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Winter in France/Italy/Spain

4 posts
Winter in France/Italy/Spain

My partner and I are wanting to travel from Australia to Europe (France, Spain, Italy) in Feb 2019. I have been told its crazy cold and I wont see a lot.... opinions and the best places to go? What to wear? we are somewhat planning the trip our selves as there are no major tours being conducted, we want to hire a car and drive a little also, stay in air bnbs, really soak up the culture and history. Any advice/feedback is welcome

Thankyou in advance :)

2 replies to this topic
Grenoble, France
Level Contributor
2,024 posts
93 reviews
1. Re: Winter in France/Italy/Spain

Crazy cold ? Not really no. Most of the regions of France freeze only a handful of times in winter. Obviously the coldest are in the mountains (Jura, Pyrénées, Alps, Massif Central) and the North (Ardennes, Alsace...). Why would you avoid a region because it's cold ? The morning frost or snow can transform a forest and make it magical in winter. February you'll have cheap accommodation, and you'll have many areas too yourself. Less restaurants open obviously, but you'll have great light for photography. Provence is the obvious choice. It might be freezing in some areas, but the sun will warm you up. Luberon, Verdon, Alpilles, Camargue, that kind of thing. Périgord, Quercy, Aveyron, Albijois would be nice as well, more centered on medieval villages and castles. How many days do you have ?

Marlow, United...
Level Contributor
5,856 posts
26 reviews
2. Re: Winter in France/Italy/Spain

>I wont see a lot...<

well, there are shorter daylight hours, but we do have electric lighting you know..

When you are visiting cities, the weather does not have much of an impact, and heavily-touristed places like Rome, Venice*, Granada and Barcelona are much nicer to visit in the winter, when the crowds are not there. And as Nicolas said, many countryside areas can be very pleasant in winter, depending on where you go. If you visit Nice, for example, and are lucky with the weather, you could be sunbathing on the beach in the morning, and visiting the ski slopes in the southern French Alps in the afternoon.

* although sometimes Venice floods in winter

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