The Geography of France

By wasatch | Feb 23, 2023
Europe > France

All travel, especially scenic travel, takes place on geography,

My undregradate university required 4 semesters of one 'foreign language'-- I did French-- and 2 semesters a second foreign language-- I did German. The French professor started the class by pulling down a map of France and smacking her pointer in the middle of France, announcing "Le geographie de la France. Then, off the west coast, "la Mer Atlantic", followed by "la Mer Mediteranie" etc. You get the idea, but there was a hidden point was, to understand a country, start with geography. Having done linguistic geography, I'm now going to change to tourist geography. Here are the geographic regions of France that are most important to tourists:

  • The Alsatian Plain between the Vosges Mtns and the River Rhine
  • The Cote d'Azur, which has a top, a middle, and a bottom (the coast)
  • The Alps
  • The Pyrenees
  • The Rhone River Valley
  • The Loire River Valley
  • The Comargue
  • The Massif Central,
  • The North Coast, including Brittany and Normandy
  • The West Coast
  • Paris has four geographies: the Right and Left bank, the Isle de la Cite, and Montmartre, and maybe La Defense.
  • Lyon and Marseilles each have two geographies: The top of the hill and the bottom of the hill.

Mixed Geography

The sights in some places are pure geography, other places require both human intervention and geography to produce tourist interesting sights including

  • The Loire Valley needs the chateaux
  • The Alsatian Plain between the Vosges Mtns and the River Rhine wouldn't be of much interest with out the pastel colored half timbered buildings
  • Paris, Lyon, and Marseille
  • The cities and villages of The Rhone River Valley

Europe France Geography

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Written by wasatch
1st international trip: 1965. ~57 EU vacations. Visited 6 continets. Extensive USA travel. You can email me at

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