© Mel Stuart / age fotostock
France in pictures - France
In brief +
Comprising 26 regions, France is a vast country of varied cultures to discover. From the north to the south, the east to the west, the differences are so great that it is impossible to define the make-up of the country. Within the space of just a few miles, it isn't only the landscape that changes. Passing from one region to another means discovering new tastes, smells, sights and sounds. France's history comes to the surface through world-renowned monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Châteaux of the Loire Valley and Mont St. Michel. That's not to forget the country's charming beaches in Brittany and Normandy, the fierce waves off the south coast, which are a surfer's Eden, and the snow--apped Alpian mountains, where some of the best skiing in Europe can be enjoyed.France's past is rich in developments, creations and innovations, all of which we can follow in the museums of the Louvre, le Musée d'Orsay and the Pompidou Centre. Today too, France has a rich conviviality thanks to the spirit by which food and wine have been promoted to a form of art. The morning air is tinted with the wafting smell of freshly baked baguette and croissant and lunch is spent grouped around a table in a bistro tasting the plat du jour (dish of the day) which is chalked on a board on the wall in winding handwriting. Wine plays a central role, not because the French are heavy drinkers, but because wine is deep set in the country's history; production began in France in Roman times and today seven to eight billion bottles of wine are made annually. You can rightly say France has just about everything, the je ne sais quoi. It is top of its game, whether you are after a romantic break, a family holiday, sports trip or cultural immersion. Given all this, it is hardly surprising that France is officially ranked the most visited tourist destination in the world.
The French Riviera; its name alone conjures up images of riches, glamour and celebrities frolicking in the sunshine à la Brigitte Bardot. But you don't have to be a superstar to enjoy this alluring region in the south of France: there are tranquil villages, buzzing seaside resorts and everything in between, ...
Nice and its surrounding areasFranck Iren / Age Fotostock
Lyon© Sigitas Baltramaitis / age fotostock
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