It’s August and in France that means just one thing: Holidays! Les vacances!
Urbanites are leaving Paris and other major cities for the coast or the countryside. Hordes of French families are descending on the Côte d’Azur, the Atlantic Coast. They may book accommodation or stay with friends. For the lucky ones, they return to the same place every year to stay at their residence secondaire or holiday home.
The French enjoy eleven holidays or jours feriés annually. And by law, every full time French worker is also entitled to five weeks holiday per year. Most French people take their summer vacations in July or August. And why not? The weather is beautiful. The majority holiday within France rather than travelling to other countries.
The normally busy Parisian streets become deserted and many businesses are closed. But the emptying of the cities is not entirely voluntary. Many French people are obliged to take the bulk of their holidays in August, because their workplaces are closed. School children also have a long break in August, so it’s often the best opportunity for a family to holiday together.
Shops and businesses in Paris and other cities are often deserted for the month, sometimes longer. Whole apartment buildings are shuttered up when Parisians flee the city. So, while August holidays in France might sound perfect for you, it depends on the sort of holiday you enjoy. Just be aware that in Paris, while you may avoid the crowds, many businesses will be shut. And the tourist areas of the Côte d’Azur and the Atlantic Coast will be very busy.
Even so, no matter what time of year, a holiday in France is always a good idea. Don’t you agree?