Visit France in January and you’ll find half the country celebrating the ski season in the glorious, snow-covered Alps and the other half it seems, enjoying the semi-annual sales. Jack Frost might be nipping at your fingers, but it’s a good time for bargains – on airfares, hotels and package deals.
WeatherThe weather is variable in January. Some days will be cold but beautifully clear and crisp; on other days it might be snowing or raining. The south of France can get cold, and it can rain, but it is extremely unlikely to snow. The Riviera along the Côte d'Azur, after all, was the place where in the past the rich went to escape winter. Go expecting the full range of weather (and it can get very cold at night) and you won’t be caught by surprise. The climate varies hugely depending where you are in this large country, but here are some guidelines on weather averages in major cities:
Average wet days is 18
Average number of days with snow is 4
Average wet days is 16
Average number of days with snow is 1
Average wet days is 14
Average number of days with snow is 2
Average wet days is 9
Average number of days with snow in 0
Average wet days is 15
Average number of days with snow is 7
What to take with youIf you are travelling around France you may need different types of clothes for different cities. But remember that everywhere January can be very cold, so even in the south of France you will need a good jacket and coat at night. It might be windy and can snow almost everywhere except in the south along the Mediterranean. So don’t forget the following:
Why January is a good month to visit France
Why January is not a good month to visit France
Shopping in January in France
The winter sales (les soldes) offer wonderful bargains, with savings of up to 70%. They run from January 12th to February 15th, 2011 throughout France with a few exceptions. Sales in Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle and Vosges run from January 3rd February 6th, 2011. Sales in Landes and Pyrénées-Atlantiques run from January 5th to February 8th, 2011.
In Paris, make a note of Soldes By Paris! In addition to the traditional sales (January 12th to February 15th), many of the city's hotels, cultural venues, and other businesses will be offering special packages, January 12th to 15th, 2011.