The regions of France

Discover the regions Regional reform Region by region
Regions
France is so much more than just Paris.....

All the regions of France are or include popular tourist destinations, but there are considerable differences in culture, character and climate, from one region to are or include popular tourist destinations, but there are considerable differences in culture, character and climate, from one region to another.
► In greater detail ......     Region by region:
Alsace  Grand Est Normandy (Haute & Basse)
Aquitaine Pays de la Loire
Auvergne
  Auvergne Rhone-Alpes
Picardy  Hauts de France
Brittany
Poitou-Charentes  Nouvelle Aquitaine
Burgundy  (Bourgogne- Franche-comté) Provence - Côte-d'Azur
Centre Rhone-Alpes   Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes
Champagne  Grand Est Thematic pages and other area guides ....
Corsica Cathar country - who were the Cathars?
Franche Comté
  (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté)
The French Riviera
Ile de France (Paris) The Camargue
Languedoc-Roussillon  Occitanie Wild France - far from the crowds
Limousin  Nouvelle Aquitaine French Alps ski areas
Lorraine  Grand Est The coasts and seaside of France
Midi-Pyrénées  Occitanie The Dordogne area
Nord – Pas-de-Calais  Hauts de France The Massif Central


1. Discover the regions of France

Since January 1st 2016, Metropolitan France has been divided administratively into  13 regions; until the end of 2015, there were 22 regions.
   The reduction has been obtained by mergeing certain regions together, as can be seen on the map above. The old regions'  identities, though not their institutions, will remain strong for some time to come.
There are also five overseas regions. Select any region or area in the list below right, or on the map above, for specific regional information and main tourist attractions.


Definition:

Regions are the principal territorial units of France. There are 13 regions in metropolitan France, i.e. continental France plus the island of Corsica. There are five overseas regions.
    The number was reduced to 13 at the start of 2016. Mergeing regions are linked by colour in the map at the top of the page. For example Midi Pyrenees and Languedoc Roussillon are now combined in the new region currently known as "Midi-Pyrenees-Languedoc-Roussillon".  The definitive names of new combined regions will in theory be determined by the new regional councils during 2016. Basically the new division means that there are now nine regions in the north of France, and just four in the south.

    Each region has its regional council, whose members are elected by universal suffrage. The council is presided over by a regional president, and has a full local administration to go with it.
    Regions have extensive powers in the fields of transport, infrastructure, economic development, tourism and education (provision of lycées), and since these powers were devolved to them from 1981 onwards regions have often worked hard over the years to develop a regional identity.

   Regions are the top tier of a distinctly complex multi-tiered system of local administration, which also includes counties (départements), local areas (communautés de communes) and boroughs (communes).
    This guide only covers France in Europe, and consequently excludes  French overseas regions such as the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

History:

   Many of today's French regions correspond largely to the provinces of pre-revolutionary France, and share the same name. Others are modern creations including areas from different historic provinces. The historic region of Normandy is currently two modern regions.  


Regional reform:

   The new regional geography of France does not go down well in all areas, and changes to the new structure may occur in the near future. Departments have the right to demand their transfer from one region to another; any changes must be approved by the departmental council and the two regional councils concerned. Things will get interesting when a department asks to move, and this is approved by the department and by the receiving region, but not by the region it wants to leave....

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About-France.com is full of practical and useful information about France.  Here are some more pages you may like.....

Meanwhile, check out the standard About-France.com site for traditional browsers and tablets
Paris tourist attractions
Budget Paris
France hotel guide
France ski area guide