Map of France


Map of France France Travel Guide

Well, look at that! A map of France. Let’s break it down.

Usually when people talk about France, they’re talking about the picture you see above. This is known as Metropolitan France; Corsica is considered a territorial collectivity, and there are four overseas regions: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion and French Guiana.

The 21 regions of mainland Metropolitan France are as follows, with their Anglicized names where applicable and their regional capitals (which will no doubt be more familiar to you). And I’ve added some fun facts to further orient you to your new favorite vacation destination!

Nord-Pas de Calais – Lille

Lille is a massive hub between France and Northern Europe; there are a few consulates in Lille and the Eurostar from London goes there, too.

Basse-Normandie (Lower Normandy) – Caen

This is the Normandy of World War II, and the spectacular Mont St.-Michel.

Haute-Normandie (Upper Normandy) – Rouen

The Seine starts here! And it’s where you arrive on the ferry from the UK.

Picardie (Picardy) – Amiens

Not well known by the thronging masses of tourists. Which is a shame, because it’s really beautiful.

Île-de-France – Paris

Paris. I mean, what else is there?

Champagne-Ardenne – Châlons-en-Champagne

We’ve all tried this region’s famous beverage.

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Lorraine – Metz

Now you know where quiche lorraine comes from!

Alsace – Strasbourg

Lots of German influence, lots of delicious white wine.

Bretagne (Brittany) – Rennes

If you see a French name that begins with “Qu,” it’s from this region. The general adjective for things/people/language in Brittany is Breton.

Pays-de-la-Loire – Nantes

This is a tricky one. The region is Pays-de-la-Loire, or towns of the Loire (river). The Loire Valley, that of the châteaux, stretches from this region into Centre. And Loire – just plain old Loire – is a “département” or county in the Rhône-Alpes region.

Centre – Orléans

Home to the famous cathedrals of Chartres and Tours, and the heart of the Loire Valley.

Bourgogne (Burgundy) – Dijon

Mustard and wine -two great tastes that go great together.

Franche-Comté – Besançon

Very Swiss in nature, and home of the delectable Comté cheese.

Poitou-Charentes – Poitiers

Cognac comes from the eponymous town in this region.

Limousin – Limoges

If you’ve ever registered for your wedding, you’ve heard of Limoges porcelain. This area makes over half of all the porcelain in France.

Auvergne – Clermont-Ferrand

Want to get away from it all? Auvergne, the least populated region of France by far, is the place to do it.

Rhône-Alpes – Lyon

Right next to Auvergne, but hugely populated, with the major cities of Lyon, Grenoble and Saint-Étienne. It’s also one of the richest areas in the entire EU.

Aquitaine – Bordeaux

What an awesome region – rolling hills, vineyards and a long, gorgeous coastline that borders Spain and which is home to Europe’s hottest surfing scene.

Midi-Pyrénées – Toulouse

This region was formed solely to house Toulouse, and the French debate the merits of this region all the time. However, the millions of pilgrims that come to Lourdes, also in the Midi-Pyrénées, could care less.

Languedoc-Roussillon – Montpellier

This region shares the other half of the southern French coast with the Côte d’Azur.

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur – Marseille

Yep, it’s all one fantastic region, with Monaco nestled in there on the eastern end.

 

Makes a little more sense now, doesn’t it? If you’re ready to find out more, check out this helpful information about France: