The regions of France

The main regions and provinces of France

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The région parisienne is dominated by the city of Paris, but this valley of the Seine River is also home to the royal palaces in Versailles and Fontainebleau

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West of Paris is a lovely farming valley famous for its glorious Renaissance châteaux and delectable white wines

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The southern reaches of the Loire River, from the château around Angers to Nantes and the Atlantic Coast south of Brittany



How this site defines "regions"

Note that the "Regions" breakdown on this site doesn't follow France's official "administrative regions"—13 in France itself plus European islands, the other 5 overseas former colonies—which were instituted in 2016, largely by lumping together most of the 27 older regions.

This was largely a cost-saving manoveur, and most of these new regional designations don't have much cultural relevance—they're just too big and, frequently, dully named. For example, the "Grand Est" (Big East) is descriptive enough, but it just doesn't get you as excited as the old names of its constituent parts: Champagne, Alsace, Lorraine, the Ardennes.

So, the "Regions" on this site are a combination of those smaller, older regions; some of the newly designated official regions that do make sense (like putting Upper Normandy and Lower Normandy together as just "Normandy"); plus a handful other historical, cultural, and geographic zones.

Unlike most guides, we are actually perfectly happy to place a town or tourist area that happens to fall near a regional border into both the regions that lie on either side of that border—since you might reasonably expect to find it in either. That's why Mont-Saint-Michel is in both Normandy (where it technically is located), and Brittany (since it's just 3.5 miles from the border).