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Alsace Alsace, sometimes referred to as ‘the crossroads of Europe, is the smallest region of mainland France. It is situated on the eastern fringes of the country along the borders with Switzerland and Germany. Geographically it is located between the Upper Rhine in the East and the Vosges mountain range to the West. This area is a land of forests and lakes and the region as a whole is famous for its many picturesque villages, churches and castles.As part of Alsace-Lorraine, during the 19th and...

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Corse (Corsica)

Corse / Corsica Corse, famous as the birth-place of Napoleon, is one of the 27 regions of France although it is actually closer to Italy than the French mainland. The island is situated in the Mediterranean to the north of Sardinia, from which it is separated by the Strait of Bonifacio. It has been under French control since the conquest in 1769.The region has strong nationalistic tendencies and over the years there have been several demands for greater autonomy. The Corsican language, which is still...

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Bourgogne (Burgundy)

Burgundy Situated in the Easterly part of France, Burgundy took its name from a Germanic people who moved here in the early Middle Ages. It comprises most of the former Duchy of Burgundy whose powerful dukes controlled a large area of this part France.Burgundy’s climate and terrain make it one of the main wine producers in France. Not such a large scale producer as the Bordeaux area it is nevertheless famous for some of the best quality and well-known wines in the world with prices to match. Known...

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Pont du Gard in Languedoc-Roussillon The Languedoc –Roussillon region extends from the Rhone Valley in the east to the borders with Andorra and Spain in the west, the latter location providing access to activities such as skiing and walking in the Pyrenees.It is interesting to note that the two parts of the region differ quite widely in their cultural pasts. Up until the early part of the 20th century, the main spoken language in Languedoc was the French dialect Occitan whereas even up to the present day Catalan is widely...

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Lorraine Lorraine is situated in the north east of the country. It shares its borders with three other countries: Germany, Belgium and Luxemburg. It is the only region in France to do so and is sometimes referred to as the ‘Pays de Trois Frontieres’. It consists of four departments which are Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle and Vosges.At various times in its history the region has been under German rule but has remained French since 1918. Nevertheless, its proximity to these other countries...

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Rocamadour Midi-Pyrenees is the largest by area of all the recently formed French regions and is composed of a number of former French provinces. Bordered on the south by the Pyrenees mountain range it is centred on the capital Toulouse, a prosperous metropolitan area.In terms of population, the Toulouse area is by far the most densely populated whereas most of the region is sparsely populated consisting of hilly landscapes and quiet roads. Although a variety of languages was once spoken here,...

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Picardie (Picardy)

Picardie The region of Picardie is situated in the north east of France just to the south-west of Nord- Pas- de -Calais. The region has a strong cultural identity with its name deriving from the Picard language which is still spoken by some inhabitants.During its long history, Picardie has frequently found itself at the centre of disputes and many famous battles have been fought on its territory: Crecy in 1346; the Somme during WW1.Although located in close proximity to the English Channel,...

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Franche-Comte Franche-Comte, formerly the ‘Free County’ of Burgundy, lies on the border of Switzerland in the east and between the Vosges and Jura mountain ranges to the north and south. It consists of the four departments of Doubs, Jura, Haute-Saone and Territoire de Belfort.Birthplace of the chef Raymond Blanc, the culture of Franche-Comte is strongly influenced by its Swiss neighbours. It has a landscape of rolling fertile land and pine forests. Consequently, the local economy is based largely on...

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Pays de la Loire

Pays de la Loire Located in the middle of the west of France, Pays de la Loire enjoys a lovely year round climate. It has hot summers and pleasantly mild temperatures in other seasons owing to the proximity of the Atlantic. The Vendee department is the hottest and driest area in the region.The regional capital is the city of Nantes where you will find a wealth of cultural and historical features such as the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne. Castles can also be found in some of the region’s other towns...

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Poitou – Charentes

Poitiers - Capital of Poitou-Charentes Situated in western France, the region is comprised of the departments of Deux Sevres and Vienne, centred on the ancient city of Poitiers in the north and the lower lying Charente and Charente Maritime in the south of the region.Geographically, the region is situated on part of France’s Atlantic coastal plane with a more hilly area further inland. The whole region enjoys one of the mildest climates in France and the coastal plane is the sunniest after the Mediterranean.Mostly rural in...

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