A cold month, where night falls quickly, the festivities are over, summer is still far away...
The list could go on and on, but there is another one that interests me much more: all the benefits of this month that I have learned to appreciate.
A new year, fresh air that heralds next spring, days that gradually lengthen, a landscape that comes alive under the assiduous work of budding plants... And above all, authentic cities, without the bustle of tourists.
This second month of the year is indeed propitious for travel, and not only for families whose children are on holiday.
You too can go away for a weekend or enjoy a few days off to go on a solo trip.
So how about giving yourself an early summer holiday?
Here is my selection of 5 destinations where to go in February in France to enjoy a month that is much more promising than you might think.
Enough to recharge your batteries to perfectly start the new year.
1. Where to go in February in France? Don't miss the North
So yes, I know: landing beach, rain and greyness.
Frankly, that's what I thought about when I was told about the North too.
However, there is no lack of activities and as a proof: the Carnival of Dunkerque
is a must see. A farandole of colours and madness, enough to definitely bring down your grey and dull image of this region!
But what makes this carnival a unique event?
It all dates back to the 18th century, when the town's fishermen used to go to Iceland. They had a nice party the day before their departure in a friendly hostel.
Only thing is: the fishermen's families, from year to year, decided to dress up and walk around the town to let the rest of the city benefit from this festive spirit.
Little by little, the carnival and this eccentric festival have become intertwined to give rise to those exceptional days.
Tens of thousands of participants come to watch the parades where music, disguises and colours merrily intermingle.
About the rain, it adds its little grain of madness and invites you to discover the city adorned with countless umbrellas huddled together...
A burst of colours and shapes that blends all the more into the surrounding festivities.
And for those who fear bad weather: how can you be cold when you are surrounded by so many warm people?
The Dunkerque carnival therefore shines with its collective enthusiasm, which can be discovered in groups or alone: after all, it is difficult to face any form of solitude when you know the sympathy of the inhabitants.
Why not get a local to host you, just to immerse you even more in the friendly atmosphere of this festival? You will surely find the best couchsurfing platform to suit you.
What's more, Dunkerque is a fairly accessible destination: public transport is free and, above all, beers are very affordable. It should almost be among the top destinations to visit in France.
It would make me want to go back there, to rediscover this historic city. Lille, Calais, the Hauts-de-France
region is full of nice surprises that you shouldn't miss... both architecturally and gastronomically. You can't miss the best chips in France!
If you also think your city is a must-see, why not welcome some solo female travelers to show them the full potential of your environment?
2. PACA : A lemon squeeze!
Well, for those who would prefer a little more sun and warmth, I have another destination where to go in February to propose to you: the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
I'll guarantee you: the name is particularly evocative and immediately makes you want to take your car to drive through the lavender fields to a small isolated beach where you can get gilded... Except that I remind you, here we're talking about February.
If you don't take advantage of the beaches, the PACA region abounds in beautiful hidden nuggets for which the winter is favourable. I am thinking in particular of Menton, a town close to Italy, nestled between sea and hills, famous for its lemon festival.
If you are a lover of citrus fruits and art, this local festival is made for you. You will find many original sculptures made from oranges, mandarins, lemons... Some of the works require almost 15 tons of citrus fruits!
But then, where does such an atypical festival come from?
To tell the truth, from someone like you who, at the end of the 19th century, thought that winter was a little sad and that Menton deserved to be energised during this off-peak period.
The municipality has sought different ways to create a few winter festivals, until 1929, when the idea of exhibiting flowers and citrus fruits was born. Indeed, Menton was at the time the leading producer of lemons on the continent. In 1934, the lemon festival was finally inaugurated.
As a result, the month of February is much more colourful than you could imagine, from the North to the South of France... You should definitely take advantage of these small seasonal pearls, especially on a solo trip. There are many reasons to go on a solo holiday!
In any case, already nearly 90 years of lemon festival followed one another in Menton.
When will yours be held?
3. The unbeliev-Alps
I couldn't give you a list of the top destinations where to go in February in France without mentioning the mountains.
After all, what would winter be like without a bit of snow and fresh air?
I'm not going to lie to you, I've never been a big fan of skiing. But it would be quite simplistic to limit the mountains to this activity alone: snowshoe hiking, sledging, ice skating, snowball fights... Whether you are alone or in a group, the snowy summits are full of leisure activities that you can only enjoy a few months a year.
