Best time to visit French Riviera

The best time to visit the French Riviera for a beach holiday is during the summer months from mid-June through August. However, anytime from May through September is also good.

Note: To avoid the crowds, noise, traffic jams and high prices of July and August, visit the French Riviera in May, June and September.

French Riviera weather

The French Riviera (or Côte d'Azur) enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with mild, wet winters and hot, sunny summers, which are usually tempered by a breeze.

The French Riviera has one of the driest climates in France, with clear sunny days in summer and short mild winters, with the most rain falling in autumn. Winter is generally mild, but it can sometimes get cold.

Here are the average temperatures in Cannes, which is located in the eastern part of the French Riviera.

What is the best month to visit the French Riviera?
July and August are the best months to visit French Riviera – the climate is perfect for a beach holiday with hot, sunny weather and little or no rainfall.

The months from mid-April though June are also good for a range of outdoor activities, as are September through to early-October, but the sea is generally cold for swimming in comfort.

July and August is the peak tourist season in French Riviera with greater crowds and higher prices.

Which is the hottest month in the French Riviera?
The hottest month in the French Riviera is normally August, with an average high temperature of 28°C (82°F), moderate heat and humidity, and a low of 19°C (66°F).

However, on the warmest days of the month, the temperature usually reaches around 33°C (91°F).

The warm season lasts from mid-June to mid-September, with an average daily high temperature above 25°C (77°F).

Which is the coldest month in the French Riviera?
The coldest month in the French Riviera is usually January, with an average low of 4°C (39°F) and high of 13°C (55°F).

The cooler season lasts from late-November to late-March, with an average daily high temperature below 16°C (60°F).

Which is the sunniest month in the French Riviera?
The sunniest month in the French Riviera is July, with more than 11 hours of sunshine per day; that's around 72% of daylight hours.

When is the sea warmest in the French Riviera?
The sea is usually at its warmest in the French Riviera in August, with an average water temperature of 24°C (84°F), which is warm enough for swimming.

The sea is warm enough for swimming only during the months of July and August.

Which month has the most rain in the French Riviera?
October is usually the wettest month of the year in the French Riviera with an average rainfall of 120mm (5in) of rainfall on average.

The rainy season lasts from early-September to early-June, with a greater than 15% chance of a given day being a wet day. October through December receives the most rainfall.

The drier season lasts from early-June to early-September. Rain falls throughout the year in the French Riviera. The month with the fewest wet days in the French Riviera is July.

What are the windiest months in the French Riviera?
The windiest month in the French Riviera is February, with an average hourly wind speed of 15 kilometres per hour (8 knots; 10 mph).

The windy part of the year lasts from early-October through April, with average wind speeds of more than 13 kilometres per hour (7 knots; 9 mph).

The calmer time of year lasts from May through to early-October. The month with the least amount of wind month of the year in the French Riviera is August, with an average hourly wind speed of 11 kilometres per hour (6 knots; 8 mph).

The predominant average hourly wind direction in the French Riviera varies throughout the year. The wind is most often from the west during the month of June, with a change from the south to late-August, and from the east until early-June.

French Riviera Weather Averages

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average high temperature (°C)
13 13 16 18 21 25 28 28 25 21 17 14
Average low temperature (°C)
4 4 6 9 13 16 19 19 15 12 8 5
Average daily sunshine (hrs)
5 6 7 7 8 10 11 10 8 6 5 4
Average daily daylight (hrs)
9 10 12 13 15 15 15 14 12 11 10 9
Comfort level
Cold Cold No heat & humidity No heat & humidity No heat & humidity Low heat & humidity icon Moderately hot icon Moderately hot icon Low heat & humidity icon No heat & humidity No heat & humidity Cold
Average relative humidity (%)
67 70 74 75 77 77 75 74 74 72 72 72
UV Index (max)
1 2 4 5 7 8 8 7 5 3 2 1
Average days of rainfall (≥1mm)
6 5 5 7 5 4 2 3 4 7 7 7
Average monthly rainfall (mm)
75 40 40 70 50 30 15 25 80 120 105 95
Average wind speed (km/h)
14 15 14 13 12 12 11 11 12 13 14 14
Average sea temperature (°C)
14 13 13 14 17 20 23 24 22 19 17 15
Cannes, French Riviera, France

Holiday seasons

High season: July and August. Typically, peak season in France revolves around school holidays – Christmas and New Year, mid-February to mid-March, Easter, July and August. Expect high hotel prices, packed beaches and traffic-clogged roads.

Low season: Spring and Autumn offer the best deals and reasonable weather despite the occasional rain showers.

Source: Meteorological data for the French Riviera (or Côte d'Azur) is based on weather statistics gathered for the 30-year period 1991 to 2020 by Météo-France – the French national meteorological service – at the closest weather station: Cannes – Mandelieu Airport or Aéroport de Cannes - Mandelieu (CEQ), located about 5km (3mi) west of Cannes.

Advice on the best time to visit a particular destination is based on average local weather statistics, when the weather conditions are generally better than at other times of the year. We consider high and low temperatures, risk of rain (and thunderstorms, etc.), amount of sunshine and sea temperature. For general outdoor activities we favour clear, rainless days with a temperature range between 18°C (64°F) and 27°C (80°F); and for hot-weather activities we favour clear, rainless days with a temperature range between 24°C (75°F) and 32°C (89°F). Often, the best times to visit correspond to high season and therefore involve higher prices.

Weather on the French Riviera…

Latest update: French Riviera weather: 12 May, 2024

Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data and conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable. We assume no responsibility and can not be held legally responsible for any decisions made on the basis of the information presented on this site.