has all landscapes you find elsewhere in Europe. North of France is Belgium and Holland. Normandie and Bretagne are Scotland and Great Britain. In the Pyrenés mountains you are already in Spain. Provence is Italy. In the Alps you could believe you are in Austria. Le Jura resembles Scandinavia. In Alsace you are in Germany.
Statistics about France are obviously continually changing... but these will give you a good idea
of interesting facts about France
- 551 100 km2 of territory (appr. 180,000 sq. miles - almost like Texas)
- 95 metropolitan departments
- 8 overseas departments and territories.
- Each is administered by a general council with a Préfet who works from a Préfecture.
- 60 million inhabitants (10 million in the Paris region alone)
- 36 000 towns and villages,
- 964 356 km (599,240 miles) of roads
- 31 940 km (19,847 miles) of railway.
- 3120 km (= 1939 miles) (including inlets and bays);
- 1600 km (995 miles) as the crow flies.
- 4 sea fronts (the North Sea, the Channel, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean) with
- 5500 km (3,418 miles) of coastline
- The largest beach in Europe at La Baule (Loire-Atlantique department).
(12 km - 7.5 miles):
- Sand dune: Dune de Pilat - 150 m (492 feet) (the Gironde département of Aquitaine)
- The highest mountain in Western Europe: Mont Blanc, ascending to 4807 meters (15,771 feet), in the Savoy Alps
- Inhabited village (2200 m - 7218 feet) Saint-Véran (Hautes-Alpes)
- Skiable area of 1,950 km2 equipped with 4200 ski lifts and 13000 km (8,078 miles) of downhill ski pistes.
- 6000 species of plant life (200 specific to France)
- 365 different sorts of cheese - one for every day of the year
- About 450 AOC wines!
- 15 million hectares of forest.
- France has 35,000 boulangeries (bakeries). Buy a baguette, a ficelle, a flûte, a boule, an épi or a longuet and enjoy!
- 3.7 million tons of bread consumed every year,
- 25 million cars,
- 750 000 associations,
- 16 million dogs and cats owned by 51% of households,
- 36 673 mayors,
- 600 000 farmers,
- 780 000 shopkeepers, 1000 hypermarkets, 7000 supermarkets,
- 816 000 craftsmen.
- 76 million overseas visitors in 2003, making France the 1st tourist destination in the world!
- 19 912 hotels,
- About 3900 museums which attract tens of millions of visitors every year,
- 12 million visitors come every year to the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay and Versailles alone!
- 5.6 million annual visitors to the Eiffel Tower (320 meters high, 7000 tons and 1652 steps from base to summit)
- 1500 private châteaux open to the public,
- 4400 cinemas,
- 38 879 historic monuments,
- 50 000 theatrical productions every year.
- 63% of French people consider themselves Catholic,
- 30% declare themselves without religion.
- France has a temperate climate, and is made up of four broad climatic zones:
- the humid seaboard zone west of the line Bayonne-Lille with cool summers;
- a semi-continental zone with cold winters and hot summers in Alsace-Lorraine, along the rhodanian corridor and in the mountainous massifs (Alps, Pyrénées, Massif Central);
- an intermediate zone with cold winters and hot summers in the North, the Paris region and the central region;
- a Mediterranean zone with mild winters and very hot summers in the south of France.
Daylight Savings Time:
As decided upon by the European Parliament, daylight savings time in the European Union
- begins on the last Sunday of March at 2:00.am
- ends on the last Sunday of October at 3:00.am