France, a Western European country that also includes serveral overseas territories and regions has a total area of 640,679 km2 (247,368 sq mi).
As observed on the physical map of France above, the country is partially covered central, north and west by a relatively flat plain that's punctuated by some time-worn low rolling hills and mountains.
Rugged cliffs front its coastline along the English Channel. There, to the northwest of Caen, the Cotentin Peninsulashields the Channel Islands, while a bit further to the west, the Brittany Peninsula juts into the Atlantic Ocean. Assorted coastal islands dot the western coastline south of Brest, where white-sandy beaches stretch along the Atlantic Ocean to the border with Spain.A few scattered islands are found along the pebbled beaches of the Mediterranean coast. Corsica, a mountainous island and the country's largest island, is located 160 km (99 miles) southeast of Nice.Mountains dominate eastern, south-central and southern France, including the snowcapped Alps that stretch along its border with Italy, then on into Switzerland and across southern Europe. The country's highest point and the second-highest point in Europe is located here; Mont Blanc at 15,770 ft. (4,807m) (marked on the map above).
Further to the north the limestone peaks of the Jura range front the country's eastern border with Switzerland. The heavily forested Vosges Mountains in the far-northeast stretch along the Rhine River valley.In the far-southeast, directly to the west of Nice and dissected by the Verdon River, stands the Gorges du Verdon. This spectacular and massive canyon is up to 700 meters deep in places, and about 11 miles long.Volcanic in origin, the Massif Central is a mountainous plateau divided by steep canyons and valleys. These mountains (or Massifs) stretch south toward the Mediterranean Sea. The Pyrenees, a jagged mountain range, covers the entire southern borders with Andorra and Spain.The country is drained by dozens and dozens of rivers. The longest river in France is the Loire at 630 miles (1,020 km) in length. Other significant rivers include the Garonne, Lot, Rhine, Rhone Seine, each with many smaller tributaries.
France (officially, the French Republic) is divided into 18 integral administrative regions (regions, singular - region). In alphabetical order, the regions are: Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Bretagne (Brittany), Bourgogne-Franche-Comte (Burgundy-Free County), Corse (Corsica), Centre-Val de Loire (Center-Loire Valley), Grand Est (Grand East), Hauts-de-France (Upper France), Ile-de-France, Nouvelle-Aquitaine (New Aquitaine), Normandie (Normandy), Occitanie (Occitania), Pays de la Loire (Lands of the Loire) and Provence-Alpes-Coted’Azur. These 13 regions are located in Metropolitan France in the European continent. The 5 overseas regions are: Mayotte and Reunion in Indian Ocean off the African coast; Guyane (French Guiana) is in South America; Guadeloupe and Martinique in Antilles in the Carribean Sea.
Located in the north-central part of the country is, Paris – the capital, the largest and the most populous city of France. It is a major administrative, cultural and commercial center of the country.
France is a country located in North Western Europe. It is geographically positioned both in the Northern and Eastern hemispheres of the Earth. France is bordered by 7 countries: by Belgium and Luxembourg in the northeast; by Germany, Switzerland and Italy in the east; and by Spain and Andorra in the south. It is also bounded by the Bay of Biscay (North Atlantic Ocean) in the west; by the English Channel in the northwest and by the Mediterranean Sea in the south. France also shares maritime borders with UK in the north.
[Locations of 5 overseas regions: French Guiana in Northern South America, between Brazil and Suriname, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean. Guadeloupe: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Puerto Rico. Martinique: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago. Mayotte: Southern Indian Ocean, island in the Mozambique Channel, about halfway between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique. Reunion: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar.]
Regional Maps: Map of Europe
|Legal Name||French Republic|
|48 52 N, 2 20 E|
|Independence||no official date of independence: 486 (Frankish tribes unified under Merovingian kingship); 10 August 843 (Western Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 14 July 1789 (French monarchy overthrown); 22 September 1792 (First French Republic founded); 4 October 1958 (Fifth French Republic established)|
|Total Area||643,801.00 km2|
|Land Area||640,427.00 km2|
|Water Area||3,374.00 km2|
|Total Border||2,751.0 km|
|Bordering Countries||Andorra 55 km, Belgium 556 km, Germany 418 km, Italy 476 km, Luxembourg 69 km, Monaco 6 km, Spain 646 km, Switzerland 525 km|
|Climate||Metropolitan france: generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the mediterranean; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as the mistral; french guiana: tropical; hot, humid; little seasonal temperature variation; guadeloupe and martinique: subtropical tempered by trade winds; moderately high humidity; rainy season (june to october); vulnerable to devastating cyclones (hurricanes) every eight years on average; mayotte: tropical; marine; hot, humid, rainy season during northeastern monsoon (november to may); dry season is cooler (may to november); reunion: tropical, but temperature moderates with elevation; cool and dry (may to november), hot and rainy (november to april)|
|Coordinates||metropolitan France: 46 00 N, 2 00 E; French Guiana: 4 00 N, 53 00 W; Guadeloupe: 16 15 N, 61 35 W;|
|Mean Elevation||375 m|
|Lowest Elevation||-2 m|
|Rhone River delta|
|Highest Elevation||4,810 m|
|Ethnic Groups||Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities|
|Languages||French (official) 100%, declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish, Occitan, Picard)|
|Religions||Christian (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic) 63-66%, Muslim 7-9%, Buddhist 0.5-0.75%, Jewish 0.5-0.75%, other 0.5-1.0%, none 23-28% (2015 est.)|
|GDP Per Capita||$40,493.93|
|Exports||Machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages|
This page was last updated on November 9, 2020