October in France is just right for a few sunshine days out and heaps to see and do. You might need a jacket or cardigan for sitting outside - but that just gives you an excuse to enjoy a cup of chocolat chaud!
Here are 5 places to go this October…
Get an end of year dose of vitamin. Head to the south of France where the crowds are thinned out but in early October the Mediterranean Sea is just warm enough for swimming and the days hot enough to sunbathe or an afternoon doze under an olive tree with average temperatures of 18˚C and plenty of sunshine. Book a table by the beach for lunch and in the evening head into the town or to Nice by train, it takes just 15 minutes.
Enjoy a day in Monaco, the train takes around 40 minutes or head into the interior for a spot of hiking. You could even pop over the border to Italy which is a short drive or a train journey of around 50 minutes to Ventimiglia. It’s a very pretty town with a historic district, lovely beaches and a gem of a market selling fabulous local specialities like ravioli and pizza.
Bordeaux city is the perfect place to visit in October, pleasantly warm and with loads to see and do. Enjoy the wonderful restaurants and bars and of course a spot of wine tasting is de rigeur in one of France’s best wine regions. In fact October is a great month for foodies with an annual food and wine festival in the centre. Head out into the vineyards and little wine towns - Saint Emilion is irresistible and in October holds an annual hot air balloon festival. There are plenty of museums including Bordeaux’s work famous wine museum.
Known as the foodie capital of France, it’s THE place to go if you like great food. The historic old town is atmospheric and as the nights draw in earlier in October, perfect for a just before dusk stroll and an aperitif in the cobbled streets before dinner in a warmly lit bouchon – traditional restaurant. October also sees the Festival Lumière take plage. A prestigious festival which sees many film celebrities head to Lyon for nearly a week (for instance2019 Lumiere Award winner Francis Ford Coppola). Conferences, exhibitions, parties and more than 180 projections are open to the public.
UNESCO listed Loire Valley is an any time of the year place to visit but in October when the vines are all colours of red and gold, this lovely part of France is nigh on perfect. It’s a sensory overload region with historic, exquisite chateaux such as Chenonceau, Azay le Rideau and Chambord. There are beautiful little villages and towns to discover. And you can catch the end of France’s biggest garden festival at the Chateau de Chaumont-sur-Loire (April-November).
Pairs is always a good idea and in autumn – even more so! October in Paris means the weather is usually cool but dry, culture is on the menu with exhibitions galore, plus you can enjoy walks in parks where the leaves on the trees are red and gold and finish with hot chocolate in a café wrapped up against the cool, crisp air.
Make the most of new season’s shopping and head to a wine festival in the centre of Paris. Held every October, the Fête des vendanges de Montmartre celebrates the art of food and wine. It’s one of the most popular events with Parisians and includes free concerts, exhibitions, parades and tastings in the heart of the city.
And the unmissable event of the month, held every first Saturday of October is the Nuit Blanche Paris Art Festival. For one night only, each year Paris becomes an open-air museum. There is nothing quite like this truly astonishing night of art, culture and surprises. As dusk falls, the city springs to life as an extravaganza of luminous installations and sensory experiences astonish audiences. Nuit Blanche hands the city over to contemporary artists to reimagine its streets and buildings and the public are invited to join in. This is an exceptional night of art that will thrill, provoke and amaze from dusk to dawn. This one event alone is enough reason to visit Paris in the Autumn!
French Connections has listing for villas, gites, B&Bs and chateaux all over France – helping to make your holiday dreams come true.