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The geography of France: mountains, rivers, cities

This article is also available in: Italian Portuguese (Portugal)

France is one of the main states in Europe and, from a tourist point of view, it is the most visited nation in the world, rich in artistic, natural and landscape attractions.

The most popular destination is the capital Paris, with museums such as the Louvre and the Orsay Museum, attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, amusement parks such as Disneyland Paris. But many others are the country’s leading tourist destinations, areas such as Provence and the Côte d’Azur or Brittany and Normandy, the Loire valley with its famous castles, cities such as Strasbourg, Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux.

Natural landscapes such as those of the Alps and the Pyrenees, canyons such as those of the Verdon and Ardèche, ancient Roman cities, religious pilgrimage centers such as the sanctuary of Lourdes, the beaches and the natural landscape of Corsica.

The country extends in the western part of the European continent, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, to the south the Pyrenees mountain range marks the border with Spain and Andorra, to the south-east the majestic Alpine peaks form the border with Italy, further north, the country borders Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium, along the Mediterranean coast the small Principality of Monaco is an enclave surrounded by French territory.

France has a very varied territory, in the northern and western parts there are vast river plains, such as those where the Seine, the Loire and the Garonne flow, sometimes interspersed with low hilly areas such as those of the Normandy Hills or the Armorican Massif in Brittany. To the north-west along the border with Belgium are the low hills of the Ardennes, while to the west near the border with Germany, close to the Rhine valley, are the Vosges, whose highest peak is the Grand Ballon (1,424 meters).

The central-southern area is characterized by the presence of the Central Massif, an area made up of mountains, mostly ancient volcanoes that are now extinct, and plateaus, the highest peak of these mountains is the Puy de Sancy (1,886 metres) in the Monts chain -Dores. The Rhone valley separates the Massif Central from the Alps, mountains which along the border with Italy reach the highest height in the country with Mont Blanc (Mount Blanc) at 4,810 meters above sea level. To the south, along the border with Spain, the Pyrenees range rises above three thousand meters in height, only the seventh peak of the Pyrenees, the Vignemale (3,298 metres), belongs to France.

Corsica also belongs to France, an island located between the Ligurian Sea, Tuscany and Sardinia, Corsica (8,680 km²) is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, the island is very mountainous, its highest peak high is Monte Cinto (2,706 metres).

  • Surface area: 543,965 km²
  • Population: 63,136,180 (2011)
  • Capital: Paris
  • Official language: French.
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Time Zone: UTC +1 (Summer: UTC+2)

This article is also available in: Italian Portuguese (Portugal)

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