July is a wonderful time to enjoy being outdoors in France, go hiking or cycling, visit the beach, or have a picnic in one of France's many parks, gardens or even vineyards. It can get pretty hot, but generally we don’t get the unbearably hot temperatures of August.

In this post, we’ll suggest some of our favorite places to visit and great activities you can enjoy in France in July. We’ll also talk a bit about the summer weather and the festivals and events you can attend.

France Weather in July

July weather in France is warm and sunny, with average high temperatures ranging from 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F) throughout much of the country. The low temperatures in the evening typically hover around 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F). 

The long hours of sunshine make it a popular month for travelers, as you can spend plenty of time outdoors enjoying France's beautiful scenery, hiking and cycling trails and strolling through our beautiful cities.

Saint-Pabu beach in Brittany
Saint-Pabu beach in Brittany
©

Moreau Henri CC-BY SA 4.0

Festivals and Events in France in July

July is the month of music and theater festivals in France! There are so many to choose from and you’ll find something for all tastes. Here are some of the well-known festivals in France in July.

Avignon Theater Festival

Also known as the Festival d'Avignon, this is one of the largest theater festivals in the world, attracting thousands of visitors to Provence each year. The annual festival takes place in Avignon across three weeks in July and features plays, dance performances, and concerts by both established and up-and-coming artists from around the world.

The festival has a rich history, dating back to 1947, and is a must-visit event for anyone interested in theater, dance, or the arts in general. The official festival is known as the ‘IN’, while other shows and performances which are not part of the official festival are known as the “OFF”.

Avignon Festival
Avignon Festival
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jean-louis ZimmermannCC-BY 2.0

La Roque d’Anthéron piano festival, Provence

The La Roque d’Anthéron Piano Festival is an annual outdoor music festival that takes place in the town of La Roque d'Anthéron in Provence, France.

The festival features concerts by some of the world's most talented pianists, performing a wide range of classical music compositions. Itl typically takes place in July and August and attracts a large number of music lovers and classical music enthusiasts from around the world.

In addition to concerts, the festival also includes masterclasses, workshops, and other events that allow visitors to learn more about the art of piano playing and the history of classical music.

The festival is held in a number of different venues throughout La Roque d'Anthéron, including the gorgeous Château de Florans and the Parc du Château, providing a breathtaking backdrop for the musical performances. Magical!

Jazz in Marciac, southwest France

The Festival de Jazz de Marciac, is one of the largest and most renowned jazz festivals in Europe and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

The festival typically takes place in late-July to early August, and features a diverse lineup of jazz musicians and bands, ranging from established legends to up-and-coming artists.

The festival is held in the town's central square, providing a charming and intimate atmosphere for the performances.

In addition to the main stage, there are also smaller stages and jam sessions throughout the town, allowing visitors to experience a wide variety of jazz music in a variety of settings.

Jazz lovers will love this festival in this small, picturesque French town.

American Tour Festival in Tours, Loire Valley

If you want to get a taste of the US in France, this is the festival for you! This annual festival takes place in Tours in the Loire Valley, and is a celebration of American music, with performances by both French and American musicians. It includes a wide range of musical styles, including rock, blues, folk, and country. 

The festival is held in a variety of outdoor and indoor venues, including parks, theaters, and music halls, and features both free and ticketed events. The American Tour Festival is a great opportunity for music lovers to discover new artists, enjoy live performances, and immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of American music.

Terre du Son in Candé Castle, Loire Valley

Terre du Son festival features a wide range of musical styles, including rock, pop, hip-hop, and electronic music. Terre du Son is known for its innovative and eclectic lineup of artists, as well as its stunning location within the grounds of Candé Castle in the Loire Valley.

As well as the musical performances, there are food and drink stalls and games you can get involved in, so it’s a really fun and festive atmosphere.

Francofolies Music Festival, La Rochelle

Every July, Les Francofolies music festival takes place in the lovely coastal city of La Rochelle in western France. This festival is dedicated to French-language music and features a wide range of artists and styles, including pop, rock, hip-hop, and electronic music. 

