February is the third and last month of the winter season in the Loire Valley as well as in the rest of France and Europe. Temperatures remain on the chilly side, but do tend to increase as the weather progresses toward spring.
What's The Weather Like In Loire Valley In February
February nights are 1°C cold on average, while the afternoons see an average high temperature of 8°Coth are one degree higher than the previous month of January, which was the coldest month of the entire year. These temperatures increase in the course of the month, by about two degrees. The overall average temperature remains rather low, at 5°C, making this the third coldest month of the year, after the two previous ones.
That said; February happens to be the driest month. That is, however, relative. The total amount of rainfall of 44mm, the lowest of any month, can partially be explained by the fact that February simply has fewer days than the other months.
Average rainfall per day is similar to the days in the other monthsainfall tends to be exceptionally stable throughout the whole year. During the month, the chance that rainfall occurs decreases slightly, from 58% in the beginning of the month to 53% at the end. Moderate rain is the main type of rainfall all-year round and also in February. It occurs on 64% of the days with rainfall.
Light rain and drizzle are observed respectively on 16% and 11% of those rainy days. Snowfall is extremely rare, happening on no more than 4% of the days that get some precipitation.
February days are a bit sunnier than those in January. Now, there are 4 hours of sunshine per day on average, one hour more than the previous three months. This is a significant 33% increase in sunshine hours.
There are two reasons for that. One; the lengthening of the days. February sees the days grow longer, from 9.35 daylight hours on 1st February to 11.02 hours of daylight on 28th February. This 1.27-hour increase implies that each day is 3 full minutes longer than the previous one.
Two; cloud cover decreases from 85% to 79% in the course of the month. The sky does remain fairly cloudy, but this decrease is large enough to see a significant improvement in terms of sunshine hours.
Loire Valley Hotels In February
Hôtel Campanile Saumur
The welcoming and home-like Hôtel Campanile Saumur is located in Saumur on the banks of the Loire River and is a wonderful base for exploring this historic town and the gorgeous countryside. Saumur, incidentally, is the unofficial French capital of horseback riding. Amenities and services include a fitness centre and bicycle rental service, an à la carte restaurant, a meeting room and 60 comfortable guest rooms. Free Wi-Fi is available as well.
Hôtel du Labrador
When visiting the region in February, take a look at the three-star Hôtel du Labrador in Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire as a place to stay. It lies only 45 minutes from the historic city of Orléans and right on one of the Loire Valley's most popular bicycle routes. It's a magnificent place if you want to go hiking or biking. This hotel has a restaurant, car park, bicycle garage, free Wi-Fi, conference rooms and venues for weddings and other celebrations.
Hôtel le Vendôme
Another recommended hotel is the Hôtel le Vendôme, which is in the heart of the town of Vendôme and has 35 spacious and very elegant rooms. This hotel caters to everyone from families to sightseers to active travellers. Particularly cyclists are welcome therehe hotel features a bicycle garage, cycling activities and cycling services.
Bars And Restaurants
Hôtel Restaurant de l'Agriculture
Dining at a château should be a part of your itinerary when visiting this region in central France. Hôtel Restaurant de l'Agriculture offers you that opportunity. The hotel's gastronomic restaurant serves traditional cuisine in a downright gorgeous setting.
Le Relais de la Poste
Another suggested hotel-restaurant is Le Relais de la Poste. Housed in a historic 16th-century coaching inn, this is both a cosy place to stay and a charming dining venue. Its warm, welcoming atmosphere attracts tourists and locals alike, its menu featuring delicious local and traditional dishes.
When visiting or staying in Orléans, you might want to grab a bite to eat at Le Barentin, an elegant and stylish restaurant that serves refined local cuisine. Its menu includes dishes ranging from fish and seafood to meat and vegetarian.
Things To Do In Loire Valley In February
Historic City Of Orléans
While the average temperature of 8°C may be too low for you to head out for a bike trip or country walk, there are many other things you can do in February. Visiting the historic city of Orléans, for example, is strongly recommended. This great historic city's main claim to fame is its association with Joan of Arc. Founded by the Romans, this is one of the oldest towns in all of France, its historic town centre mostly destroyed by successive invaders, from Attila the Hun to the English to the Nazis. That part of the town's history is significant, but there are also a number of imposing buildings that survive to this day. Examples are the Sainte-Croix Cathedral and the Groslot Mansion. The re-created house of Joan of Arc is a major highlight as well.
During your holiday in the Loire Valley, take the time to visit one of the local markets that take place every day of the week all over the region. These bustling markets are great fun to explore, the vendors selling everything from fresh local produce and flowers to artisanal products and handicrafts. Visiting a market is essential to understand the way of life in this stunning French region.