So put on your hats and gloves: we embark on a short tour of the best resorts and towns in the Alps.
Charming little town at the foot of Mont Blanc, Chamonix
is a little paradise out of time. I remember the first time I went there: the view on the summit is truly impressive... And the small canals that cross the town give it a fairy-tale look under the snow. I can only recommend that you climb the “Aiguille du midi” to observe the world from above: a breathtaking reversal of perspective.
Honestly, it is one of the ski resorts not to be missed for its remarkable ecological concept: no cars can drive on its streets which are all skiable! Overlooking a mountain on the edge of the valley, Avoriaz blends into its surroundings to offer its visitors an exceptional setting.
I've already mentioned it as a must-see destination in October
, but the Venice of the Alps is also worth a visit in February. The surrounding mountains are covered in snow and offer a magical veil to our gaze as we stroll through the medieval architecture of its historic centre. A solitary walk along the lake
will allow you to become one with this magical setting.
Haute-Savoie is full of little alpine gems, whether you like skiing or not. And then, if the scenery hasn't convinced you, perhaps a selection of local cheeses, fondue and tartiflette will finally help you make a choice?
4. West Coast : a must-SEA
After the mountains, let's talk about the ocean: after all, maritime life doesn't stop with the end of summer.
With 720km of coastline, there is plenty to do in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, even in February. Just imagine: vast stretches of deserted sand, with no tourists, and a wind blowing over the waves.... This is the very definition of happiness if you ask me.
And yes, it takes the bare necessities to be glad and I am convinced that observing the swell approaching the coast in peace, when there is no one to interrupt our contemplation, is a way to enjoy in peace a marvellous spectacle.
A unique opportunity to find yourself alone in the company of the Atlantic...
From the Ile de Ré to the Basque Country via the Landes, Nouvelle-Aquitaine is a sea of activities, visits and landscapes to explore.
Just as the mountains can be enjoyed in summer, the coast in winter is not to be underestimated, whether on foot or by bike. A bit of sport to warm you up and you can visit along the ocean, passing through the hinterland.
And yes, if you manage to keep the weight of your bag as low as possible, it will be easy for you to plan a road trip so that you don't miss anything in the region. Step by step, you can let yourself be carried along in the footsteps of a blossoming spring...
To sleep, no need to wait for the hotels to open: with, for example, a safe couchsurfing system for women
, you can meet warm-hearted hosts ready to share with you a piece of their daily life.
Going to France in February is the ideal time to (re)discover this country in complete tranquillity. Nouvelle-Aquitaine
region is just waiting for you to prove to you how much it deserves its place in this top!
5. All roads lead to the DROMs
How can we talk about where to go in February in France without mentioning our overseas departments and regions?
If you feel like taking a summer break before July-August, I can only recommend that you take a plane to discover these sunny regions. It is not for nothing that they are among the sunny destinations to visit in February.
Reunion Island, French Polynesia, New Caledonia...There is no shortage of choices, it is up to you to decide what you would like to see and do.
offers an exceptional setting for lovers of outdoor adventures. There are more than fifty different routes depending on your level. Around the Piton de la Fournaise, which nevertheless culminates at an altitude of 2600m, you are bound to find what you are looking for.
- Do you prefer beautiful beaches and swimming?
is made for you: of volcanic origins, this island is surrounded by breathtaking coral reefs and long sandy beaches. White or black, you will certainly be disorientated by its colourful coasts worthy of a dream.
- Fancy a little piece of natural paradise?
Then look no further: New Caledonia
is waiting for you. An archipelago still untouched by mass tourism that offers you a more tranquil pace of life, between wild landscapes and authentic local customs.
The only problem is that you won't want to go back home...Personally, I can already imagine myself on the plane, ready for a solo trip far from my daily worries to meet hostesses ready to share their daily life with me.
A parenthesis that makes me dream... I almost forgot that I have a conclusion to write!
On the other hand, how do you want me to conclude this article: all these destinations are full of resources and I have only one hurry, to set off as soon as possible to meet these colourful territories.
The hardest thing in the end is to choose.
In any case, one thing is certain: France is full of wonderful destinations to discover, especially in February.
After all, a holiday is still a holiday, no matter what month you choose: you shouldn't underestimate these off-peak periods, which are also a good time to take advantage of.
The most important thing is to enjoy yourself and breathe in a few days of getaway.
Come on, smile: it's almost February.