Sitting on the bend of the Garonne River in France’s well-known Aquitaine wine region, Bordeaux enjoys a temperate maritime climate. The Bay of Biscay is just west of the area and brings light winds during the summer months. This part of southwest France sees hot summers and cool winters without extreme temperature swings. The combination of moderate temperatures and plentiful winter rainfall make this part of Europe the ideal place for grape growing and wine production.
The months of June, July, and August bring the most tourists to the Bordeaux area, but guests can enjoy warm summer temperatures starting in May and as long as October. Visitors coming during the spring months get warming temperatures, as well as the chance to witness the plants and landscape blooming with flowers and greenery. Come autumn, the leaves start changing and the area transitions into the cool, wet winter. Many of the wineries are closed to visitors during the late summer and early autumn months because of the harvest season.
Guests come for the famous Bordeaux wine but stay for the city’s storied history; only Paris has more preserved historical buildings in the country. Called the “City of Art and History”, it has 362 historic monuments, some going as far back as the Roman Empire. Many movies are filmed here because the large concentration of 18th century buildings creates a unique backdrop for films.
Visitors can stroll the city’s numerous parks almost year-round thanks to the steady temperatures. The Garonne River is also a great place for an afternoon walk taking in the sights and doing a little people watching. Vineyards are plentiful and most offer behind-the-scenes tours and tasting rooms to enjoy each’s particular vintage.
Bordeux City, France.
As the spring months come into Bordeaux, the temperatures rise steadily, with average daily temperatures between 10°C and 17°C (about 50°F to 62°F). At the beginning of the season, visitors may see the occasional day that reverts back to winter with cold and rain. As the season goes on, however, those days become few and far between. The highs jump up to between 14°C and 23°C (around 57°F to 73°F), more like a UK summer. The lows drop down to 5°C to 10°C (about 41°F to 50°F).
During March, April, and May, the area gets 80 mm to 90 mm of rainfall per month on average. The rain falls on an average of 14 to 18 days each month, so an umbrella is necessary this time of the year. Visitors can expect 6 to 7 hours of sunshine per day during the spring months, more than ample time to enjoy the outdoor and sightseeing activities the area offers.
The summer months bring long, sunshine-filled days and near-perfect temperatures. The average daily temperature hits between 19°C and 21°C (around 66°F to 70°F). The highs for Bordeaux reach up to 25°C to 26°C (about 77°F to 79°F), ideal for getting outside to explore the beautiful countryside or walk around the city admiring the historic monuments. July has the hottest temperatures for the year, topping out at 26°C (about 79°F). The evenings are often cooled by the westerly Atlantic winds. In the nighttime hours, the temperatures drop to 13°C to 15°C (about 55°F to 59°F), which feel even better when sipping on a glass of red or white wine.
The rainfall amounts drop for June, July, and August, with only 40 mm to 70 mm falling each month during this time of the year. Typically, the rain falls in short showers or thunderstorms, with more thunderstorms occurring in August. Each month sees an average of 12 to 13 days of rain. Sunshine is abundant this time of year, with 7 to 8 hours of sunlight each day on average. July has the most sunshine hours during the year, with an average of 8 per day.
Autumn means harvest season in Bordeaux and also brings in rapidly dropping temperatures as the season wears on. The average daily temperature for this time of year is 10°C to 19°C (about 50°F to 66°F). In early autumn, visitors are still treated to warmer temperatures; the highs have a large range, however, anywhere between 13°C and 25°C (around 55°F to 77°F) for the months of September, October, and November. At night, the lows drop down to between 6°C and 13°C (about 43°F to 55°F), chilly but still nicer than many UK autumn daytime temperatures.
Rain chances increase this time of the year heading into the rainy winter months. About 70 mm to 90 mm of rain falls during the autumn months, coming over 13 to 17 days on average. And, while many of the vineyards are closed to guests, thanks to 3 to 6 hours of sunlight each day, visitors can still discover the changing leaves and natural beauty of the surrounding countryside.
Even though winter is Bordeaux’s rainiest time of the year, visitors will still enjoy warmer temperatures and more sunshine than the UK typically gets this time of the year. Rainfall amounts peak in January with a yearly high of 110 mm falling that month. The other months see between 80 mm and 100 mm. The rain falls over an average of 14 to 16 days each month, so it’s a good idea to pack an umbrella. Sunshine hours drop to only 2 to 4 hours of daylight each day. With a little advanced planning, guests can still get a lot of sightseeing done in the light of day.
The average daily temperature for December, January, and February sits between 6°C and 7°C (around 43°F to 45°F). The area sees highs that reach up to 9°C to 11°C (about 48°F to 52°F), more like spring in other parts of Europe. The lows get down to just above freezing, about 3°C to 4°C (about 37°F to 39°F). Snow is rare, only falling a handful of times a season and melting quickly.
Thanks to its maritime climate and location in France, Bordeaux rarely experiences any weather hazards. The area is nearly immune to extreme temperature spikes or drops, with the temperatures staying moderate throughout the year. During the winter months, the biggest hazard is large rainfalls, which can cause flooding along the Garonne River. When the river floods, many roads are closed and trains stop operating, effectively shutting down the city until the waters recede. Flooding can also come from the coast, when high winds and large rain storms bring water onshore. Fortunately, visitors can check the local forecast before their trip to see what’s in store before they go.