his VISITORS' GUIDE to France is developed by a dedicated professional travel writer and photographer, with the aim of helping you to plan and enjoy your visits to this remarkable country.
Planning a visit is made easier with our comprehensive travel database and our analysis of the many aspects of France, brought to you by the critical eye of an experienced Francophile. Through our knowledge we want you to discover not only mainstream action, but places that are off-the-beaten-track, and, maybe, a little unusual.
Explore the regions, visit the cities and towns, enjoy the most beautiful villages, and learn how to get there, how to get around, where to stay, and where to eat. Check out the country's natural beauty, the wonderful beaches, its magnificent coastline, as well as the high mountains of the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Auvergne. Taste your way through regional and local dishes, and quaff the wines and spirits for which the country is rightly renowned.
Follow in the footsteps of prehistoric man, of pilgrims and martyrs; enjoy the music and art, the cultures, festivals and frivolities, and, above all, the remarkable luminescence of light that so enthralled artists, past and present. And what better way to do it than in the company of an award-winning journalist with an eye for the unusual and a taste for the best.
65 241 241 (1 January 2014)
674,800 km² (260,541 sq miles) – the largest country in Western Europe by area.
Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra – the only country with a coastline both on the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
taxis, hot air balloon, internal combustion engine, inflatable tyres, sewing machine, bikini, cafetière, braille, camera phone, hairdryer, parachute
French world records
World's most expensive bottle of French wine (1811 Château d'Yquem sold for £75,000 ($117,000))
In 2015, a painting of two Tahitian girls by the French artist Gauguin was sold for nearly $300m (£197m), making it the most expensive work of art ever sold.
Assassination attempts survived
General de Gaulle is said to have survived no fewer than 31 assassination attempts