France: Geography                                                   

Maps

Can you find France and its capital on this map of Europe?

Can you find your new city?

What body of water is it closest to?

Can you find the capital of France?

What countries neighbor France?

What do you think the climate will be like in France? 

Area Comparative

Slightly less than the size of Texas, USA

Location

France is a country in Western Europe. It also has numerous overseas territories. Below, is the geographic location of each:

  • Metropolitan France: Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain
  • French Guiana: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Suriname
  • Guadeloupe: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Puerto Rico
  • Martinique: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Reunion: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar

Politically, France is divided into:         

  • 22 metropolitan regions including the "territorial collectivity" of Corse (Corsica)
  • The metropolitan regions are subdivided into 96 metropolitan departments.
  • 4 overseas regions (including French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Reunion)
  • 4 overseas departments (which are the same as the overseas regions).

Can you find your department on the map below?

Terrain

  • Metropolitan France: mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east
  • French Guiana: low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountains
  • Guadeloupe: Basse-Terre is volcanic in origin with interior mountains; Grande-Terre is low limestone formation; most of the seven other islands are volcanic in origin
  • Martinique: mountainous with indented coastline; dormant volcano
  • Reunion: mostly rugged and mountainous; fertile lowlands along coast