France is located in Western Europe, and is almost twice the size of Colorado. It’s the biggest country in the region. It borders with Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium in the north; the Atlantic Ocean in the west; Switzerland, Italy and Monaco in the east; and Andorra and Spain in the south, making it a superb location for taking up roots and as a traveling starter location, as it makes Europe much more accessible to explore.
France is the second largest country in Europe, with the fifth largest population, with around 67 million people. It boasts mostly flat plains and rolling hills in the north and west, and steeper mountains when approaching southeast, near the side of Alps, the Pyrenees and Les Vosges.
Some islands can be found near metropolitan France, mostly known are the ones near the Italian-influenced island of Corsica.
Regions of France
France has a total of 18 administrative regions, 13 of which are located in Europe and 5 overseas regions.
- Normandy – Normandy is the setting for the historical D-Day Landing Sites, this region offers miles of beautiful coastline, stunning harbors and sophisticated seaside resorts.
- Hauts de France – Hauts de France is a popular destination for history buffs who want to see battlefields and memorials from World War I and World War II.
- Ile de France – This region is the most populated in France, it offers charming countryside, beautiful villages, historical monuments, and of course, Paris.
- Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur – From sunny warm beaches, to lavender filled fields, to the snow-peaked mountains of the Alps, this region is full of beauty and has been a source of inspiration for artists such as Van Gogh.
- Occitanie – This region is an outdoor haven filled with natural and architectural splendors, it is home to some of the most beautiful villages in France and some of the best wine.
- Corsica Island – This region is famous for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, stunning sandy beaches, and dramatic mountain peaks. Corsica is a beach lover’s paradise and a wonderful sunny haven to escape to.
- Centre-Val de Loire – This region is known for its picturesque towns and villages, castles, churches and abbeys, cathedrals and gardens. Château de Villandry is said to be home to one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe (Gardens of Villandry).
- Grand Est – Sharing borders with Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland makes the Grand Est a unique blend of cultures and traditions, this can be seen in the stunning architecture, and tasted in the delicious cuisine.
- Auvergne-Rhône Alpes – As its name suggests this region has some of the Alps in it and it is a great destination for mountain climbing and winter sports. That’s not all this region has to offer though, there are also great spa resorts that use naturally heated spring water, castles, canyons, lakes, picturesque small towns and great food.
- Bourgogne-Franche Comté – This region has some of the most beautiful architecture you’ll ever see. From beautiful castles to medieval hospices (Les Hospices de Beaune) to a small chapel named La Chapelle de Notre Dame du Haut, which was built by a famous Swiss architect, Bourgogne-Franche Comté really stands out when you look at their buildings. They also make some of the best, and most expensive, wine in the world.
- Bretagne – Bretagne, dominated by its wild landscapes, is one of the most beautiful regions of France. This region has a myriad of beautiful features waiting for you to find. There is the Crozon Peninsula, the Castles of Brittany, the mysterious and mystical Brocéliande Forest, the Carnac Stones, the Nantes Canal and so much more. This is a land of mysteries, legends and stories for travelers to enjoy.
- Pays de la Loire – This area is well known for its vineyards. It is a fairly new region which used to be part of Bretagne.
- Nouvelle Aquitaine – If you love mountains this is the perfect region for you. This is also the area where you can see the ancient cave art that dates back 17,000 years. This region also has beautiful castles, great wine, great cognac and amazing landscapes, including Europe’s largest sand dune.
French Overseas Territories:
- Martinique – Martinique is a tropical paradise located in the Caribbean Sea. This region has mountains, hiking trails, beaches, secluded coves, picturesque towns, breathtaking gardens and delicious sea-food based creole cuisine.
- Guadeloupe – Guadeloupe is also a Caribbean paradise. This region boasts beautiful waterfalls, beaches, volcanoes, rum distilleries, old forts, rainforests, and great food unique to the island.
- French Guiana – Located in South America this region is known for the Guiana Amazonian Park which is the largest national park of the EU.
- Réunion Island – This region is located in the Indian Ocean and is known for its rain forests, volcanoes, beaches and coral reefs.
- Mayotte – Mayotte is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, this area is known for having great diving destinations, beautiful beaches, rain forests and volcanoes.