France

Country









France, in Western Europe, encompasses medieval and port cities, tranquil villages, mountains and Mediterranean beaches. The country is also renowned for its sophisticated cuisine and its wines and beautiful mediterranean coastline.




"France (French: [fʁɑ̃s] (listen)), officially the French Republic (French: République française, pronounced [ʁepyblik fʁɑ̃sɛːz] (listen)), is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions (five of which are situated overseas) span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.08 million (as of March 2020). France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice. France, including its overseas territories, has the most number of time zones of any country, with a total of 12.

During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia. The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into East Francia, Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia, which became the Kingdom of France in 987, emerged as a major european power in the Middle Ages under King Philip Augustus. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world. The 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots). France became Europe's dominant cultural, political, and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, establishing one of modern history's earliest republics and drafting the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day.

In the 19th century, Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire. His subsequent Napoleonic Wars (1803–15) shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, and was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and later dissolved in the course of the Algerian War. The Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s, with most retaining close economic and military connections with France.

France has long been a global centre of art, science, and philosophy. It hosts the world's fifth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually, but if it counted the nights spent by non-residents tourist, France become the sixth country in world with 138 millions of nights, behind United States, China, Spain, Italy and United Kingdom. France is a developed country with the world's seventh-largest economy by nominal GDP, and the tenth-largest by PPP. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, and human development. France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, and a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and La Francophonie." Wikipedia






Latest Reviews

Bonifacio

We pulled into the breathtaking cliff-top setting and relaxed in a stunning harbour then went off to explore the narrow streets at the historical heart of the town.

L'Ile-Rousse

We arrived in the morning on a glorious sunny day and later took a tour to Calvi where our guide led us through the alleyways and cobbled streets before arriving at the Citadel. We then went on to see the Caserne Sampiero. We enjoyed our visit and were very impressed with Rousse.

Port-Joinville

We anchored in the bay which was a bit rolly and took the dingy over to the town which was busy with activity but the big supermarket was closed.

Bonifacio

Like stepping back in time to one of the most protected harbours in Europe. A truly stunning place.

Bonifacio

We stopped here before heading south to Sardinia and were stunned at how pretty the town is but also how steep it is up to the castle and old town, which is amazing.

Ajaccio

We headed here to shelter from a forecast front coming in. We found Ajaccio to be a pretty town with lots of history.

Port de la Grande Motte

A fantastic marina in a great location with good supermarkets and facilities.





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Top Marinas, Harbours and Anchorages

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Port de la Grande Motte
1 . Port de la Grande Motte

A large secure marina surrounded by unusual buildings.

Calais Waiting Buoys
2 . Calais Waiting Buoys

Fifteen waiting buoys are available to yachts between two openings of the bridge. Use of these buoys is limited to two tides.

Pornic Marina
3 . Pornic Marina

A large busy marina with 10 pontoons on the coast within a harbour enclosure. Supermarket north of marina 5 minute walk, and two restaurants close by. Town centre is 20 minute walk.

Outer Harbour
4 . Outer Harbour

4 pontoons on the starboard approach and 2 boardwalks on the port side.

Quay Leray Harbour
5 . Quay Leray Harbour

The old harbour is in the centre of town with quayside moorings. No facilities. Restaurants mostly on the northern side of the harbour.

Frederic Sauvage Basin
6 . Frederic Sauvage Basin

Has 202 berths for motor boats. To access this basin, you have to pass through a tidal gate 3 hours before or after high tide.

Gourmalon Buoys
7 . Gourmalon Buoys

A large field of buoys on the south-eastern bank of the river mouth, with a jetty and ramp to the southern end. No nearby restaurants or facilities.

Napoleon Basin
8 . Napoleon Basin

Contains 280 berths for local and long term sailing yachts and motor boats. Accessed through the tidal lock which is open close to high water.

Herbaudiere Marina
9 . Herbaudiere Marina

A large marina inside the harbour on the north-western tip of the Noirmoutier island. The pontoons on the sea-side of the harbour are for fishing vessels. Many restaurants close by and the supermar...

Etples Marina
10 . Etples Marina

A marina on the tidal river Canche before the bridge with limited visitor berths. Caution to the approach and the tidal current.

Noirmoutier harbour
11 . Noirmoutier harbour

A drying harbour on the Moulin tidal river with vessel rafted alongside the quay. Restaurants and supermarket north of river.

