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Time of year


Planning a 2+ week trip, roughly like the three week trip for drivers in Rick's book (probably skipping Normandy and Brittany).
Of course it will be either spring or fall. My first trip to Europe was Italy in late September and it was still very crowded so I'm thinking to go a bit later if fall, or somewhat early if spring for smaller crowds. Despite the crowds the Italy trip was the trip of lifetime and using the all inclusive passes every opportunity made a huge difference.

We like gardens so I was wondering when they usually peak, it's not the primary concern and if they still look good as late as Oct that would be fine.

So I'm thinking sometime in Oct as crowds should be somewhat diminished and not as hot in the south.
Any preference for early or late Oct?

Thanks for any advice

Posted by
8180 posts

We have spent several Octobers in Paris and usually the weather is really good. I don't like hot weather and so we avoid those times of year. October for us has been mostly pleasant and sunny and light jacket weather. This stroll was done on October 31 a few years ago and you can see what it was like and what people were wearing.
There are days when it was hot enough to just wear a shirt and a few rainy days, but in October unlike November, we have usually just found it cool and pleasant and often sunny.

Posted by
14175 posts

As far as gardens, I've gone to Giverny to visit Monet's garden in mid-Oct and it was still beautiful. I've visited in April, September and October and all visits have been beautiful, though!

I was in Paris in late March/early April this year and the blooming cherry trees were just gorgeous as were the smaller gardens dotted around the city! I structured the last trip around doing Rick's Belgium and Holland tour to hit the tulips before Easter and that was just jaw-dropping.

If you decide to look at spring dates, I'd avoid Easter which is April 12 plus the week before and maybe after. WAY too many people traveling during that time frame!