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France Geography




Mainland France is located in Western Europe. France is a vast country with a variety of landscapes. The country’s overseas territories in South America, the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean differ vastly in physical features.

Mainland France lies between the Mediterranean Sea to the southeast and the Bay of Biscay and English Channel to the north and west. Paris is the capital city of France.

Covering a total area of 211,209 square miles, France is the largest of the European Union members. From coastal plains in the north and west to mountain ranges of the Alps in the south-east, the Massif Central in the south-central and Pyrenees in the south-west, France encompasses a variety of landscapes.

France has a varied topography that comprises flat plains and low rolling hills to the north and west, while the rest of the country is mountainous with the Pyrenees in the south and the Alps in the east. Mont Blanc, at 4,807 meters, is the highest peak in France. Some of the other major mountain peaks in France are Mount Baigura, Acarai Mountains, Mont Faron, Les Perrons, Mont Ventoux, and Mandallaz Mountain. The lowest point in France is the Rhone River Delta at -2 meters.

Area 260,558 square miles
Highest Point Mont Blanc (4,808 m)
Lowest Point Rhone River delta (-2 m)
Coastline 2,129 miles

The climate of Metropolitan France varies from place to place. Generally, the country has cool winters and mild summers, while the Mediterranean region has mild winters and hot summers.

The major water bodies in France are the English Channel, the Seine River, the Strait of Dover, and the North Sea. The Rhine, the Vologne, the Sauer, the Seille, the Mortagne, the Sormonne, and the Seine are the major rivers of France.

The country is prone to natural disasters such as floods, avalanches, midwinter windstorms, drought, and forest fires.

Till the fifteenth century, France had a rich forest cover and lumbering was a major profession. The dawn of the fifteenth century saw significant deforestation and the country slowly came to be deprived of its forest cover. France was forced to rely on Scandinavia and its North American colonies for lumber. With the depletion of the forest cover, bio-life in the country was affected. Today France is home to a number of animals including bears, martens, wild pigs, foxes, weasels, bats, rodents, rabbits, and birds.


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