France (UK: /frns/; US: i/fræns/; French: [f?s] ( listen)), officially the French Republic (French: République française [?epyblik f?s?z]), is a unitary sovereign state comprising territory in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories.[note 12] Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean; due to its shape, it is often referred to in French as l’Hexagone ("The Hexagon"). France is one of only three countries (with Morocco and Spain) to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines.
France has a lot to offer for everyone. We are talking about the country that has Paris as its capital, the Eiffel tower (visited by 6.2 million people every year), and the European version of Disneyland, visited by 15,405,000 every year, and that's just for starters. France also has the Louvre Museum, Palace of Versailles, Arc de Triomphe, and many more popular tourist sites. It is easy to see why France is the most widely visited country worldwide. France shares borders with Spain, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, and Andorra. Since prehistoric times, France has been the center of travel, invasions, and trade, and today, France is a good starting point for tourists eager to travel through Europe. Paris isn't France's only major city, and it is definitely not the only city worth visiting. France possesses many beaches, ski resorts, and regions blessed with natural beauty such as rolling hills, and sandy beaches, and, of course, the Alps, a great place for skiing during the winter and hiking during the summer. There are also small towns near the Alps Region that are worth visiting, like Annecy and Grenoble.
Two regions of France worth visiting are Normandy and Brittany, both of which have rugged coasts. Normany possesses market towns and farmlands. Just like the rest of France, Normandy is laden ith Gastronomic delighs, in this case, fine cheeses and Calvados. Normandy has 360 miles of coastline, including the landing beaches of World War II.
The name France comes from the Latin Francia, meaning "Land (or country) of the Franks". There are many theories about the origin of the name Franks. Some people believe the name Frank originates from ancient Germanic and means free instead of slave. It is also possible that the name comes from the word frankon which translates to javelin or lance, since the throwing axe of the Franks was called francisca. Frankreich, as it is called in Germany, or Frankrige, as it is called in Sweden, both mean Realm of the Franks. The word Frank has been loosely used from the fall of Rome to the Middle Ages. However, after Hugh Capet's coronation as King of the Franks, people began to refer to the region now known as France as the Kingdom of Francia. As for the French language, it has its roots in the vernacular language spoken by the Romans in Gaul. However French also includes Celtic and Germanic words. Today, French is one of the six languages spoken at the United Nations, and it is also widely spoken worldwide.
Paris is the capital city. Other major cities are Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Toulouse and Strasbourg.
Much of France's terrain is flat with hills in the north and west. Mountainous regions include the Pyrenees in the south and the Alps in the east. The Loire is France's longest river. Other major rivers are the Dordogne, Garonne, Marne, Rhine, Rhone, Seine, and Somme.
France's climate is varied. Its winters are quite cool with mild summers. Winter and summer are much warmer along the Mediterranean.
Environment The landscape of France is varied. Forests and woodland areas cover over a quarter of the country. France also has over twenty sites on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
Mount Perdu, in the Pyrenees, is a joint French and Spanish World Heritage site. The designated site consists of scenic landscape with meadows, lakes, caves and forests on mountain slopes.
La Federation des Parcs Naturels Regionaux de France oversees France's nature reserves which are home to many endangered plants and birds. Animals include small creatures such as foxes and deer; the chamois lives in alpine areas and some wild boar can still be found in the more remote forested areas.