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Top 5 sunniest cities in France

Wondering which are the sunniest cities in France? A rare commodity when winter arrives, the sun often remains searched by French and foreign tourists. We’ve compiled a list of the 5 cities in France where there’s no shortage of sunshine all year round. In both summer and winter, these cities – with their pleasant weather – are ideal for families, couples or friends to enjoy a holiday under the Mediterranean sun.

1. Marseille, the Phocaean sun

With an average of 2858 hours of sunshine per year, Marseille comes out on top among France’s sunniest cities. It is also the city with the fewest days of low sunshine per year. To have hot temperatures in summer and a mild climate in autumn and winter, Marseille is fortunate to have climatic allies of size. On the one hand, the Azores anticyclone moves up into this area, on the other, the Mistral (the wind from the South of France) has the particularity of blowing hard and chasing away clouds. A resident of Marseille thus enjoys 7h50 of sunshine a day on average, while a resident of Saint-Brieuc (Brittany) has to make do with 4h17 of sunshine daily.

If you’re short of light or want to perfect your tan, the Phocaean city is a natural choice. With its beautiful beaches, calanques and the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, you’ll certainly want to enjoy the warmth and gentle pace of life ‘à la marseillaise’ while benefiting from an express vitamin D cure. Let’s not forget that sunlight is also one of the best antidepressants! So what are you waiting for to book your holidays in Marseille?

2. Toulon, a sunny city in the Var

If you’re a frile natured person, Toulon – a city in Provence – should definitely appeal to you. With an average annual temperature of 15.9°C, this Var commune is one of the warmest cities all year round. Its climate is warm and temperate, which attracts many tourists. Rain falls mainly in winter, in small quantities. In summer, few rainfalls are to be noted. Toulon enjoys 2839 hours of sunshine a year, placing it just behind Marseille among France’s sunniest cities. Thanks to its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, temperatures remain relatively clement in all seasons. The mildness of Toulon’s climate does, however, have one feature that shouldn’t be overlooked: the wind. In winter, the Mistral accentuates the sensation of cold, while the mercury presents pleasant temperatures.

3. Ajaccio, Corsica’s beauty

Placed third among France’s sunniest towns, Ajaccio enjoys a Mediterranean climate that translates into hot, dry summers. The capital of Corse-du-Sud attracts many tourists in search of warmth and sunshine for their vacations before the start of the school year in September. This port city, also nicknamed Imperial City and City of Coral, enjoys exceptional climatic conditions that appeal to holidaymakers looking for a stay in the sun and on the beach. The pleasantly warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea make swimming an enjoyable moment of pleasure.

4. Nice, the Côte d’Azur paradise

Nice enjoys 147 days of sunshine a year, placing it as one of France’s best sunshine cities. Located between the sea and the mountains, it enjoys a quasi-subtropical Mediterranean climate due to a low daily thermal amplitude, regardless of the season, and high air humidity, even in midsummer. The average annual thermometer climbs to around 16°C, one of the highest in mainland France. Thanks to the Alps, the city is protected from northerly and westerly winds, resulting in mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The tropicalization of the Mediterranean climate has favored the appearance of a rather exotic and tropical flora such as royal palms, kentias and mango trees.

5. Montpellier, the overachiever

Located in the Occitanie region of France, Montpellier often ranks among the best cities to live in France. Its sunshine rate corresponding to 148 sunny days a year must inevitably have something to do with it. With a typically Mediterranean climate, this city – nicknamed the gifted one because of its technological advances – enjoys rather mild temperatures, with an annual average standing at 15.2°C. There are fewer than 60 days of precipitation per year. In summer, the only notable rainfall is from thunderstorms, usually in August. Montpellier’s proximity to the sea favors the development of a sea breeze, which helps to keep excess heat at bay. Montpellier’s climate is characterized most of the time by a sensation of heat often much higher than the measured temperature, particularly in summer.