Sunny weather is worth more than just a nice tan. It’s good for our physical and mental health and offers the chance to live an outdoor lifestyle without resorting to an anorak! In the South of France you’re virtually guaranteed sunshine all summer (and most of the winter).
One of the first things anyone notices about the climate in the South of France (aside from it being better than in the UK!) is the beautiful golden light.
After a day or two of bluster, you often have the most glorious clear sunny days with the Pyrenees shining in the distance
On a sunny day, of which there are many, the light becomes very rich towards the end of the afternoon as sunset approaches. Little wonder that so many painters gravitated to this area – and still do.
Happily, adapting to the Mediterranean climate is not difficult at all. One of the main reasons many British people yearn to have a home here is because of the climate. Sunshine and lots of it is good for us, with proven health benefits compared to the damp of northern climes. It is said that this area has over 300 days of sunshine each year and it certainly feels like that. We don’t often have days when it is grey and overcast, though we certainly do have some spectacular storms and lightning which seems to last just that bit longer!
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The Languedoc Roussillon area is one of the hottest in France, although temperatures and weather generally can vary greatly depending on whether you are in a town or village or up in the mountains where naturally it is cooler. People often ask about the winds. It is true there are days of very gusty winds, the main one being called the Tramontane which blows between the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. But the wind brings the sunshine and after a day or two of bluster, you often have the most glorious clear sunny days with the Pyrenees shining in the distance.
Since we have lived here we have truly appreciated how important sunshine – and a lot of it – is for us all. Even in the winter months when it can be quite chilly, there is usually some sunshine and rarely are there those rather gloomy grey clouds that we remember from our days living in the UK.
The climate is more reliable too. We know that from now until well into October we are going to have warm weather, virtually the whole time. July and August mean very high temperatures, often up to 40ºC. These are the months when people pretty much live outside. There is nothing lovelier than lingering in the garden or by the pool late in the evening with a glass of decent French wine, safe in the knowledge that tomorrow will bring another spectacularly warm day.
So it really does not take much to adapt to a Mediterranean climate at all. We took to it like a duck to water and are sure you will too!