Geography of France

Geography of France

Travelers are drawn to France in search of a Joie de vivre only France can offer. The diverse geography of France shapes the variety of Joy, and the style of Living that joy.

The West Coast of France exemplifies the dramatic scenery and rapidly changing geography of the country. Starting at the northernmost region bordering Belgium, dramatic cliffs give way to woodland forests and gentle hills until falling delicately into the Paris Basin. Networks of canals and the Seine River make for delightful sightseeing, and Flemish influences colour the architecture. Continuing south down the coast through British influenced Calais, and along the cold, choppy waters of the English Channel, elevations are more moderate, and extending east into the interior, are considered to be a rarely broken plateau. In Normandy, travelers will find more access to stunning beaches, and can visit Chateau de Neuilly la Foret, a wildlife area well known for its abundant bird life, fishing, and tranquillity.

Once one reaches the Bay of Biscay, opportunities for adventure fishing, and scuba diving in the company of colourful marine life and shipwrecks are readily available. Brittany Ferries also offer whale and dolphin watching trips. And despite the cold reputation of the Atlantic, a significant surfing culture exists, specifically in Biarritz in France’s Basque region.

The plateau of western France builds into the extravagant beauty of the Pyrenees. Older than the Alps and reaching a height of just over 11,000 feet, these mountains are well suited for walking, with other trails drawing more serious hikers to private waterfalls and mountain swimming holes.

The South of France is the place for travelers who seek sun, warm Mediterranean waters, and bustling activity. The French Riviera extends over 200 miles and boasts blue sky, azure water, and a backdrop of mountain scenery. Sailing, swimming, snorkelling, and scuba diving are always a necessity, and the picturesque setting makes for world class golfing. Deep sea fishing near Nice may land a traveler a record white marlin.

From Monaco north, the breathtaking French Alps provide both summer and winter activities. Well designed hiking trails ranging in moderate to highly skilled cover these mountains, and bikers, fisherman, and even aspiring paragliders will enjoy this section of Alps, overlooked by Mount Blanc, Western Europe’s highest mountain. For campers, a unique opportunity to stay in communal Refuges or mountain huts provide scenic, friendly alternatives to luxury accommodations.

Olympic level skiers and more cosmopolitan types flock to the world class skiing of the French Alps in both winter and summer. Les Deux Alps resort can accommodate both seasons and all levels of winter sport.

The interior of France is characterized by the Paris Basin and Loire River valley on the north and Massif Central, a rugged region dominating the central south, known for its steep valleys and extinct volcanoes. Travelers can take motorcycle trips, or equally interesting long distance, divinely scenic train routes through the area.

Northeast France includes Alsace, famous for its density of picturesque villages, museums, and fine dry white wines. Here, German and French cultures are uniquely intertwined. The Vosges mountain range provides travelers with beautiful scenery while hiking and mountain biking in the summer and skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing in the winter season.

France’s diverse geography contains countless hidden treasures for the traveler and provides an incredible body of choices for any type of itinerary.