Luxembourg Weather, climate and geography
Weather and climate
Best time to visit
Warm weather can generally be expected from May to September. Snow is not uncommon during the winter months, especially in the higher Ardennes regions in the northern half of the country, but this is less reliable than it once was, and has led to the virtual eradication of the former (albeit small) cross-country skiing industry.
The north (the Ardennes region) tends to be slightly wetter and slightly colder than the south at all times of year. As has been seen in other regions, weather patterns have become far less predictable in recent years than they used to be, and visitors should be braced for anything whenever they travel.
Restaurants, hotels and most visitor attractions in Luxembourg City remain open all year round, and there is no specific high or low season, although certain peak times such as the National Day in June, Easter and Christmas can become booked out well in advance. Many other parts of the country however experience a very distinct low season in January and February, and tourist grinds to a halt in much of the Ardennes. Many smaller hotels and some restaurants shut completely during the winter months, and establishments that remain open often have limited opening hours.
Autumn can be a good time to visit the north as the annual turning of the leaves is a wonderful and free natural spectacle, many country hotels have open fires going, and the restaurants offer seasonal menus featuring local game.
Waterproofs are advisable at all times of the year. There is no discernible wet or dry season in Luxembourg, and it is best to come prepared for all eventualities.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg shares borders to the north and west with Belgium, to the south with France and to the east with Germany. Although similar in size to a typical English county, there are a number of distinct geographical regions. Most of the northern half of the country is made up of the high plateau of the Ardennes, carved and scarred by a network of steep-sided thickly forested river valleys. Most of this region is around 500m (1,640ft) above sea level.
The southern half – known locally the Gutland or Good Land - is gently rolling lowland, covered with woods and farmland, mostly sitting around 250m (820ft) above sea level. There are no towns of any significant size in the north; the south is more urbanised. In the southeast is the rich wine-growing valley of the Moselle river, which enjoys a unique microclimate well-suited to the cultivation of grapes. The area around Echternach, Larochette and Beaufort is a spectacular region of narrow sandstone micro-gorges and thick forest, which was christened ‘Little Switzerland’ by early tourists. The capital meanwhile, Luxembourg City, is built on a rocky outcrop overlooking the two adjoining gorges of the Alzette and Pétrusse valleys.