six tourist areas
See part 2 below. France can be divided - as a tourist destination -
into six areas, combining similar neighbouring regions into larger
coherent areas with similarities in terms of climate, environment and
regional powers in France :
Regional authorities in France
are responsible for an
increasingly large number of public services. Click for more
gites in France direct booking
with owners mostly
|►► Site guide
|►► Other main chapters on
and useful information on driving in and through France - motorways,
tolls, where to stay....
travel in France
transport; travel round in France by train, plane, coach, or
on foot or by bicycle
main tourist attractions and places to visit in France - historic
monuments, art galleries, seasides, and more
a trip to France
on things to do before starting your trip to France.
towns, departments, regions, climate, wine areas
and other themes.
French way of life
mine of information about
life and living in France, including
working in France, living in France, food and eating, education,
dictionary of France
dictionary of modern France - key figures, institutions, acronyms,
culture, icons, etc.
© 2003 - 2016
Discover the regions of France
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. For the time being the new
super-regions combine the names of the old regions, whose 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.
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
new combined regions will in theory be determined by the new regional
during 2016. Favourite proposal for the
unwieldy "Midi-Pyrenees- Languedoc-Roussillon" is Occitanie,
or in English Occitania,
historically the land where people spoke varieties of Occitanian
French, which were, and still are, quite different from standard French.
Basically the new division means that there are
regions in the north of France, and just four in the south.
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.
extensive powers in the fields of transport, infrastructure,
economic development, tourism and education (provision of
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
of local administration, which also includes counties
local areas (communautés de communes) and boroughs
only covers France in Europe, and consequently excludes
overseas regions such as the Caribbean islands of Martinique and
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
is currently two modern regions.
regional structure of France changed on Jan 1st 2016 as part of a major overhaul of local government. Reform had been on the
cards for many years, but President François Hollande was
determined to see it through, and as fast as possible.
the plan to reduce the number of regions of Metropolitan France from 22
to 13 was adopted by the French parliament in December 2014, and the
change came into effect at the start of 2016.
The new regional geography of France does not go down well in
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....
Click here for facts on the main
cities in France
for a larger regional
of France (physical).
The six tourist areas of France
a tourist area of France for a
purposes, France can alternatively be considered as six tourist areas,
each with different characteristics. Each of the
six areas has its own particular appeal and characteristics as a
tourist destination, and each has plenty to discover, and plenty to
one of the six areas from the list on the left, for a general overview
of this particular area of France. For more detailed information,
choose the corresponding regions of France as listed above.