The Mediterranean port city of Marseille in France draws curious travelers for its history, food, and stunning coastal setting. Before you go, it's important to learn about annual and monthly weather patterns in Marseille. Contrary to popular belief, conditions aren't always warm and full of sun in the southern hub.
Marseille has a dry, Mediterranean climate influenced by the sea of the same name. Warm, sunny conditions reign throughout much of the year, and the city is famously blessed with approximately 300 sunny days each year. Winters are generally temperate and relatively warm, although cold currents and strong winds (referred to locally as "Le Mistral") are common and can make for blustery, chilly days, especially near and on the water. Summers, meanwhile, can be pleasantly warm and balmy to uncomfortably scorching. In recent years, heatwaves have become increasingly common. The city is generally quite dry, but in the fall and winter rainfall is much more common than during the summer months. Snow is extremely rare in Marseille.
Fast Climate Facts
- Warmest Month: July (83 F / 28 C)
- Coldest Month: January (36 F / 2 C)
- Wettest Month: October and November (3.2 inches)
Spring in Marseille
Spring in Marseille is generally pleasant, warm, and sunny, with temperatures rising significantly from early to late April. Rainfall is moderate but still more frequent than in the summer. While sea temperatures may still feel a bit too cold for swimming, spring is an excellent time for urban and coastal walks, sitting out on sunny café and restaurant terraces, browsing colorful produce at typical Provencal markets, and enjoying a boat tour or dinner cruise. By late May, warmer sea temperatures often exceed 70 degrees F (21 degrees C), making the prospect of a dip or long swim tempting.
What to Pack: April in Marseille can feature chilly evenings, so bring sweaters and a windproof jacket alongside warmer-weather clothes. For rainy days, pack an umbrella and waterproof shoes. If you visit in mid to late spring, pack plenty of light, breathable clothes and beachwear.
Summer in Marseille
The Marseille summer features long, dry, sunny days, warm to hot temperatures, and plenty of opportunities to cool off and enjoy the coastal region. June is a bit milder, so if you prefer moderate warmth, this might be a better time to visit. By July, temperatures can reach record temperatures, and beaches in the area crowd with both locals and tourists through early September. This is an ideal time for swimming and watersports, beach lounging, and tasting regional specialties such as pastis (anise-flavored liqueur) or rosé wine out on sun-drenched terraces.
What to Pack: Pack plenty of warm-weather attire in cotton or linen, such as shorts, breathable shirts, skirts, dresses, bathing gear, and open-toed shoes. Occasional thunderstorms mean you might need a water and wind-proof jacket, and if you plan to walk or cycle around the Marseille region, a pair of comfortable walking/hiking shoes is essential.
Fall in Marseille
Fall in Marseille remains quite warm and bright until late September when temperatures begin to cool and the days grow noticeably shorter. Sometimes, especially when heat-wave conditions are afoot, temperatures can remain quite hot into September. The autumn in Marseille is temperate and pleasant, but by October and November register a large amount of rainfall when compared to the late spring and summer. This can be a good choice for a low-season break focused on hiking, walking, and exploring the city itself, or for a low-key driving tour of the Riviera. By October, most will find the water temperatures a bit too cold to swim, but some may still brave it.
What to Pack: Temperatures start to dip considerably in October, so pack sweaters and warm trousers or dresses for colder days, and lighter items for the oddly warm and sunny one. And again, always have waterproof clothes in your suitcase for the rainy days.
Winter in Marseille
Winter in the old port city is generally mild, but cool to cold temperatures, rainy conditions, and brisk winds are not uncommon. The days are shorter and tourism is at a low ebb. This can be a great time to explore the city and its distinctive neighborhoods, taste winter favorites such as bouillabaisse (Marseille's famous fish stew), and visit sites of historic and artistic importance. Snow and frost are rare.
What to Pack: Make sure to pack plenty of waterproof and cool to cold-weather clothes, with a few lighter items for warmer, sunnier days. An umbrella, scarf, and waterproof shoes are essential.
Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours
|Avg. Temp||Rainfall||Daylight Hours|
|January||43 F / 6 C||2.6 inches||8 hours|
|February||45 F / 7 C||2.6 inches||10 hours|
|March||50 F / 10 C||2.3 inches||11 hours|
|April||55 F / 13 C||2.8 inches||10 hours|
|May||62 F / 17 C||2.1 inches||12 hours|
|June||69 F / 21 C||1.3 inches||15 hours|
|July||74 F / 23 C||0.7 inches||14 hours|
|August||73 F / 23 C||0.7 inches||12 hours|
|September||67 F / 19 C||1.6 inches||11 hours|
|October||59 F / 15 C||3.2 inches||10 hours|
|November||50 F / 10 C||3.2 inches||9 hours|
|December||45 F / 7 C||2.3 inches||8 hours|