Marina Saint Valery sur Somme
12 . Marina Saint Valery sur Somme

A marina on the tidal river Somme leading to the Saint Valery canal.

Fromentine Jetty
13 . Fromentine Jetty

Two small jetties in strong tidal current at the southern end of Noirmoutier island approached under bridge from west.

Crotoy harbour
14 . Crotoy harbour

A set of two long drying boardwalks at the entrance of the canal de la Maye and potential turbulent water due to the sluice from the adjacent reservoir.

Joinville Marina
15 . Joinville Marina

Nine busy long pontoons inside the eastern side of the harbour also home to a ferry terminal and fishing port. Supermarket 10 minute walk south-west. Restaurants mostly on the western side of fishi...

Hourdel Harbour
16 . Hourdel Harbour

A drying narrow estuary with a single long boardwalk.

Treport Marina
17 . Treport Marina

A basin behind a lock with fishing boats on port and five pontoons on starboard.

Marina Jehan Ango
18 . Marina Jehan Ango

The marina is free of any tidal constraint. It offers all the services of a major port of call, as well as multiple advantages for the travelling sailor. Whether your Port of call for an ideal stop...

Duquesne basin
19 . Duquesne basin

50 wet dock berths at the Duquesne basin behind a lifting bridge and lock.

Paris basin
20 . Paris basin

70 wet dock berths at end of the large Paris basin behind a lock.

Marina Saint Valery en Caux
21 . Marina Saint Valery en Caux

Well sheltered from the prevailing winds by the sides of the valley, the port nestles in the heart of the city. Composed of two basins including the pleasure one which always remains in water, it h...

Fecamp outer marina
22 . Fecamp outer marina

Stopover in a city of Art and History in the heart of Normandy, the marina of Fécamp is accessible at any time. The site has more than 800 berths, including 75 for visitors, 230 berths, 510 in the...

Berigny Basin
23 . Berigny Basin

A large basin behind a lock with three sets of pontoons at the far end.

Le Harve Marina
24 . Le Harve Marina

Over a thousand berths in a large marina near the entrance to the harbour on the port-side approach behind the breakwater. Next to the beach which leads north to a few restaurants and bars.

Port Vauban
25 . Port Vauban

Long term mooring inside the commercial harbour behind a bridge and lock that opens only twice a day. Next to Novotel, Ibis, and Nomad hotels.

Port de Honfleur - Vieux Bassin
26 . Port de Honfleur - Vieux Bassin

The old basin holds 120 berths and is found on the starboard approach behind the lock gates, Lieutenance castle, and a lifting bridge. Many restaurants are found around the basin.

Port de Porquerolles
27 . Port de Porquerolles

A spectacular marina that is protected by a large breakwater but can be exposed to the mistral. The village offers several restaurants and some accommodation.

Honfleur - Bassin de l'Est
28 . Honfleur - Bassin de l'Est

A large basin behind a lock and lifting bridge welcoming larger craft. The majority of visiting vessels moor in the Vieux Basin.

Port Deauville
29 . Port Deauville

A large water-side hotel complex with stern-too mooring behind a lock with, in addition, if you follow the breakwater round behind the hotel, four long pontoons forming an inner marina.

Port Morny
30 . Port Morny

An initial basin behind a lock that opens 3 hours either side of high-water. This port offers no visitor mooring but on the far side a second basin offers visitor berths.

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See the top 100 marinas and harbours






Top Towns

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Bonifacio
1 . Bonifacio
(Corsica Island )

A stunning town on the southern coast of Corsica with a long natural channel to the north creating a good natural harbour for centuries.

L'Ile-Rousse
2 . L'Ile-Rousse
(Corsica Island )

An historic and pretty town on the northern coast of Corsica home to a busy beach a small busy harbour and a busy ferry terminal to Toulon, Marseille, Nice and Vado Ligure.

Le Grau-du-Roi
3 . Le Grau-du-Roi

A pretty town on the southern coast of France in a east facing bay. Home to a canal marked by a lighthouse and leading to nearby Aigues-Mortes.

Ajaccio
4 . Ajaccio
(Corsica Island )

An historic French city on the western coast of Corsica tucked inside a bay with an old port and marina near the headland. Home to cruise liners and a ferries to Toulon, Marseille, Port Torres, and...

