Provincial FranceBrittanyNormandyPicardyNord-Pas de Calais regionIle de FrancePays de la LoireCentre regionChampagne-ArdennesLorraineBurgundyFranche-ComtéAlsacePoitou-CharentesLimousinAuvergneRhone-Alpes regionAquitaineMidi-PyreneesLanguedoc - RoussillonProvence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

The Regions of  France

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.
Click on the map above or on area links below for information on a region or area and its top tourist attractions.
The regions of France

 You are here:  France   ›  Regions of France - the connoisseur's guide to France

  • ► Covid-19 INFORMATION - If all goes well, France should be fully opened up again for tourism by mid-July 2021 . Unless there is an unexpected resurgence of Covid-19,  museums and galleries should be open, as will hotels restaurants, shops  tourist attractions and public transport. The wearing of facemasks is likely to remain compulsory in certain situations, so visitors must come equipped or else be ready to buy facemasks on arrival.  
       Once vaccinations are rolled out internationally on a wide scale, it is expected that some tourism operators, including accommodation providers  indoor venues and even airports, may require proof of vaccination or a negative test result, though the logistics of this have not been worked out.
       Tourism levels are expected to remain down compared to recent years, meaning that for those tourist sites and attractions that are operating normally again, there may be  much less waiting to get in.

1. Discover the regions of France

The 13 regions of metropolitan France (since 2016).

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.
Other areas of France

Areas of France that are not or were not  official regions

The Dordogne area
The French Riviera
The Camargue
The French Alps
The Massif Central
Cathar country
The coasts and seaside of France
You 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 France.
 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.

Administrative regions

    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 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, or Intercommunalités) and boroughs (communes).

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 provinces. 
   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.

Going further :

Regional reform:

The regional structure of France changed in 2016 as part of a major overhaul of local government that been on the cards for many years.

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 - Mediterranean 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.     information page

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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

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►► Other main chapters on :
Driving in France 
Tips and useful information on driving in and through France - motorways, tolls, where to stay....
Other travel in France 
Public transport;  travel round in France by train, plane, coach, or even on foot or by bicycle
Tourism in France
The main tourist attractions and places to visit in France - historic monuments, art galleries, seasides, and more
Planning a trip to France 
Information on things to do before starting your trip to France.
Guide to Paris
Make the most of your trip to Paris; Information on attractions, Paris hotels, transport,  and lots more. 
Maps of France
Cities, towns, departments, regions, climate, wine areas and other themes.
The French way of life 
A mine of information about life and living in France, including working in France, living in France, food and eating, education, shopping
A-Z dictionary of France
Encyclopedic dictionary of modern France - key figures, institutions, acronyms, culture, icons, etc.

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