The Regions of  France

About-France.com - a thematic guide to France
Click on the map above or on one of the links below right for information on a specific region or area and its top tourist attractions.
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 another.
Somewhere in FranceBrittanyNormandyPicardyNord-Pas de Calais regionIle de FrancePays de la LoireCentre regionChampagne-ArdennesLorraineBurgundyFranche-ComtéAlsacePoitou-CharentesLimousinAuvergneRhone-Alpes regionAquitaineMidi-PyreneesLanguedoc - RoussillonProvence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
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France as six tourist areas
See part 2 below. France can be divided - as a tourist destination - into six areas, combining similar neighbouring regions into larger and coherent areas with similarities in terms of climate, environment and tourist attractions.
Devolved regional powers in France :
Regional authorities in France
are responsible for an increasingly large number of public services.  Click for more details

Holiday gites in France direct booking with owners mostly English speakers

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1. Discover the regions of France

Metropolitan France is divided administratively into 22 regions; 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.
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    Regions are the principal territorial units of France. There are 22 regions in metropolitan France, i.e. continental France plus the island of Corsica. There are five overseas regions.
     In principle, their number will be reduced to 13 at the start of 2016.  See below.

    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.


   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 regional structure of France is going to change as a result of an impending major overhaul of local government. Reform has been on the cards for many years, but President François Hollande has determined to see it through, and as fast as possible.  Indeed, 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 is supposed to come into effect at the start of 2016.
   However, while the principle of the reform is accepted by a majority of electors in France, the new regional map is far from consensual. In December 2014, a number of parliamentarians, Deputies and Senators of both left and right,  took steps to block the change, claiming that it is unconstitutional. The Constitutional Council is now studying the charges..

Click here for facts on the main cities in France

Click for a larger regional map of France (physical).
► In greater detail ......
   Region by region:
Franche Comté
Ile de France (Paris)
Nord – Pas-de-Calais
Normandy (Haute & Basse)
Pays de la Loire
Provence - Côte-d'Azur
Thematic pages and other area guides ....
Cathar country - who were the Cathars?
The French Riviera
The Camargue
Wild France - far from the crowds
French Alps ski areas
The coasts and seaside of France
The Dordogne area
The Massif Central

2.   The six tourist areas of France

Select a tourist area of France for a general overview:
1 North west France
2. The heart of France
3. North east France
4. Southwest France
5. Upland France
6 Le Midi - southern France
tourist areas franceFor tourism 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 offer.
Select 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.

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