Sunshine is a major element of the climate. It is very variable in France and can go from simple to double. On a daily basis, the duration of sunshine directly affects our habits, our moods and our desires. It is essential in the production of solar energy.
In France, the tip of Cotentin, Seine-Maritime, the Ardennes and the western interior of Brittany stand out as the least sunny areas of the country. The minimum sunshine recorded in a year is in the Monts d’Arrée, in the center of Finistère, with around 1450 hours.
The regions of the northern third as well as the Basque Country are housed in the same boat. They often suffer the effects of low clouds, especially in the winter season. Annual sunshine reaches an average of 1500 to 1700 hours.
The sectors located between the mouth of the Loire and the Jura via the central regions benefit from sunshine close to the national average. On average, there are 1700 to 1800 hours of sunshine per year.
Unsurprisingly, the southern half of the country is more favoured in terms of sunshine. The average between Aquitaine and the Lyon region is around 1900 to 2000 hours of sunshine per year.
Among the sunniest regions of France stands out the Gironde and the Charente-Maritime. In La Rochelle, for example, the annual sunshine approaches 2100 hours, which makes it the sunniest western region.
Benefiting from a Mediterranean climate, Languedoc-Roussillon, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region and Corsica are by far the regions with the most sunshine in the country. The sun is naturally more generous in these areas. In addition, when disturbed weather affects a large part of the country, the strong winds that blow in these regions (mistral and tramontane in particular) often clear the sky. As a result, the average hours of sunshine per year in these regions is between 2400 and 2700 hours. It is in the east of the Bouches-du-Rhône and the west of the Var that the highest rate of sunshine in the country is recorded.
It is around 2900 hours.