Regions of France
The region of France offers something different – from beautiful coastlines, towering mountains, beautiful valleys, river gorges and much more. It can almost feel like you are visiting a different country each time you go somewhere new.
Every region offers great tourist attractions and has it’s own unique character, from the Vendée or Côte D’Azur beaches to the Mountains of the Alps or Pyrénées, from the Vineyards of the Loire or Rhône to the history of Dordogne, Provence or Normandy.
France for Families has a wealth of tourist information on each region including the best towns, attractions, vineyards, beaches and kids favourites, as well as practical information on eating out, shopping, weather…. The vast majority of the places listed have been personally visited by either ourselves or friends and relatives. We are continually extending the site content so we welcome feedback of any kind.
The Official Stuff
France is divided into 18 administrative ‘regions’, including 13 metropolitan regions and 5 overseas regions. The 13 metropolitan regions (including 12 mainland regions and Corsica) are each further subdivided into 2 to 13 ‘departments’, while the overseas regions consist of only one department each and so are also referred to as “overseas departments”.
Big changes were afoot at the start of 2016, when the French parliament passed a law reducing the number of metropolitan regions from 22 to 13 with effect from 1 January 2016.
Here is a handy grid courtesy of Wikipedia that highlights the changes to the departments, together with the new region names. Some of the new region names are quite a big change from their former name, so they have an interim name so that people are not too confused about where they live or holiday!
The other 6 regions stay just as they were before:
Pays de la Loire
Here is a handy map of France showing how the regions used to be, courtesy of Wikipedia:
And here is the new map:
Our favourite French Regions
You can have a great holiday anywhere in France – we have tried to describe each region honestly – depending on what you look for you may have a different perspective to ours, however our favourites are:
- Provence (unrivalled beauty, unspoilt, quiet)
- Dordogne (dramatic scenery and charming villages)
- Brittany (lovely coastline, easy access)
- Loire Valley (majestic châteaux)
- Charente Maritime (great beaches + Puy du Fou)
- Pyrénées (fantastic mountain scenery)
- Normandy (D Day Landings, Bayeux Tapestry)
When you are ready don’t forget to check out our Places to Stay in France section, featuring many holiday homes to rent, ranging from 2 and 3-bedroom gites to villas, apartments, b&b’s and castles, from near the beach to the beautiful French countryside.
We’d also like to introduce you to Vintage Travel our newest accommodation partner that offers villas with private pools in the south, south west and north west of France. Vintage Travel was presented with an award from Conde Nast Traveller readers in 2014.
If an activity holiday, Skiing, Walking or Cycling, is more your thing then we have plenty of ideas for you, please see our new Activity Holidays section.