It’s one of the largest and most popular music festivals in France and attracts visitors from across the country and beyond. 

The festival is held in a variety of outdoor and indoor venues throughout La Rochelle, including the city's famous old port and its historic town center. The festival also includes workshops, exhibitions, and street performances. Les Francofolies is a very fun festival for those wanting to enjoy French-language music in a beautiful and historic city.

Jazz in Juan-les-Pins, French Riviera 

The Jazz à Juan festival is a jazz festival featuring famous and up-and-coming jazz musicians. The festival is held in various places in the town of Juan-les-Pins, including the famous Pinède Gould park and its historic town center. If you're on a driving tour of the French Riviera during the festival and you're a jazz fan, why not plan a stop at Juan-les-Pins?

Bastille Day 

Bastille Day is the French national holiday celebrated on July 14th each year. It commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, which was a significant event in the French Revolution and is considered a turning point in the country's history.

If you’re in Paris, the Bastille Day celebrations include a grand military parade along the Champs-Élysées, followed by a spectacular fireworks display over the Eiffel Tower. 

If you're visiting Carcassonne, celebrations include concerts, parades, and fireworks, that take place both inside and outside the famous fortified city.

Carcassonne
The Fortified City of Carcassonne
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Alain Bonnardeaux, CC0 unsplash

The Feria de Bayonne in the Basque Country 

The Feria de Bayonne is a traditional festival held in the Basque region of southwestern region of France. We don’t recommend it for animal-lovers, as it includes bull-fighting, but it’s an interesting cultural event nonetheless and an opportunity to experience the rich culture and traditions of the Basque people.

This 5-day celebration of Basque culture includes cultural, sporting, and musical events such as bullfighting, street parades, and concerts. 

There is a lively and festive atmosphere, with thousands of people dressed in traditional Basque costume participate in the festivities.

Carcassonne Festival

The Carcassonne Festival is a cultural event that takes place annually in Carcassonne. The festival is a celebration of the arts, with a focus on music, theater, and dance. Whether you're a fan of classical music, modern dance, or any other form of the arts, the Carcassonne Festival has something to offer for everyone. It’s a fantastic event to experience if you’re visiting Carcassonne in July.

Vaison-la-Romaine Dance Festival in Provence

This dance festival takes place in one of our favorite little towns in Provence. At this festival, you’ll be able to see various forms of dance, from contemporary to classical ballet. There are performances by both international and local dance companies at venues throughout the town, including the historic Roman amphitheater.

Valensole Lavender Day in Provence

Valensole is a stunning area to drive through in Provence, known for its gorgeous rolling lavender fields. The lavender festival celebrates the lavender harvest, which is a major part of the region's economy and culture.

During the festival, you can enjoy guided tours of the lavender fields, exhibitions of local handicrafts, and live music performances. The Valensole Lavender Day festival is a chance to experience the beauty and fragrance of the Provence lavender fields at their most beautiful, and to learn about the history and culture of this important crop.

If you're thinking of exploring Provence by car, be sure to plan a stop in Valensole.

Valensole in the Luberon area of Provence. There's a violet lavender field with a tree in the middle. The sky is blue with a few fluffy white clouds.
A lavender field in Valensole in the Luberon, Provence
©

France Just For You

Best Places to visit in France in July 

As July is one of the busiest times to visit France, we’ve included some popular places AND places away from the biggest tourist crowds.

Paris during the Olympic Games in 2024 

The Olympic Games will be coming to Paris from July 26 - August 11, 2024. The atmosphere will be busy and bustling, with people from all over the world coming to watch, support and celebrate their Olympians. 

Be warned that this will mean that the most popular tourist attractions - such as the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles and other museums - will be extremely crowded. We advise booking Skip-the-Line tickets as soon as you have your dates for Paris.

We also recommend researching some restaurants and cafes nearby each of the attractions and Olympics venues, and making reservations for the evenings, where possible. If you travel to Paris with France Just For You, we will share with you our favorite restaurants, cafes and places of interest that other tourists may not know about. 

