Travel Tips, Festivals in France and Vacation Destination Ideas
August is, along with July, one of the most popular months to travel to France. Not only that, August is when France takes a vacation! Many Parisian residents like to head down south for their summer holiday; in smaller towns, shops and restaurants may close for the month.
The highest temperatures in France are generally in August, (see average high/low temperatures below) with long hours of sunshine. There might be around 5 days of rain per month (although this varies alot between the regions.)
Weather In France In August
|City||Average Low C°/F°||Average High C°/F°|
Sometimes it is recommended that August in France is avoided for a number of reasons. Being peak season, some places, especially the more famous attractions in France, can get very crowded; some roads can be more congested than usual (especially the main motorways heading south from Paris; and prices will be higher in general, for things like accommodation and flights.
But…..if you know a few secret vacation destination ideas and france travel tips (which we will share with you here), you can still find bargains; and there are beautiful places to visit in France in August that are often missed by the tourist crowds and are surprisingly peaceful.
Sometimes, after juggling family time, school and demanding job commitments, August might be the only month we can travel. So let’s work with it and make the most of it!
Here are some vacation destination ideas and france travel tips that will help you stick to your budget and still have fun!
France Vacation Destination Ideas
- Choose your accommodation carefully. Before booking a hotel, consider staying in one place for at least a week and renting a holiday home. This can really make a difference in Paris which is expensive any time of year: save money and stay in an apartment.
- Find out if there are any special passes for visiting monuments and museums. Many of the major cities offer passes that will give you access to attractions at a discount, and flashing your pass may get you in without having to wait in line. For example, check out the Paris Museum Pass which gives you access to a whole load of monuments in and around Paris, and if you’re visiting a large number of them, it’ll save you money. You can buy the passes in the larger metro stations and tourist offices.
- How to find the best deals.When booking flights, use flight search engines that will give you a range of prices across multiple airlines. That way you can see where the deals are and find the cheapest prices. Find out more on our flights page; you can also do the same for booking ferry tickets.
- Head off the tourist trail. If you’re visiting France in August, consider going to places that are lesser known as the ‘tourist hotspots’. Focus on the more rural areas and you can find some lovely vacation destination ideas. Many of our pages on this website have suggestions for places off the beaten track, here are just a few to get started:
- the inland region of Brittany;
- if you’re in Paris, visit the smaller museums, or the beautiful gardens and parks in and around the city;
- if you’d like to visit the Riviera, know where to find the quieter and lesser known beaches, or try something different and go to Cassis instead, and the beautiful Calanques nearby; (Remember some places shut down for the month of August, so before booking any accommodation, contact the hotel owners directly to confirm that shops, restaurants, and nearby attractions will be open).
- Festivals In France. Visit local festivals and concerts in France – many of them can be free and are great for all the family!
Even More Fun Vacation Destination Ideas
We’ve also put together:
- some more vacation destination ideas for visiting attractions in france, – some famous and others not so famous; and
- for holidays on a budget, we’ve dedicated a special page for cheap vacation ideas;
- and last but not least….where to have a fantastic family friendly vacation in France!
Here are some exciting events and festivals below – many of them cost very little, or are free.
(Make sure to contact the relevant event organisers (website addresses are provided below) to confirm exact dates, if tickets need to be purchased and how much they cost.)
- The International Piano Festival in La Roque-d’Anthéron, in Provence, is one of the most significant piano festivals in the world, with concerts offering all types of styles such as classical, contemporary and jazz, as well as masterclasses and lectures. The concerts take place in various venues, including the open-air Parc de Florans. (www.festival-piano.com).
- The Marciac jazz festival in Gers (www.jazzinmarciac.com). Marciac is in southwest France, in the Midi-Pyrénées region.
- Toulouse also has a music festival (Toulouse d’Eté Music Festival) which features both international and local talent. (http://www.toulousedete.org/)
- The Tremplin Jazz Festival in Avignon (July-August) attracts some of Europe’s finest jazz musicians. Concerts are held in the Palais des Papes (Papal Palace) and the Cloître des Carmes. Check the dates though, as the festival only runs for a few days, normally between end of July and beginning of August. (http://www.trempjazz.com/)
- The gorgeous provencal hilltop village of Gordes also hosts a music and arts festival, called Les Soirées d’été de Gordes For the full programme, please visit the Gordes website (http://www.gordes-village.com/html/index.html).
- On the Riviera, the Menton Music Festival is a classical music festival, with concerts held in the beautiful baroque church, Basilica Saint Michel, as well as free masterclasses in the garden of La Serre de la Madone. Check the festival website for exact dates: www.festivalmusiquementon.com/.
- Brittany has a jazz festival in Vannes, with artists playing jazz, blues, gospel, and funk. Concerts take place in parks, bars and restaurants throughout the town (http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/).
- In Brittany as well is the Quimper Musical Weeks Festival, held at the Théâtre de Cornouaille, featuring a variety of performances from piano recitals to opera (http://www.semaines-musicales-quimper.org/).
- If you’re in Paris, you can hit the Printemps department store for the Summer Sales (running from June to August 2009) – Printemps, 4 boulevard Haussman 75009. Discounts can be up to 50% off. Opening hours are extended, too.
- Paris also has an arts festival in late July and early August, with open air dance and music concerts in places like the Jardins du Luxembourg ((Le Festival Paris Quartier d’été);
- If you’re in the north of France, you might be interested in the Jazz aux Greniers festival in Honfleur, in Normandy, which runs in August for around 4 days (http://www.jazzauxgreniers.com/).
We hope you find lots of vacation destination ideas here and enjoy your holiday in France!