the regions of france
With no fewer than 22 mainland regions to choose from, and between them covering 96 départements – the equivalent of an
English county – deciding where to go can be a lengthy process. Admittedly, those 22 were reduced to 13 in 2016, but it didn't make the country any smaller.
The key thing is to decide what it is you want from your
visit to France: if it's beaches, you obviously won't go to the Auvergne; if
it's winter skiing, then Charente Maritime is highly unlikely to hit the spot.
What is fairly certain, however, is that whatever you come
in search of, France is going to deliver; it's just a question of doing a bit
of homework first.
This part of the website is intended to help you to do that,
by providing a short analysis of each, its key features, how to get there, and
what to see and do once you arrive.
But for everyone, there is one key element that says 'France' to each of us, some special we hold in our mind; it may be the food, simple or elegant and refined; it may be the wine, having lunch on a street terrace, lounging on a beach, walking among the mountains, visiting a local street market, a fresh morning croissant or pain au chocolat. For me it's a simple and refreshing lunch at some village bistro, sitting with the sun warming my back, dipping crusty bread in a tasty sauce and sipping a glass of the local vin de maison. Once I'm doing that, I feel that I have arrived. So, the point is, plan your journey so that you get to your key element as quickly as you can, for only then will you truly feel that your visit has begun.
Dordogne, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées Atlantiques
Allier, Cantal, Haute-Loire, Puy-de-Dôme
Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire, Yonne
d'Armor, Finistère, Ille-et-Villaine, Morbihan
Eure-et-Loire, Indre, Indre-et-Loir, Loiret, Loir-et-Cher
Ardennes, Aube, Haute-Marne, Marne
Ile de France
Essone, Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Val d'Oise, Yvelines
Aude, Gard, Hérault, Lozère, Pyrénées-Orientales
Meurthe-et-Moselle, Moselle, Vosges
Ariège, Aveyron, Gers, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, Lot, Tarn,
Lower Normandy: Calvados, Manche, Orne
Normandy: Eure, Seine-Maritime
Pays de la Loire
Mayenne, Loire-Atlantique, Sarthe, Vendée
Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres, Vienne
Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Hautes-Alpes, Var, Vaucluse
Drôme, Haute-Savoie, Loire, Isère, Rhône, Savoie
administrative regions of France, there are a number of regions within regions
that have evolved historically, and are arguably closer to the ethos of France
than the bureaucratic impositions. These include the Ardennes, Quercy, the
Brenne, Savoie, the Midi, Perigord, Provence and even that amorphous area known as Cathar Country (Le Pay
In 2014, the French
Parliament (the National Assembly and the Senate) passed a law that reduced the number of regions in Metropolitan France from 22 to 13.
The new regions
came into effect on 1 January 2016.
Regions that changed
Burgundy and Franche-Comté will become
Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes will
Lower and Upper Normandy will combine as
Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine will
become GRAND EST
Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées will
Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy will become
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes will become
Regions that remained unchanged are
Île de France
Pays de la Loire