Please also be aware that accommodation prices are likely to be very expensive during the Olympics. If you plan to travel to France in July 2024 and don’t have tickets for an Olympic event, we recommend traveling before the games start.

Travelers standing and smiling outside the Musee D'Orsay in Paris
Alex & Judy and their family standing outside the Musee D'Orsay in Paris
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FJFY Travelers Alex & Judy

Chinon, Loire Valley

Chinon is a lovely, picturesque town in the Loire Valley (and is where France Just For You’s Emilie went to high school!). 

While you’re there, be sure to visit the gorgeous Chateau de Chinon, a medieval fortress that is perched on a hill overlooking the town and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. It was once home to the Plantagenet kings of England and was a key site during the Hundred Years' War.

We also love the old town of Chinon (Vieux Chinon), with its cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses and quaint cafes.

The Maison de la Rivière museum is also very interesting, showcasing the flora and fauna of the Loire River. They also offer boat tours of the river.

There are also a number of vineyards and wine cellars that we love to recommend to our travelers. There, you’ll be able to tour and enjoy a picnic in a vineyard and taste some of the region's wines while learning about the winemaking process.

If you’re in Chinon on the first weekend of July, you’ll be able to experience the town’s fantastic Medieval Festival at the Chateau des Brétignolles. Many people will be dressed in costume and there will be historical reenactments. Very interesting and a lot of fun!

The town of Chinon and its castle in the Loire Valley
The town of Chinon and its castle in the Loire Valley
©

Gillard & Vincent ADT Touraine

Bordeaux City

Many travelers visit Bordeaux to visit the famous vineyards and enjoy wine-tasting experiences. This is a lovely activity to enjoy in the summer, but we also recommend enjoying the best that Bordeaux city itself has to offer. 

Bordeaux city was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007 because of its outstanding urban landscape and architecture. This reflects the city's history and evolution from the 18th century to the present day, and its role as a hub of the wine industry.

The city's architecture features a blend of classical and neoclassical styles, which were developed in the 18th century when the city underwent a major period of urban renewal. The result is a harmonious ensemble of buildings, boulevards, and public spaces.

We invite you to read our post on places to visit in Bordeaux. And of course, if you travel with us, we will include all our favorite recommended places in your personal guidebook!

The city of Bordeaux
The city of Bordeaux
©

Pixabay CC0

Colmar, Alsace

We love to recommend a visit to Colmar to our travelers at all times of year. The charming old town is ideal for strolling through. The cobblestone streets, colorful half-timbered houses, and the canals and bridges of Little Venice give it plenty of character and make it very photogenic. 

If you’re interested in art and artefacts from the Middle Ages to the modern era, we recommend visiting the Unterlinden Museum, housed in a former convent.

There’s also the Bartholdi Museum, which is dedicated to the life and work of famous sculptor Auguste Bartholdi, who created the Statue of Liberty. The museum is housed in his former home, and features a collection of his original works and personal effects.

Colmar is also a great place to taste the famous Alsace white wines. Visit local wineries or attend a wine tasting session to learn about the different varieties of wine produced in the region.

You must also try the Alsatian cuisine while you’re in Colmar. This features hearty dishes like tarte flambée (a type of pizza), choucroute (sauerkraut with sausages and potatoes), and baeckeoffe (a slow-cooked meat stew).

Colmar’s market square is a lively area with many stalls selling local produce, cheeses, and crafts. It's a great place to pick up souvenirs or enjoy a coffee or pastry at one of the nearby cafes. 

If you love the sound of Colmar, we invite you to browse our sample tours of Alsace.

Colorful, half-timbered houses by the side of the canal in Little Venice neighborhood in Colmar
Little Venice neighborhood, Colmar
©

Vered Caspi Unsplash CC0

Mont Saint-Michel

Marvel at the stunning Mont St Michel, a medieval abbey perched on a rocky island, and explore the charming town and surrounding bay. We work with expert guides who live on or near the islet. They know all the secrets and legends of the bay, as well as the best way to explore the island away from the tourist crowds. They will share everything they know and give you the very best experience of Mont Saint-Michel. We can include a visit to this wonderful place in our Normandy itineraries or our Brittany itineraries.

