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Why 2017 French school holiday dates are a good time to visit France

11 Jan

Make the most of 2017 French school holiday dates with more festivals, fairs, events and foodie markets to enjoy with no real need to worry about traffic.

Why 2017 French school holiday dates are a good time to visit France

In last week’s blog we told you about public holidays in France. Continuing on from there, we thought it would be helpful to give you the French school holiday dates in 2017. In our experience, the only holiday dates that might impact your travel – busier roads and services – are the summer holidays (see below for the extra busy weekends). Apart from the summer, we think the rest of the holidays have a truly positive impact for visitors, as businesses are open, services swing in to action and there are more festivals and fairs to visit!

Getting in the Zone

France is divided in to three zones for the school holidays – Zones A, B and C. Burgundy, where we are based, is in Zone A. However, despite having these zones, there are only two holidays that vary across the country: the winter half-term (Vacances d’hiver) and the Easter or spring holidays (Vacances de printemps). This variation is there, principally, to make the ski season in France as long and profitable as possible.

So, here are the 2017 school holiday dates for Zone A, with the two variable holiday dates in the other two zones provided too:

Winter Half Term (Vacances d’hiver):
Saturday, 18 February 2017
Monday, 6 March 2017

(Zone B: 11 to 27 Feb; Zone C: 4 to 20 Feb)

Easter (Vacances de printemps)
Saturday, 15 April 2017
Tuesday, 2 May 2017

(Zone B: 8 to 24 April; Zone C: 1 to 18 April)

Summer Holidays:
Saturday, 8 July 2017
Monday, 4 September 2017

Autumn Half term (Toussaint):
Saturday, 21 October 2017
Monday, 6 November 2017

Christmas (Noël):
Saturday, 23 December 2017
Monday, 8 January 2018

All the dates above show the first day of the holiday and the day students return for the start of a new term.

Busy times…

Of course, there will be busy times when it might be advisable not to drive and instead enjoy your campsite place or France Passion base. We’ve spotted three weekends over the summer of 2017 when roads are likely to be busy: the first weekend of the school summer holiday: 8-9 July; the grand départ when lots of families head south: 29-30 July; and the first weekend of August when the remainder of those heading south set off: 5-6 August.

Bon voyage!