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The French Republic (French: République française), commonly known as France, is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is often referred to as l’Hexagone (“The Hexagon”) because of the geometric shape of its territory. It is the largest western European country.

The name “France” comes from the Latin Francia, which means “country of the Franks”. There are various theories as to the origin of the name of the Franks. One is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. Another proposed etymology is that in an ancient Germanic language, Frank means free as opposed to slave.

Portail du Gouvernement
Official Site of the Government
French government tourist office
France guide is the official website of the French government tourist office Discover all information to travel in France
The French national Assembly
“Public” and “official” documents are not subject to copyright (article L.122-5 of the Code of Intellectual Property). They can therefore be freely reproduced.
The official gateway to the French civil service. Its mission is to simplify administrative procedures for citizens, professionals and associations, to give them easy access to legal texts and inform them of their obligations.
The french Senate
As a legislative assembly, the Senate votes the law stemming from government or parliamentary initiative.

Other places and informational links for France:

France has cities of high cultural interest, beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, and rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquility. France also attracts many religious pilgrims on their way to St. James, or to Lourdes, a town in the Hautes-Pyrénées.

France also has some of the world’s largest and renowned museums, including the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and Beaubourg.

Disneyland Paris is France’s and indeed Europe’s most popular theme park. The historical theme park Puy du Fou in Vendée and other popular theme parks are the Futuroscope of Poitiers and the Parc Astérix. No visit would be complete without the French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur) and the Eiffel Tower.


The railway network of France is operated by the SNCF, and high-speed trains include the Thalys, the Eurostar and TGV. The Eurostar, along with the Eurotunnel Shuttle, connects with the United Kingdom through the Channel Tunnel. Rail connections exist to other neighbouring countries in Europe, except Andorra. Intra-urban connections are also well developed with both underground services and tramway services complementing bus services.

There are approximately 1,027,183 kilometres (638,262 mi) of serviceable roadway in France. The Paris region is enveloped with a dense network of roads and highways that connect it with virtually all parts of the country.

Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport located in the vicinity of Paris is the largest and busiest airport in the country.

There are ten major ports in France, the largest is in Marseille, which also is the largest bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Many waterways traverse France including the Canal du Midi which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean through the Garonne river.

If you are in need of motel accommodations, airline tickets or other travel needs, please visit out Affiliates in the Travel Center.

El Camino de Santiago de Compostela Pilgrimage Spain
Guide to the Camino de Santiago routes in Spain and France, get all the information you need before heading off

Directions by City or Zip (Postcode)

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