France travel tips
France travel destination
France has the largest area of any country in western Europe and borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Monaco, Andorra and the Mediterranean sea, the Atlantic and the British channel.
There are French overseas areas in the Caribbean (Sint Maarten), and South America (French-Guayana), off the coast of North America and in the Indian ocean and Oceania.
Climate and geography of France
The climate in France is very temperate and constant and in general has positive effects on health. This is aside from the north winds, the Mistral (north-easterly) and Bise (northerly), that often prevail in the south-eastern provinces and are cold and cutting.
France's landscape consists predominantly of lowlands and gentle hills in the north and west. There are a few mountain ranges: the Pyrenees in the south-west, the Massif Central and the Alps in the south-east. The highest elevation in France is the Mont Blanc (4.808 m, 15774 ft), and is in the Alps. Due to its shape, Mont Blanc is also referred to as l’Hexagone in France.
France: cities and national parks
France is one of the most popular holiday destinations on the European continent and this is not only due to the very diverse regions. France is divided up into 22 Regions, these include Île-de-France, which, together with Paris, is at the center of the great urban center of the country. In the part regions of Alsace, Lorraine, Champagne-Ardennes and Franche-Comté in the north-east, the fusion of the French and German cultures may be seen particularly clearly. But the regions of the Rhône-Alps, Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in the south-east are also important tourist destinations in the country. Here, both blue seas and the high summits of the Alps may be enjoyed.
Top tourist destinations include Paris, the city of light; Bordeaux, the city of wine; Brest, the heart of Brittany; and Marseille, the great port in the heart of the Provence.
The numerous national parks in France cover an area of 992,000 ha. The core areas, comprising about 371,000 ha are under strong protection. Alone the 30 regional natural parks have a total area of 5,020 ha.
France: airports and getting around
There are two airports in Paris: Roissy Charles de Gaulle and Orly, as well as an airport used by the low-cost airlines Beauvais. Places of interest in Paris include the Eiffel tower (La Tour Eiffel) - a landmark of Paris; Tour Montparnasse, a skyscraper measuring 209 m (685 ft) with a viewing platform on the 56th floor; the Notre Dame, Pantheon and Sacre Coeur as well as the Louvre, Champs Elysees, Place Charles de Gaulle etc.
France has of a good network of highways, primarily linking the Paris area with the regions. Most of the highways are in private operation and users have to pay a fee at the tollbooths.