France has been the world’s leading tourist destination for many years. The yearly number of visitors generally grows. The French nation has developed an important economy around tourism, good for 8% of the GDP.
Honoured and ambitious as host, desiring to attain 100 million foreign tourists a year, France is engaged to attract, welcome and occupy its visitors. The attractiveness of the country is found in the great diversity of its offer, in domains like culture, national heritage, the art of living, artistic creation and creativeness, and of course its amazing natural environmental variety.
Besides the many places to visit, the country arranges a good number of events: cultural, artistic, gastronomical, sportive and traditional. Mostly all regions and communes are involved in organizing activities for tourists. And creativeness is a French quality. New ideas and initiatives for promotion are constantly launched, by government, businesses and associations, who desire to conserve the French patrimony.
If you are a little curious and open, with some interest in culture, art or history, you could easily spend a lifetime on discovering French assets. You wouldn’t ever have the impression to repeat your occupation. Each area has its own flavours, colours, natural spaces, specialities and traditions. Besides Paris, a galaxy of entertainment on its own, the rest of the country has also abundant possibilities for anyone to enjoy holidays.
To give you an idea:
The French coastline has over 5400 km of sand shores,
1300 km of swamps and mudflats
and more than 2200 km of rocky coasts and cliffs.
Stretching from the Belgian to the Italian border, the coast includes the North Sea, the Channel, the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean sea.
Coast towns, close to 900 in number in Metropolitan France, are well prepared for tourism and usually offer water pleasure facilities, surveyed beaches, terraces, restaurants, and shopping boulevards.
5 Main Mountains Ranges and 2 plateaus cover over 30 % of the country.
You’ll find astonishing countrysides, natural parks, resourcing environments, summer and winter sports facilities, numerous retreat-, health- or spa resorts. Locals live with their traditions, events and regional specialities.
Thousands of small characteristic villages,
often in exceptional or unique settings
are ready to welcome visitors,
Whether be in summer,
or in winter.
France has also 11 National Natural Parks, representing 8% of the country surface;
56 Regional Natural Parks;
representing 16 % of the country surface;
10 Marine Reservoirs;
Thousands of lakes, big and small,
and 500+ large rivers and an innumerable amount of smaller currents.
In France you’ll also find:
- 44 sites listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites;
- 45 000+ registered palaces, castles, domains and chateaus;
- 43 000+ classified monuments;
- 100+ government-owned cathedrals and basilicas;
- 100+ fortresses and fortified cities,
- 200+ registered gardens, labelled by the ministry of culture as “remarkable garden”;
- 1200+ museums, labelled by the ministry as “Musée de France”;
- 3200+ different wines, for 1300+ different wine denominations;
- 3400+ starred gastronomic restaurants;