Two travelers standing on the beach in front of Mont St Michel islet and Abbey in Normandy, France
Travelers Lori Jo & George from the USA in front of Mont St Michel Abbey
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Lori Jo & George from the USA

Dordogne

Discover the beautiful castles perched on rocky crags above the Dordogne river. Go on a boat trip on a traditional boat from the region and admire the breathtaking surroundings. Explore prehistoric caves and admire the cave art. Or go on a truffle hunt with canine experts and their owners! There is so much beauty to discover when you visit Dordogne, and we would love to help you discover it!

Canoeing in Dordogne
Canoeing in Dordogne
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FJFY Traveler Bob from the USA

The Camargue, Provence

The unique landscape of wetlands, sand dunes, salt flats and beaches that make up the Camargue is a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers. You can go hiking, bird watching, horseback riding and enjoy the peace and tranquility of this stunning natural environment. We recommend this as a day-trip from Avignon or Aix-en-Provence as part of our Provence driving itineraries.

Horses in the marshland of the Camargue in Provence, France. Flamingos are flying overhead.
Horses and Flamingos in the Camargue, Provence
©

Xtian du Gard CC0

Best Things to do in France in July 

Here are some fantastic things you can enjoy doing in France during the month of July!

Be a Spectator at the Tour de France

July is the month of the famous Tour de France, which starts in Nice and finishes in Paris, with stops along the way. Being a spectator at the race is an unforgettable experience, and you'll also get to see some of the most picturesque places in France.

If you're interested in watching the race, here are some places where you can be a spectator:

The start and finish of each stage is open to the public, if you want a chance to see the riders up close.

The mountain stages are some of the most dramatic, as spectators watch the riders tackle the steep climbs and sharp bends along the road. Popular mountain passes include Alpe d'Huez, Mont Ventoux, and Col du Tourmalet. But be warned that these may be difficult to access and crowded!

The Tour de France passes through many towns and villages along the route, and local residents often come out to cheer on the riders. This may be the most pleasant way to experience the Tour de France, and a stop in a local town or village will fit in well if you’re driving through France.

Many towns and cities along the route set up fan parks with big screens showing the race, food and drink stalls, and other entertainment. This can be a very nice atmosphere and a chance to mix with local cycling enthusiasts.

The final stage takes place in Paris, finishing on the Champs-Élysées. This is a great place to watch the riders cross the finish line and join in the celebrations.Please be aware that the Tour de France attracts large crowds, so it's a good idea to arrive early to secure a good spot and be prepared for all kinds of weather (especially in the mountains). Additionally, some areas along the route may be closed to traffic, so plan accordingly.

The Tour de France in the French Alps
Tour de France at L'Alpe d'Huez
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Needpix CC0

Enjoy the sound & light shows in the castles of the Loire Valley

The warm summer nights of July are a wonderful time to experience the magic of the Loire Valley chateaux. 

Many castles have night-time sound and light shows during the summer months:

  • Chateau de Chenonceau has "Les Nuits de Feu," which includes a fireworks display set to music.
  • Chateau de Blois hosts "La Nuit des Chimères," which projects images onto the castle's walls and tells the story of its history.
  • Chateau de Chambord has a nightly light show that illuminates the castle's façade and highlights its architecture.
  • Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau had the "Azay le Rideau en Lumière," in which the castle's façade in lit up and again, tells the story of its history.
  • Chateau de Villandry also has a musical firework display called "Les Nuits des Mille Feux," (Nights of a Thousand Fires)

Check the individual castles’ websites for up-to-date information about their night-time shows, as schedules may vary from year to year.

