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Alsace

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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Dordogne

Dordogne River at Beynac The department, which is the third largest in France, is to be found in the Aquitaine region in the south west of the country between the valley of the Loire and the Pyrenees.It is named after the Dordogne River which flows through the department from east to west. Dordogne consists of four of the original areas known as Perigord after the old county name – Le Perigord. The department is divided into four geographical parts.The Perigord Vert (green) is aptly named as it is an area of...

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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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Centre

Centre, France - Home of the Chateau The rather blandly named region of Centre is not geographically- speaking strictly in the centre of France but is situated just a little to the north west of the middle of the country and to the south west of Paris. This proximity to the capital has helped to develop the prosperity of certainly the northern part of this delightful region.Its main geographical feature is the Loire, France’s longest river, which runs through the region from east to west on its way from the Massif Central to...

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Rhone-Alps

Rhone-Alps - The Ardeche Gorge Rhone -Alps is one of the largest and most prosperous regions of France. Its name derives from its two most striking geographical features: the French Alps mountain range and the river Rhone which flows through the region on its way from Geneva to the Mediterranean.This attractive region is situated on the borders with Switzerland and Italy in the south east of the country. To the west are part of the Massif Central and the gorges of the Ardeche. The climate is one of long warm summers with...

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Nord-Pas-De-Calais

The Coast of Nord-Pas-de-Calais Once part of the southern Netherlands, this region of north-east France is situated on the Belgium border to the east and has the English Channel along its northern coast. Being Flemish in origin, you will find many Dutch place names and maybe hear Flemish spoken to this day.With its strategic position on the border, Nord-Pas-De-Calais has frequently been fought over, not least in the two World Wars.Sometimes known as simply Nord, the region was once the two areas of Nord and Pas de...

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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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Languedoc-Roussillon

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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Limousin

Limousin The Limousin, famous as the birthplace of the painter Renoir, is situated in south-west central France with much of its area lying within the Massif Central. The least populated region of mainland France, it is a largely upland region most of which is over 350 metres above sea level.The predominately rural landscape is completely unspoilt and dotted with pretty villages and hamlets, linked by almost deserted roads.Three major rivers run through the region: the Vienne, Charente and...

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