Montpellier
5 . Montpellier

A large stylish city 10km from the south coast of France with medieval streets.

Porquerolles
6 . Porquerolles
(Porquerolles Island )

A village in the middle of the northern side of the island and home to a large marina and a ferry to Toulon and Tour Fondue.

Dunkerque
7 . Dunkerque

The most northern of the cities in France close to the Belge border and home to the third largest French harbour.

Gravelines
8 . Gravelines

A short 15 km from Dunkirk down the river Aa (Ar-Ar) and only to be approach 2 hours either side of high water due to the channel drying out in low tide.

Le Gris Nez
9 . Le Gris Nez

(Grey Nose) is a cape west of Calais and north of Boulogne in northern France. A great location to watch passing ships and tankers and on a clear day the white cliffs of Dover in England.

Boulogne-sur-Mer
10 . Boulogne-sur-Mer

A touristic arrea in northern France a short distance south of Calais and north of Normandy. The city os home to the largest fishing port in France.

Etaples
11 . Etaples

Etaples lyes some short distance down the river Canche behind a ridge of dunes. Today home to a fishing port and a marina. The outer area drys and should be avoided in poor weather.

Berck-Plage
12 . Berck-Plage

Berck is a short distance south of Etaples and has a long sandy beach and lyes on the mouth of the river Authie which winds it's way around large sand banks.

Le Crotoy
13 . Le Crotoy

A small historic town with a small double pontoon tucked away from the drying bay opposite Saint-Valery-sur-Somme.

Saint-Valery-sur-Somme
14 . Saint-Valery-sur-Somme

A pretty town towards the south of a large sandy the Somme river mouth which dries and can only be approached in high tides. The marina is tucked south of the town along the quay.

Le Hourdel
15 . Le Hourdel

A small group of houses on the tip of the sand dunes home to a very small channel for shallow draft local boats.

Le Treport
16 . Le Treport

A pretty cliff side town home to a fishing port and a sea-side resort.

Dieppe
17 . Dieppe

The port of Dieppe sits on the pebble beach mouth of the river Arques and is famous for scallops. It provides a ferry service to Newhaven in England.

Saint-Valery-en-Caux
18 . Saint-Valery-en-Caux

A short distance west of Dieppe this pretty town is home to a moderate marina, a small fishing port, and a monastery.

Fecamp
19 . Fecamp

An historic town a short hop north of Harve has medieval stories and a beach to be explored. The town is home to a commercial port and a set of finger pontoons as well as a basin behind a gate open...

Le Havre
20 . Le Havre

Le Harve is a large city and port on the river Seine founded in 1517. It is now home to a commercial port, ferry terminal, a marina and a series of basins further inland.

Deauville
21 . Deauville

A spectacular side side resort with sandy beaches each side of the river mouth and a harbour, marina, casino, race course and great hotels.

Dives-sur-Mer
22 . Dives-sur-Mer

The historic town built around the mouth of the river Dives is home to a gated marina and a series of yachts moored in the channel. The town was the launchpad for William the Conqueror and has a ma...

Ouistreham
23 . Ouistreham

A small fishing port with a ferry and marina. Entrance to the Caen canal to the Med is behind the locks that open five times during high water.

Courseulles-sur-Mer
24 . Courseulles-sur-Mer

A popular tourist destination for the normandy beach landings, and for Parisians during summer. Home to two gated basins along the river Seulles.

Port-en-Bessin-Huppain
25 . Port-en-Bessin-Huppain

The small town is access via a breakwater with mooring buoys to the left approach, further inland two gated locks can be found.

Grandcamp-Maisy
26 . Grandcamp-Maisy

A small fishing town that was home to the German heavy artillery. The approach is either side of high-water with a small marina behind a gated lock.

Carentan
27 . Carentan

A small inland town at the foot of a canal home to a dozen pontoons.

Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue
28 . Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue

The small historical whaling town has a finger of land extending south with a mound on which a fort was built. To the north there is a marina enclosed within a breakwater opposite a tiny island of ...

Barfleur
29 . Barfleur

An historical port for a journey to England where the Normans departed for the battle of Hastings.

Cherbourg-Octeville
30 . Cherbourg-Octeville

A large city and military port with ferries to Ireland and England. A stopping point for transatlantic liners. Home to fishing and yacht and a shipbuilding yard.

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See the top 100 towns