It isn't easy to know where to start when you are planning to visit France! We suggest you first select a region, then a department within that region, then an area within that department when deciding where to visit...to get you started, below we mention the main reasons each region attracts visitors
Our travel guides review each region of France, then each regional travel guide has more detailed department travel guides, each in turn with reviews and guides for many of the most popular places to visit throughout France. Start exploring here:
Northern France with Brittany, Normandy & Paris
The north-west is a very popular region of France with visitors, including the coastline and islands of Brittany, the popular family beaches of the Western Loire (Pays-de-la-Loire region) and the unspoiled countryside, gardens and traditional architecture of Normandy
The north-east region includes the popular villages and vineyards and villages of Alsace, while the other regions of northern France include Lorraine, Picardy and Nord-Pas-de-Calais and the famous champagne producing region of Champagne-Ardenne.
See the Paris travel guide if you are planning a visit to the most famous city in the world!
Central France with the Loire Valley & Burgundy
The Burgundy region is best known for its scenery, historic towns and vineyards, while further west the Loire Valley (the Centre region) contains numerous world famous chateaux.
To the east of here are the attractive hills and countryside of the Franche Comte region, while the western coast and Poitou-Charentes includes highlights such as historic La Rochelle and the beaches of the Ile-de-Ré.
In the heart of France, the Limousin region includes some of the least visited but most attractive scenery in the country and you can enjoy the rugged beauty and unspoiled countryside of the Auvergne region, also part of the extensive Massif Central area.
Southern France with Provence and the Dordogne
The south-east attracts more visitors than any other region of France because of the many scenic highlights and extensive Mediterranean coast in Provence and along the Cote d'Azur (French Riviera). The very scenic Rhone Alpes region is to the north of here and Corsica, often referred to as the 'Island of Beauty', is off the coast to the south.
Travelling west from here it is the coast and scenery of Languedoc-Roussillon that attracts many visitors, while the Midi-Pyrenees extends northwards from the Pyrenees mountains along the Spanish border to the villages and gorges around Cahors and Figeac.
In south-west France the Aquitaine region is famous for the Atlantic beaches, 19th century resorts such as Biarritz and the countryside and villages of the Dordogne department.