Posted on 03 February 2022
February in France throws up many hidden surprises and delights despite this month’s bad reputation on international and domestic travel scenes. While most people stay at home, adventurous holidaymakers see an equally fascinating side of France. The benefits of travelling in February mean fewer crowds, cheaper hotels, and flight tickets.
Unless you head to ski resorts in stark contrast to other places in France, you hit peak season with crispy snow and dramatic mountain views. Travellers also experience various events and celebrations throughout France throughout February. Note – check the opening times of some attractions heading to smaller places because they close early. Otherwise, let us find out how to have great French experiences during February.
About February in France
1: Weather in February and What to Pack
Since February is the middle of winter in France, expect cold temperatures. However, they vary from region to region, and north districts experience different climates to the south. Check regional weather temperatures when planning itineraries. Additionally, remember extra layers for night-time events when temperatures dip even lower.
On average, Paris will come in between 3 to 8 degrees Celsius in February, while Strasberg goes as low as -1. Snow is rare in southern France but does appear in Paris, Lyon, and Bordeaux. Rain in February will occur. Certain must pack suitcase items include a winter coat, sweaters or cardigans, gloves, hat, scarf, suitable waterproof shoes, and an umbrella or raincoat.
2: Special February Events in France
La Chandeleur Pancake Day: Called Crêpe Day in France, French people cook crêpes and drink cider. Look online for recipes if staying self-catering, but if not, many good cafes serve delicious French crepes.
Nice Carnival: Held for 16 days in February, Nice carnival includes various events, so check their website to find out official programmes. Held to mark the end of winter into the beginning of Spring in France, expect flower floats, flag bearers, dancers, and sound and light show.
Menton Lemon Festival: Held for two weeks in February to celebrate the humble lemon, also stay overnight in Menton to visit other attractions like the Botanical Garden, Cocteau Museum, Salle des Mariages and Saint-Michel Basilica. Also, indulge in the delicious local cuisine of France.
Mandelieu Mimon Festival: To celebrate the humble Mimons flowers ready for Spring, this festival takes place in France’s Mandelieu region. See Europe’s largest mimosa forest and visit Grasse perfumery, where they make eau de toilette from the flower.
Granville Mardi Gras: Taking place every year for the five days before Shrove Tuesday, Granville Mardi Gras is France’s most significant event in February. Listed on the UNESCO site, the event celebrates cod fishing history. Traditionally, anglers celebrated on this day before heading out to catch the codfish.
Dunkerque Carnival: Colourful costumes represent this festival, which runs for three months during winter but peaks during Mardi Gras week. Expect bands, parades, and fun when locals throw herrings off balconies.
3: Visiting Paris – Capital of France
In February’s last week, the Paris Agricultural show provides an alternative themed holiday with bars, tastings, and musical events. But also watch out for the yearly Chinese New Year celebrations in the Chimois district of the 13th Arrondissement. Outside Paris, go on virtual reality tours of Notre Dame cathedral that takes you back over 800 years of history. In Paris, you can quickly empty bank accounts with places like Tuileries District, Covered Passageways, Grands Boulevards and Boulevard Haussmann ranking as the best places. Also, remember time-honoured attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and for valentine’s day, a romantic Seine cruise.
4: Alpine Skiing in February
While other places in France might be in the low season in February, the busy alps and pyrenes are worth visiting even for non-skiers. This utterly different world boasts of many delightful ski resorts. Remember to book any hotels and ski lessons in advance, especially during kid’s holidays in February, when mountains attract many French people and foreigners.
Non-skiers should write France’s beautiful mountains off either because many other activities include ice skating, dog sledging, helicopter rides, paragliding, and snowshoe hiking. Then, of course, après ski social scenes delight regardless of where you go. In February, one of our favourite ski resorts, Chamonix, offers terrific mountain views. Still, other notable ski resorts of France include Tignes, Val D’Isère, Meribel, and of course, upmarket Courchevel, where rich people hang out.
Best Ski Areas in France: For an alpine getaway in February, choose France’s best skiing areas and resorts. After all, the world’s and Europe’s best ski areas are in France, and this article talks about advice and tips for visiting.
5: Valentine’s Day in France
If you want to visit France for Valentine’s Day, you might think about Paris; however, other alternatives suit love themes even better. Sitting in the Indre region of Loire Valley, St Valentin traditional French village embodies love. Representing the patron saint of love, they celebrate three days for valentines, not just one evening. So, expect red roses, kiss in lover’s garden in which many couples propose under the willow of hearts, write love notes, and pin them on the tree of vows, or even get married under the famous tree of eternal hearts. To complete the French experience, plant your tree to celebrate your love.
6: Strasberg Lovers Festival
Since 2013, Strasbourg called itself the capital of love in France by reinventing Valentine’s Day with four-day festival events in February. Promoted by Strasbourg Tourist Office, they put on light shows and invite couples to be photographed in certain places reflecting love and romance. Altogether ten sites present love themes, of which the colourful extra-large park bench impresses most couples. So after, take romantic photographs home with you.
Also About France
Summer in the Alps: Alpine Summers might not be quite as popular as beach holidays, but in recent years, the profile has risen as an alternative place for the kids to get in touch with mother nature. The Alps are as just as beautiful in summer as they are during winter.
National Parks in France: February in France marks winter end, and we arrive in Spring. These places present stunning beauty and wide selections of flora and fauna. Visit the French National Parks from Spring to orange Autumn, when vivid colours of Mother Nature pave the way to an open-air playground. Trekking, hiking, bird watching, mountain biking and more is the perfect travel experience in France.