This Is the Best Time to Visit France

This Is the Best Time to Visit France
No line at the Louvre, an open table at the best caf茅s and lower prices on hotels and flights across France 鈥?autumn is something of a Francophile s dream. Though Paris is never a completely quiet city, savvy travelers who visit during the fall and winter can avoid some of the worst crowds while enjoying a range of seasonal activities (leaf-peeping, skiing, Christmas markets in the city) both in the City of Light as well as the countryside.No lines at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. (Image via Getty)Whether you re seeking fresh powder on the slopes of the Alps, or have simply decided to avoid Thanksgiving dinner in favor of an impulsive adventure, the late fall and early winter season is one of the best and most overlooked times to visit France. Here are six of our favorite reasons to book a trip to France now.Cheaper FlightsWith students back in school and the high tourist season of summer over, airfares usually dip in price. According to the flight search engine Skyscanner, US travelers can save an average of more than $120 on round-trip airfare to Paris in the fall.But now, more than ever, travelers can find especially deep savings on a France-bound flight. On average, international flights are 14% lower than they would normally be this time of year.And a spontaneous winter trip to France is in the cards for you, watch out for flight deals (think: $324 round-trip from Miami to Paris) in the new year.Seasonal SipsWhile the height of the wine harvest season usually occurs between late August and late October in France, November remains an excellent time to visit French wine country. The tourism season is usually over, meaning better access to the top chateaux and restaurants, as well as promotions on wine experiences and tours.Plus, each year in mid-November,聽the entire country celebrates the release of Beaujolais Nouveau, the eponymous region鈥檚 new vintage, with parties and wine-soaked celebrations.Travelers visiting France in the late fall and winter can also spend cool nights warming up with a cup of聽mulled wine, a seasonal Mariage Fr猫res Christmastime tea, a medicinal grog of hot tea, lemon and rum, or a mug filled with decadent hot chocolate.Hotel DealsFrance s shoulder season is an ideal time for travelers to stay in some of the most luxurious hotels in the country at a fraction of the price. Even in the notoriously expensive city of Paris, hotel rates usually drop in November before picking back up closer to the holiday season. Four-star hotels such as the Marceau Bastille are as low as $104 per night the week before Thanksgiving, and prices are often even lower outside the capital.Fall Foliage New England doesn鈥檛 have a monopoly on foliage, and the French countryside offers its own spectacular display of burnt red, orange and gold through November. Spend a weekend in the Loire Valley admiring the spectacular foliage across the vineyards, or hunt for mushrooms in Provence amid the changing leaves of the forest.聽Panoramic view on Loire valley. (Photo by angie7 / Getty Images.)Island HoppingFall on the coast of France has its own distinct charms. Travelers can take a hike on an Atlantic island off the coast of Brittany (such as 脦le de Batz, 脦le de Br茅hat and Belle 脦le en Mer, the latter of which was frequented by Monet), or walk deserted beaches near Provence. From the port in Cannes, the L茅rins Islands are just a short ferry ride away.Most of the islands in both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean see their tourists disappear in the late fall and early winter, and enjoy much more mild weather than the rest of France, making it the perfect time for visitors who are searching for a peaceful place to read, hike and reconnect with nature.Alpine SkiingCruise the slopes during the day and warm up around聽a raclette in the evening. French ski towns frequently offer promotions, and for those willing to risk lighter snow during a last-minute trip in November, deals abound. Cozy, three-star lodges like the Chalet H么tel Le Prieur茅 have rooms at only $70 per night in Chamonix.Airbnb also offers excellent apr猫s ski accommodations for adventurous travelers, from a villa in Gap ($67 per night) to a remote cottage with a working fireplace in Mont M茅zenc (only $64) and even a yurt in Savoie. Just be sure to put your charming chalet on your聽Chase Sapphire Reserve聽card to earn聽3 points per dollar聽spent.Featured image by Chris Unger via Unsplash. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer — worth $1,140 based on TPG’s valuations — this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you. 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Please view our advertising policy page for more information.Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. The credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.