie and Guillaume planned a wonderful trip for us. The B&Bs we stayed in were outstanding. Every recommendation -from restaurants to walks to things to do and see -was wonderful. They were very responsive to all our questions and concerns. I recommend them VERY highly and without reservation.
Paul
My wife and I had our travel plans created by Emilie at "France Just For You," a personal travel planner, Our trip was seamless as everything was prepared by FJFY: car rental pickup, B&B #1, detailed maps and activities, B&B 2, train to Paris, hotel, tours . . . . it was simply amazing! FJFY creates a customized tour book for your entire trip, it …
Lisa & Dave
Our 11 day trip in France planned by “ our Ladies “ at France Just For You was wonderful. There were no snafus, the lodging and activities were all more than expected, which all together created a great trip. We did well driving with the use of their excellent directions and gps coordinates that hooked up with Waze. We also were lucky to have warm …
Brigitte
We want to thank you and Guillaume for a wonderful itinerary and such amazing personalized attention. Every touch was added with so much special care and your willingness to answer all of my questions in such detail ahead of time was truly amazing. The guidebook and ‘care package’ you sent was so exciting and really helped us a lot with every day …
Clare & Greg
We just got back from a 2-week fairytale trip to the Southwest of France, perfectly planned for us by Emilie and Guillaume. We spent 3 days in Carcassonne, 4 days in the Dordogne, and 4 days in the Medoc. Each B&B was charming and the hosts were wonderfully welcoming. The special activities that were planned (truffle-hunting, wine-tasting and …

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