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Old 08-02-2013, 12:59   #1
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Start of Cruising Season in South France

We are trying to figure out if beginning of April is south France is too early to start cruising. "Cruising" == small possibility of winter storms, balmier temps than 10C, and some marinas/petrol stations/shops/markets open. I realise that people sail the whole year around there, after all they are Crazy French [in a good way], but we're not looking for that much of a thrill if it can be avoided.

We will have 3 months (Schengen) so don't want to be stuck waiting on weather for weeks. Do you think beginning of April is too early?

I realize that I might find this information elsewhere, but for once, could you please not "Google/Cornell it" back? Thanks!

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Old 08-02-2013, 13:15   #2
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Re: Start of cruising season in south France

Hi Katiusha,

I take it you are talking about the French Med coast.
I was in Montpellier in early March 2008 and the daytime temperatures were 6°C!
I think early April may be tempting it a bit, especially if you only have a 3 month Schengen visa. Watch out for the Mistral winds, we had 60kts in June.
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Old 08-02-2013, 14:23   #3
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Re: Start of cruising season in south France

spent alot of time in Med France, based near nice


April is often quite lovely with day time temps around 15-16 and the nights nice and cool for sleeping, Winds generally light , with the odd weather system, Id stay away from the Gulf of Lyon, but other then that , you just cant beat the Cote D'Azure.


Go for it.

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Old 08-02-2013, 15:00   #4
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pirate Re: Start of cruising season in south France

Which way are you headed... SE or SW...?
SW you need to watch out for Tramontana's down the Golf de Lyon as GBN says... and then its chilly.
It can get quite nasty... believe a cruise ship got quite famous when a wave smashed into the upper decks a coupla years back in that area. Watch your weather windows and you should be fine... don't forget the woolies...
SE...? dunno... Italy's never held much appeal..
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Old 08-02-2013, 15:22   #5
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Re: Start of cruising season in south France

June and onwards are generally* fine.

*In some years fine wx starts in Late March/April, but in other years it is horrible throughout the year. No hard rules.

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Old 08-02-2013, 15:35   #6
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Re: Start of cruising season in south France

Sailed from Alexandria, Egypt to Naples, Italy in May and June...great weather, albeit a bit cool at night, with very light boat traffic. Mid June...swam in the Mediterranean, with a t-shirt on; a very pleasant experience. Mauritz
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Old 08-02-2013, 18:55   #7
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Re: Start of cruising season in south France

Two years ago we were in the South of France from early May and the weather was good, high teens celsius.

For what it's worth, it appeared to us that west of the Bay of St Tropez is consistently windier and hence cooler (wind chill) than east of it, we came over from Spain (Puerto de Roses to Porquerolles) and the Golfe du Lion was very calm in spite of it's reputation, so obviously it varies.

Last year we weren't far away in San Remo in March/April and weather was miserable, cold, wet, windy and rough seas.

Basically, like most places in Spring, it is very variable.
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Old 08-02-2013, 23:17   #8
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Re: Start of cruising season in south France

Thanks to all who answered! We're still considering (that's why the weather question), but should we decide to go, we'll be heading SE to get out . I wonder, Boatman, why Italy holds no appeal?
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:44   #9
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Re: Start of cruising season in south France

When my boat was in Corsica (15 years). We used to sail (at different period) from mid april till mid november. I have to say that april could be rainy in this area. But it is the beginning of spring and you will have flowers everywhere !
If you sail to SE, it means Corsica, Elba, and Pontines islands.. It a wonderful area at spring... If it is what you intend to do, I can tell you more.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:06   #10
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Re: Start of cruising season in south France

Quote:
Originally Posted by multihullsailor6 View Post
Hi Katiusha,

I take it you are talking about the French Med coast.

no, she is talking about la Manche & Biscay in SOUTH OF FRANCE
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:18   #11
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pirate Re: Start of cruising season in south France

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiusha View Post
Thanks to all who answered! We're still considering (that's why the weather question), but should we decide to go, we'll be heading SE to get out . I wonder, Boatman, why Italy holds no appeal?
Don't like the food... they still have got the noodles right...
and they've had the recipe since Marco Polo...
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Old 13-02-2013, 10:35   #12
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Re: Start of cruising season in south France

My english language is not good enough to understand certain answers !
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Old 14-02-2013, 18:13   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiusha
Thanks to all who answered! We're still considering (that's why the weather question), but should we decide to go, we'll be heading SE to get out . I wonder, Boatman, why Italy holds no appeal?
There is some lovely sailing from St Tropez east. Along the Cote D'Azure , loads of little marinas and cutie towns and villages. , which in my experience is one of the nicest ares of the med especially out of the crazy season. The Italian coat has little to offer in my experience. I rather get to nice or Menton and head south to Corsica and work my way South

The drink is cheaper in Italy though.
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Old 14-02-2013, 19:03   #14
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Re: Start of Cruising Season in South France

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiusha View Post
We are trying to figure out if beginning of April is south France is too early to start cruising. "Cruising" == small possibility of winter storms, balmier temps than 10C, and some marinas/petrol stations/shops/markets open. I realise that people sail the whole year around there, after all they are Crazy French [in a good way], but we're not looking for that much of a thrill if it can be avoided.

We will have 3 months (Schengen) so don't want to be stuck waiting on weather for weeks. Do you think beginning of April is too early?

I realize that I might find this information elsewhere, but for once, could you please not "Google/Cornell it" back? Thanks!


i was couple of years ago sailing from bonifacio to porto tores and to porto cervo.it was t shirt all the time. ok, start was middle of april and was hoter than normal, but any way average temperature for that part of france in april is around 15, 16 Centigrade.can be few days no wind at all, calm sea. from april weather conditions are generaly warm with moderate rain.
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Old 14-02-2013, 19:10   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scimitar

i was couple of years ago sailing from bonifacio to porto tores and to porto cervo.it was t shirt all the time. ok, start was middle of april and was hoter than normal, but any way average temperature for that part of france in april is around 15, 16 Centigrade.can be few days no wind at all, calm sea. from april weather conditions are generaly warm with moderate rain.
Its all terribly relative , these temperatures are of course staggering good high summer figures to some of us. Round here in July were dressed offshore like the Michellin man. ( and moderate rain means that the Met Office has just stopped issuing flood warnings and the bridges are just about intact !!!)

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