France is the largest west-European country covering an area of 341,993 sq miles (551,602 sq kms) and with a population of 60.4 million people; it represents 16 per cent of the total population of the European Union (EU). It has become more multicultural with an estimated 14 million French citizens with at least one immigrant parent or grandparent. The French population is composed of 92% French, 3% North African, 2% German, 1% Breton, and the last 2% account for Provencal, Catalan and Basque peoples. 

French is the official language of France. Nineteen per cent of all Europeans speak French. However, about 50 per cent of the French population speaks a second  language. The country has many regional dialects. Breton is spoken by some people in Brittany, Basque and Catalan in the south, Flemish in the north. Alsacian, Provenç al, and Corsican are also spoken in other areas.

France bordered in the north by the English Channel (La Manche), the northeast by Belgium and Luxembourg, the east by Germany, Switzerland and Italy, the south by the Mediterranean, the southwest by Spain and Andorra, and the west by the Atlantic Ocean. It boasts one of the most extensively developed High-Speed train network that offers easy access to all its cities and neighboring countries. 

France is divided into 95 sections. It is home to Europe's highest peak, the Mont Blanc (15,750 ft. or 4800 m) that is situated in the French Alps. France boasts 5500 kms of coastline and 4 sea fronts. It is often called the "hexagon" because of its shape with each different region offering a different landscape and scenery. The landscape ranges from the high cliffs and rocky beaches in the north, to the resorts of the Riviera in the south. France's beautiful countryside is abundant with vineyards and farms. A fascinating country with mysterious prehistoric caves and Celtic monoliths, Roman ruins, medieval fortresses and Renaissance castles, cosmopolitan cities and quaint towns make France a diverse country rich in culture and charm. Just a few jewels as to why France has remained the #1 tourist destination in the world. 
France has a temperate climate. Winters are cold and summers are hot in the mountains and the northeast. The northwest is characterized by high humidity and cool summers. Midway, the Paris basin has a low precipitation with hot summers and cold winters. The south of France boasts a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and very hot summers. 

A victor in World Wars I and II, France suffered great losses in its empire, wealth, and rank as a dominant nation-state. Nevertheless, France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations.

Paris, the fashion capital of the world, is the capital of France and other major cities are the millennium-old cities like Lyon and Marseille, Bordeaux, Lille and Le Havre. France is well-known for its delightful cuisine, its rich history, and its spectacular architecture. The mighty monuments of the proud metropolis tell of the splendor of its bygone days. Churches crowned by cupolas, magnificent churches, majestic gardens, twisting alleys and elegant boulevards bring the history of Paris back to life. Then there is the steel finger of the Eiffel Tower pointing towards the skies. It holds a dominating presence across the Paris skyline, along with La Défense on the western edge of the city.

France is inhabited by a vibrant people that have comfortably merged tradition and art de vivre with progress and innovation. There are just some many reasons to visit France.





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