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  • Land surface : 543 965 km²
  • Capital : Paris
  • Population : 65.000.000 inhabitants
  • Religions : 65 % Catholic,  25% Agnostic, 6% Muslim, 2% Protestant, 1 % Jewish
  • Life expectancy : 79 years

France covers 543,965 square kilometers, extending 1000 kms north-south and 1000 kms east-west, with a great variety of landscapes.

France has 3427 kms of coastline: the North Sea, the English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.  The bordering countries to the north and east are Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, and to the south, Spain.

France has plateaus and plains, with two-thirds of the country under 250 meters above sea level. Forest covers about one quarter of the country.

There are 5 mountain ranges in France: the Pyrenees, the Massif Central, the Alps, the Jura and the Vosges.

The highest point is the Mont Blanc, 4808 meters above sea level in the Alps which are the highest mountains in Europe.

France has 4 major rivers: the Seine, the Loire, the Garonne and the Rhone.

The Loire is the longest, 1013 kms long with its source in the Massif Central at the Mont Gerbier du Jonc.

Fishing and agriculture are two important industries in France.

1. Regions

France is divided into 22 regions:

Alsace, Aquitaine, Auvergne, Burgundy, Brittany, Centre, Champagne-Ardenne, Corsica, Franche-Comté, Guadeloupe, Guyane, Ile-de-France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Limousin, Lorraine, Martinique, Midi-Pyrénées, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Lower-Normandy,

Upper-Normandy, Pays de la Loire, Picardie,  Poitou-Charentes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, La Réunion, Rhône-Alpes.

Each region has several departments:

France is divided into 101 departments of which 5 are overseas, " Outre-mer ".

2. Road system

Vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road.

France has an excellent road system comprised of departmental and national roads, and highways.

The departmental roads service all parts of a department.

The national roads link cities.

Highways are the high speed roads crossing the country.

Speed is regulated at:

  • 30 kilometers per hour (km/h) to 50 km/h in cities
  • 70 km/h to 90 km/h outside of cities
  • 130 km/h on highways (110 km/h if it is raining)

There are often traffic jams in and around cities at rush hour (7:30-9:30am and 6-8:30pm) as well as on Friday and Sunday evenings, especially at vacation times.