Generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as mistral
Spring offers the best weather to visitors, with beach tourism picking up in May. Temperatures aren't too bad in Autumn, although the short days mean limited sunlight and the cold starts to make itself felt towards the end of the season, even along the Côte d'Azur. Winter means playing in the snow in France's Alps and Pyrenees, though the Christmas school holidays send hordes of tadpoles in uniform scurrying for the slopes. Mid-July through the end of August is when most city dwellers take their annual five weeks' vacation to the coasts and mountains, and the half-desolate cities tend to shut down a bit accordingly. Likewise during February and March.