In the mountains, December, January, February and March are smack bang in the middle of winter - now’s the time to grab your cross country skis and snowshoes and ramp up the adrenalin with all manner of winter sports. Do book well ahead if planning a Christmas or Easter break, though.
Spring hiking is idyllic in the Pyrenees - but remember that at these altitudes, 'spring' actually begins in early June, with snow remaining throughout April and even into May, blocking paths
April and May do offer some of the best weather along the chic Riviera though, with the summer heat starting to kick in at the end of June.
July and August are pricier, busier and uncomfortably hot for hiking and cycling, unless you're in the fresher mountain regions. Roads are also congested in August, lengthening journey times, and many French holidaymakers will be heading to the coast.
October and November wash France’s bucolic countryside in a swathe of warm colours – golds, greens, reds and browns specifically. The further south you go, the later winter will kick in. They’re also great for walking and cycling with comfortable temperatures in the south (mountains aside) and fewer crowds – don’t forget your camera!