France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for over twenty years (81.9 million in 2007) and it's geographically one of the most diverse countries in Europe. Its cities contain some of the greatest treasures in Europe, its countryside is prosperous and well tended and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions, like Paris, the French Riviera, the Atlantic beaches, the winter sport resorts of the French Alps, the castles of the Loire Valley, Brittany and Normandy. The country is renowned for its gastronomy (particularly wines and cheeses), history, culture and fashion.
France is divided into 22 administrative regions, which themselves can be grouped into seven cultural regions:
The region surrounding the French capital, Paris.
Northern France (Nord-Pas de Calais, Picardy, Normandy)
A region where the world wars have left many scars.
Northeastern France (Alsace, Lorraine, Champagne-Ardenne, Franche-Comté)
A region where wider European culture (and especially Germanic culture) has merged with the French, giving rise to interesting results.
Great West (Brittany, Pays de la Loire)
An agriculture-based oceanic region with a culture greatly influenced by the ancient Celtic peoples.
Central France (Centre-Val de Loire, Poitou-Charentes, Burgundy, Limousin, Auvergne)
A largely agricultural and vinicultural region, featuring river valleys, chateaux and historic towns.
Southwestern France (Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrenees)
A region of sea and wine, with nice beaches over the Atlantic Ocean and young high mountains close to Spain.
Southeastern France (Rhône-Alpes, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Corsica)
The primary tourist region of the country outside of Paris, with a warm climate and azure sea, contrasting with the mountainous French Alps.
What are the most popular destinations in France?
Can I get a holiday home with swimming pool in France?
Can I get any accommodation in France if I am travelling with my family or a group of friends?
What are the different types of holiday homes I can get in France?