France is Europe’s third-largest country by area, stretching from the Rhine river in the Northeast to the Mediterranean in the Southeast, the Atlantic Ocean in the Southwest and the North Sea in the Northwest. It is a favorite among international travelers, featuring a variety of landscapes ranging from mountains to beaches as well as exciting cities and quaint historic towns.
France is the world’s most popular travel destination by visitor numbers. On average, more than 80 million people visit the country per year. Many of the most popular tourist attractions including the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Eurodisney theme park are located in the Greater Paris metropolitan area, called Ile de France.
Paris, although located in the country’s northern part, is central to almost all matters in France. The city serves travelers well as a transportation hub, as all other major cities can be reached from here easily by train or plane.
Apart from the capital, France has many more tourist hotspots. The Cote d’Azur area around Nice and Cannes, sometimes referred to as the French Riviera, enjoys the country’s most annual sunshine hours and has many towns worth visiting along the Mediterranean coast. Not far from there, the Provence area near the major city of Marseille is another popular destination, famous for its vast lavender fields and plenty of historic attractions.
In the winter, the French Alps along the borders to Switzerland and Italy in the East, are popular for its ski areas. Other well-visited regions include the valley of the Loire river, which is famous for its more than 300 medieval chateaux, many of which can be seen by taking a river cruise. The region around Bordeaux in Southwestern France is well-known for its vineyards and fine cuisine, while other cities like Strasbourg, Toulouse or Lyon, are worth visiting for their architecture and historic attractions.
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Pont du Gard (Occitanie region)