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Paris and France Travel in February

Bargain Travel Deals, Top Skiing and Carnival Time

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nicecarnight

Nice Carnaval at Night

© OTCN / M. Jolibois

February in France can be whatever you choose it to be. In the Pyrennees and the Alps, the slopes beckon as this is the peak of the ski season. If you want something different, check out anyof the various different and exciting winter sports and activities in the resorts.

It may be cold in the north, but it’s pleasant on the Mediterranean. This is bargain time to fly to France, with airfares, hotel and package deals all on offer. Don't forget that the French government-regulated sales are still on. And of course the fabulous Carnival or Mardi Gras celebrations begin, many of them around the same dates.

Finally, February is synomymous with romance, so maybe visit St. Valentin in Indres, or spend the time in the most romantic city in the world -- Paris. See some suggestions for the romantic-minded below.

Weather

The weather varies from region to region, but wherever you go reckon that it will include crisp but comfortable days and chilly nights. Here are weather averages for some major cities:

  • Paris:
    Average temperature ranges from 3 degrees C (35.6 degrees F) to 8 degrees C (46.4 degrees F)
    Average number of wet days is 14
    Average number of days with snow is 4

  • Bordeaux:
    Average temperature ranges from 11 degrees C (52 degrees F) to 3 C (38 degrees F)
    Average number of wet days is 14
    Average number of days with snow is 1

  • Lyon:
    Average temperature ranges from 3 degrees C (38 degrees F) to 12 degrees C (54 degrees F)
    Average number of wet days is 6
    Average number of days with snow is 1

  • Nice:
    Average temperature ranges from 8 degrees C (47 degrees F0 to 11 degrees C (51 degrees F)
    Average number of wet days is 6
    Average number of days with snowfall is zero

  • Strasbourg:
    Average temperatures range from -1 degree C (30 degrees F) to 6 degrees C (42 degrees F)
    Average number of wet days is 13
    Average number of days with snow is 6

Find out more: Weather in France

What to pack

Packing for a France holiday in February can vary, but generally this is a cold time of year. You might get rainstorms and certainly snow. So include the following in your packing list:
  • A good winter coat
  • A warm jacket for daytime
  • Sweaters or cardigans (layers are best)
  • Scarf, hat and gloves
  • Good walking shoes.
  • Sturdy umbrella that can resist the wind

Find out more on Packing Tips

Why visit France in February

  • The government-sponsored winter sales (les soldes) are on (see details below)
  • The skiing season is at its height (see details below)
  • There are few crowds and no long waits for tourist attractions
  • The restaurants are full of locals
  • You see the countryside, the cities, the cathedrals and palaces without being obscured by trees
  • Prices are lower for both travel (airfares) and for hotels and you can get a good deal on flights
  • It’s the month of Nice’s Carnaval, which predate New Orleans’ Mardi Gras (see below). And there are many festivals throughout the south of France as the weather warms up

Why not to visit France in February

  • The weather can be uncomfortably cold
  • Some attractions could have restricted hours, or even be closed, especially in smaller towns and villages
  • Weather could cause travel delays by air, rail or car

Major February Attractions

The ski season
Skiing in France is a great experience. There are wonderful resorts set in stunning landscapes, there are plenty of other activities to consider, the apres-ski life is great and the resorts have upped their game with top ski lifts, special passes and more.

More on Skiing in France

Shopping in France
The winter sales (les soldes) offer wonderful bargains, with savings of up to 70%. They run from mid January to mid February throughout France with a few exceptions. Sales in Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Vosges, Landes and Pyrénées-Atlantiques run a week or so earlier.
In Paris, make a note of Soldes By Paris!

More on Shopping in France

St. Valentine's Day

The French are as keen on romance as the next nation, but they have an advantage (apart from their language being 'the language of love'. They have the village of St. Valentin. It may be small, but it's pretty popular.

Other Romantic Suggestions

Carnival in France

The major French carnivals begin in February and continue throughout the season. Of all the great Mardi Gras celebrations, Nice in the south of France puts on the most spectacular. But don't miss the others.

France By Month

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
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