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.

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.


Bas-Rhin, Haut Rhin


Dordogne, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées Atlantiques


Allier, Cantal, Haute-Loire, Puy-de-Dôme


Côte d'Or, Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire, Yonne


Côtes d'Armor, Finistère, Ille-et-Villaine, Morbihan


Cher, Eure-et-Loire, Indre, Indre-et-Loir, Loiret, Loir-et-Cher


ArdennesAube, Haute-Marne, Marne


Belfort, Doubs, Haute-Saône, Jura

Ile de France 

Essone, Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Val d'Oise, Yvelines


Aude, Gard, Hérault, Lozère, Pyrénées-Orientales


Creuse, Corrèze, Haute-Vienne


Meuse, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Moselle, Vosges


Ariège, Aveyron, Gers, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, Lot, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne


Nord, Pas-de-Calais


Lower Normandy: Calvados, Manche, Orne

Upper Normandy: Eure, Seine-Maritime

Pays de la Loire

Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne, Loire-Atlantique, Sarthe, Vendée


Aisne, Oise, Somme


CharenteCharente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres, Vienne

Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Hautes-Alpes, Var, Vaucluse


Ain, Ardèche, Drôme, Haute-Savoie, Loire, Isère, Rhône, Savoie

Notwithstanding the 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 Cathare).

In 2014, the French Parliament (the National Assembly and the Senate) passed a law that will reduce the number of regions in Metropolitan France from 22 to 13.

The new regions came into effect on 1 January 2016.

Regions to merge

Burgundy and Franche-Comté will become Bourgogne-France-Comté

Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes will become Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes

Lower and Upper Normandy will combine as Normandy

Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine will become Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine

Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées will become Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées

Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy will become Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes will become Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Regions that remain unchanged are


Centre-Val de Loire


Île de France

Pays de la Loire

Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur 

The names for the new regions are temporary. Permanent names were confirmed by the Conseil d'Etat by 1 July 2016. The legislation defining the new regions also allowed the Centre region to officially change its name to "Centre-Val de Loire"; this change was effective from January 2015.

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