2016 Holiday planner for France

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French school holiday dates 2015 - 2016 - 2017
Use the table below to check the peak holiday weeks, when tourist traffic is heaviest and resorts most crowded, the intermediate weeks , and the off-peak weeks when holiday traffic is lightest, and hotels and resorts least crowded.

Key: Busiest holiday weeks _____ Busy weeks _____ :
Recommended off peak weeks (winter) _____ :  summer / autumn ______

Special events (throughout France) are highlighted in yellow:
For driving information concerning peak holiday periods and avoiding heavy traffic , see Driving in France
  • Bank holidays (public holidays) are marked in red
  • Museums Saturday 21st May Nuit des Musées - hundreds of museums open free until 1 a.m.
  • Gardens weekend:  weekend  3rd - 5th June - Journées des Jardins - thousands of public and private gardens all over France open for free visits. Some only open this weekend.
  • Euro2016 Football Tournament: France hosts the 2016 European Football tournament from 10th June to 10th July. Avoid match cities during this period, especially during the pool stages in June, unless you are a football fan. Hotels are hiking their prices. Notably concerns Paris, Nice, Lyon
  • Music night: Fête de la Musique: Midsummer's Day. Many free concerts, plus music in the streets in most towns until midnight or later. In 2015 it's a Sunday night, so it will be a bit less active year.
  • Heritage Days - 10th - 11th Sept. Journées du Patrimoine: an opportunity to visit monuments that are not usually open to the public, as well as those that are. Special guided tours at many locations.
  • NB: Weeks in the table below are indicated Saturday to Saturday inclusive, in line with common holiday accommodation and package booking habits.
Holiday status / special events
Holiday status / special events
Week 53: 28 Dec. - 2 Jan. French and Belgian schools on holiday

Week 26: 25 June - 2 July Euro2016 Football
Week 1: 2 Jan. - 9 Jan.

Week 27: 2 July - 9 July Euro2016 Football
French schools out from 6th July  
Week 2: 9 Jan. - 16 Jan.

Week 28: 9 July - 16 July Public Holiday: Thursday 14th July
French school summer holidays
Week 3: 16 Jan. - 23 Jan.

Week 29: 16 July - 23 July French school summer holidays
Week 4: 23 Jan. - 30 Jan.

Week 30: 23 Jul. - 30 Jul. French school summer holidays
Week 5: 30 Jan. - 6  Feb.

Week 31: 30 Jul. - 6 Aug. French school summer holidays
Week 6: 6  Feb. - 13 Feb.  School holidays France -
zone B

Week 31: 6 Aug. - 13 Aug. French school summer holidays
Week 7: 13 Feb. - 20 Feb.  School holidays France -  zone A
School holidays France - zone B - 
School holidays Belgium

Week 32: 13 Aug. - 20 Aug. French school summer holidays Public Holiday: Monday 15th August
Week 8: 20 Feb. - 27 Feb. School holidays France - zone A
School holidays France - 
Zone C Paris region

Week 34: 20 Aug. - 27 Aug
Week 09: 27 Feb. - 5 Mar. School holidays France -
zone c Paris

Week 35: 27 Aug. - 3 Sep. French schools go back: Thursday 1st Sept
Week 10: 5 Mar. - 12 Mar.

Week 36: 3 Sep. - 10 Sep. 10th-11th Sept Heritage Days
Week 11: 12 Mar. - 19 Mar.

Week 37: 10 Sep. - 17 Sep.
Week 12: 19 Mar. - 26 Mar

Week 38: 17 Sep. - 24 Sep.
Week 13 26 Mar. - 2 Apr. Public Holiday: 28th March Easter Monday.
French schools NOT on holiday.

Week 39: 24 Sep - 1 Oct.
Week 14: 2 Apr. - 9 Apr. School holidays France -
zone B

Week 40: 1 Oct. - 8 Oct.
Week 15: 9 Apr. - 16 Apr. School holidays France -
zone B
School holidays France -
zone A

Week 41: 8 Oct. - 15 Oct.
Week 16: 16 Apr. - 23 Apr School holidays France - zone C Paris
School holidays France - zone A

Week 42: 15 Oct. - 22 Oct. Schools on holiday from 20th October
Week 17: 23 Apr - 30 Apr
School holidays France zone C Paris area

Week 43: 22 Oct. - 29 Oct French schools on holiday 
Week 18: 30April -  7 May Public Holidays: 1st May (Sunday)
5th May (Thursday) Ascension Day

Week 44: 29 Oct. - 5 Nov. Public Holiday: Toussaint, Tuesday 1st Nov.

Week 19: 7 May - 14 May Public Holiday:
8th May (Sunday)

Week 45: 5 Nov. - 12 Nov. Public Holiday: Armistice day Friday 11th Nov.
Week 20: 14 May - 21 May Public Holiday: Monday 16th May - Pentecôte (Whit Monday - France)

Week 46: 12 Nov. - 19 Nov.
Week 21: 21 May - 28 May Sat 21st May: Museums night - Free entry until 1 a.m

Week 47: 19 Nov. - 26 Nov.
Week 22: 28 May - 4 June Fri 3rd and Sat 4th  June : Gardens weekend
Week 48: 26 Nov. - 3 Dec.
Week 23: 4 June - 11 June Sat 4th and Sun 5th June : Gardens weekend

Week 49: 3 Dec. - 10 Dec.
Week 24: 11 June - 18 June
Euro2016 Football

Week 50: 10 Dec. - 17 Dec.
Week 25: 18 June - 25 June Tuesday 21st June - Fête de la Musique
Euro2016 Football

Week 51: 17 Dec. - 24 Dec French school holidays
Belgian school holidays
Week 52: 24 Dec - 31 Dec

* French school holiday zones: France is divided into three parts for certain school holiday dates. Zone C is notably the Greater Paris area + the extreme south of France (Provence - Languedoc-Pyrenees), and the zone that causes most extra holiday traffic on the roads. Full details on French school holiday zones
Points worth bearing in mind:

Driving conditons: in busy holiday/ vacation periods, motorways towards holiday areas (and from holiday areas) are busiest at the weekend, particularly on Saturdays. During other periods of the year, Saturdays and Sundays are the best time to travel, as traffic is lighter, and there are less lorries / trucks on the roads. See Driving in France for more details.
Hotels, attractions, restaurants: Out of season, and specifically in places where tourism is the main industry, many hotels, restaurants and attractions are closed. Those that are open are often cheaper out of season that at peak periods. For more information about hotels, attractions, eating out, visit:

Travel section index Ferries to France Driving in France Routes to the Alps & Provence Routes to southwest France

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The weeks of 2016 Saturday to Saturday
Busy holiday weeks; 2016. A holiday planner, showing the busy and off-peak vacation / holiday weeks in France.

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