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- the connoisseur's guide to France
- If all goes well, France should be fully open for tourism
in 2023 . Unless there is an unexpected resurgence or virulent new
and galleries will be open, as will hotels restaurants, shops
tourist attractions and public
transport. The wearing of facemasks
is likely to remain highly recommended if not compulsory in certain
situations, so visitors must
come equipped or
else be ready to buy
facemasks on arrival. Though
proof of covid vaccination or immunity is no longer required, it may be
asked for in certain locations if the situation should take a turn for
the worse, so visitors are advised to make sure that they have
documentation showing that they are fully up to date with their
vaccinations or have acquired protection through a recent bout of
Discover the regions of France
regions of metropolitan
For new regions formed by the merging of two or three old regions,
links lead to the constituent areas, i.e. the former regions.
Click links for detailed information on any region.
may also like : Wine regions of France
Since 2016, Metropolitan France has been divided
administratively into 13 regions; until 2015,
there were 22 regions.
The reduction has been obtained by merging
certain regions together, as can be seen on the map above. Some of the
new super-regions combine the names of the old regions, others like
Occitanie or Grand Est are new. Meanwhile the old regions that have
been merged are likely to keep their identities, though not their
institutions, for some time to come, specially those that
like Limousin, Champagne or Alsace, are historic provinces or areas of
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.
Regions are the top tier territorial
units of France. There are 13 regions in metropolitan France, i.e.
continental France plus the island of Corsica. There are also five
overseas regions. Merged 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 a new region called Occitanie
Following the 2016 regional reform, there are now
nine regions in the north of France, and just three in the south of
continental France. This guide only covers France
in Europe, and excludes French overseas regions such as the
Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
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
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
), local areas (communautés
Historic regions, provinces and other areas :
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
France also has a number of well-known "areas"
which are not administrative regions. These are historic or geographic
areas, or simply areas that have an identity in terms of tourism. See
the list to the right.
The regional structure of France changed in 2016 as part of a
major overhaul of local government that been on the cards for
The six tourist areas of France
a tourist area of France for a general overview:
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
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
regional powers in France :
Regional authorities in France
are responsible for an
increasingly large number of public services. Click for more
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