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May and June are beautiful times of year to visit the south of France The weather is almost always warm and sometimes as hot as high summer, although it is slightly more changeable so the chance of rain is slightly higher. It is very rare and unfortunate for a holiday to be ruined by rain in these months, although spring showers may occur.
In the spring in May and early June, the days are warm, but not hot, and the evenings are long.
It is a perfect time for walking and canoeing in the Dordogne, since the high summer can be rather hot for these activities. It is also the perfect time to visit the towns and villages that can get especially busy in the mid summer.
In the spring, especially, the countryside is more lush and the scenery even more beautiful, since the daylight is slightly less harsh than in the summer. The meadows are high with spring flowers and orchids may be seen in the hedgerows and verges. The early butterflies will be on the wing such as Marbled Whites and assorted Blues. Some of the wild life we can see is described here.
Along the river bank and woods we will see the flowering trees of False Acacia and Sweet Chestnut.
5 Day Cele Trip
The summer months of July and August are, of course, the most popular times to visit the Dordogne and the Ardeche.
The weather is usually very good - temperatures are typically around 25-30 degrees, and rain is unusual although evening storms are quite common.
Across the Dordogne/Perigord region restaurants and attractions are all open and active, and many special events take place during these months including fairs, fêtes, outdoor concerts and films.
Many of the Dordogne towns and villages have an evening market once a week. Tables and chairs are set out in the village square and local producers will sell you everything you need for a highly enjoyable meal al-fresco.
In the summer months of late June and July the days are warmer and the evenings are still long. It may be hot enough to warrant a cooling swim in the river.
On the rivers themselves we will see ducklings and cygnets as well as a host of dragonflies and damselflies. The summer butterflies will also be on the wing and we may see Purple Emperors and Cleopatras. We will definitely see Swallowtails and we may even observe puddling where clouds of butterflies collect on the damp sand on the river bank.
In the early autumn days of September the days are still warm though the evenings are drawing in. We will see many fruits on the trees in the wild, such as Medlars, Crab-Apples, Quince and Guelder Rose. The dragons and damsels are still flying along with late butterflies.
By late autumn in October the days are a little cooler and the colours are beginning to show in the leaves of the trees. The evenings are well drawn in now.