Fireworks over the Loire river near Tours
Fireworks over the Loire river near Tours
©

Antoine Montulé, CC BY-SA 4.0

Visit the beaches of the French Riviera or Brittany

July is the perfect time to visit the beaches of the French Riviera. With clear blue waters and warm weather, it's the ideal place to relax and soak up the sun. Some of the most popular beaches include Plage de la Croisette in Cannes, Plage de l'Ecluse in St Tropez, and Plage de la Pointe Croisette in Cap d'Antibes.

A trip to Brittany in western France is also a wonderful option for your summer vacation. Many compare its white sandy beaches and turquoise waters with the Caribbean. For more information you can read our post on the best beaches in Brittany (with some gorgeous photos!). We also have a post on our favorite beaches in France, including Normandy and the Basque Country, if you’d like more options!

Saint-Malo Beach, Brittany
Saint-Malo Beach, Brittany
©

Xavier Foucrier, Unsplash CC0

Explore the Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles is one of the most famous tourist attractions in France. It was the residence of the French monarchs from the 17th century to the French Revolution. The palace is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is a must-visit destination in July when the weather is warm and perfect for a stroll.

We recommend getting tickets for the Versailles Grandes Eaux night show, a spectacular musical fountain display that takes place in the gardens of Versailles. It features an impressive combination of water fountains, classical music, and lighting effects. The show usually runs from late spring to early autumn. A once in a lifetime experience!

A view of the gardens of Versailles
Versailles Gardens
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Needpix CC0

Visit the famous wine regions

July is the perfect time to visit some of France’s most famous wine regions, including Burgundy, Champagne, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley and Alsace. We will recommend our favorite vineyards and wine cellars in your personal France guidebook if you book a tour with us. We will also organize for a private guide and wine expert to take you to visit a vineyard and have a special wine-tasting experience. They will do the driving, so you can drive to your heart’s content!

Champagne Vineyards
Vineyards in Champagne, France
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Rob and Lisa Meehan, CC-BY 2.0

Do a cooking class & enjoy a traditional meal with your B&B host

France is known for its delicious cuisine, so we want you to have the very best French gastronomic experiences while you’re here! Not only will we recommend our favorite markets, cafes and restaurants, we can also arrange for you to do a private cooking class in the home of a French chef. You will then sit down and eat the meal together after. This is a lovely way to get to know a local chef, learn about the dishes you’re making and their ingredients, and enjoy great conversation over a delicious meal. 

Some of the French Bed & Breakfast hosts we work with actually offer cooking classes. Some also offer hosted dinners (tables d'hôte), where the hosts prepare a delicious traditional meal for their B&B guests, and everyone sits down at the table to enjoy it. A lovely way to make new friends - and on a warm July evening, you may be able to enjoy it outside!

Hosted dinner in the Loire Valley
B&B guests enjoying a hosted dinner in the Loire Valley
©

France Just For You

FAQ about traveling to France in July

How hot is France in July?

The weather in France in July is warm and sunny all over the country, with high temperatures between 77°F to 86°F (25°C to 30°C). It will be cooler in northern France, with lower temperatures of around 59°F to 68°F (15°C to 20°C)

Where is the hottest in France in July?

The hottest regions of France in July are Provence, Dordogne, Carcassonne and the French Riviera.

Is July a good month to visit France?

Visiting France in July is a lovely option. The good weather makes it an ideal time to be outside strolling through cities, towns and villages, or hiking and cycling through France's beautiful rural areas.

 

We hope we have given you some inspiration for your trip to France in July! If you would like to find out more about how we can plan a personalized self-drive itinerary of France, just for you, we would love to hear from you!

You may also browse our sample tours of the French regions you’re most interested in.


If you’re thinking of visiting France at another time of year, check out our other monthly guides!

 

France Just For You

Experts in self-drive tours in France

Travelers Reviews

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This was our first visit to France to celebrate my 40th birthday. We started in Reims/Champagne region, Burgundy, Loire Valley Normandy and finished in Paris. Our 21 day trip was exceptional in every way! Emilie and her team thought of everything and their service from fist email to our return home could not be faulted. The only way I can describe …
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