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] ), officially the French Republic (French: République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. France borders Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland, Monaco and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south, as well as the Netherlands, Suriname and Brazil in the Americas. The country's eighteen integral regions (five of which are situated overseas) span a combined area of 643,801 km2 (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.41 million (as of January 2021). 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 time zones of any country, with a total of twelve.

During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls. The area was annexed by Rome in 51 BC, developing a distinct Gallo-Roman culture that laid the foundation of the French language. The Germanic Franks arrived in 476 and formed the Kingdom of Francia, which became the heartland of the Carolingian Empire. The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned the empire, with West Francia becoming the Kingdom of France in 987.

In the High Middle Ages, France was a highly decentralized feudal kingdom in which the authority of the king was barely felt. King Philip Augustus achieved remarkable success in the strengthening of royal power and the expansion of his realm, doubling its size and defeating his rivals. By the end of his reign, France had emerged as the most powerful state in Europe. In the mid-14th century, French monarchs were victorious in the Hundred Years' War with England. The Italian Wars with Spain followed during the Renaissance. French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was started, which by 1900 would become the second largest in the world. The second half of the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars with Catholics expelling Protestant (Huguenots), which severely weakened the country. But France once again emerged as Europe's dominant cultural, political, and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV following the Thirty Years' War. Despite the wealth of the nation the government had inadequate financial and taxation systems that could not fund endless and costly wars. Especially costly were the Seven Years' War and the American War of Independence. The French Revolution in 1789 saw the fall of the absolute monarchy that characterized the Ancien Régime. The French First Republic drafted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The declaration expresses the nation's ideals to this day.

In 1799-1814 France reached its political and military zenith under Napoléon Bonaparte, subjugating much of continental Europe and establishing the First French Empire. The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of European and world history. After the collapse of the empire and a relative decline, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating in the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870 in the midst of the Franco-Prussian War. France was one of the prominent participants of World War I, from which it emerged victorious, and was one of the Allied powers in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis 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 to this day. Algeria and nearly all other French colonies became independent in the 1960s, with most retaining close economic and military connections with France.

France retains its centuries-long status as 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 over 89 million foreign visitors in 2018. 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. It remains a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and an official nuclear-weapon state. France is a founding and leading member 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


A little crowded and not cheap but well worth the wait to find a mooring and explore the town. Took the steep stairs and cliffside walk overlooking the large cruise liners. Spent a fabulous night ashore eating and drinking.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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 Marina

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


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Top facilities

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Open Sail
1 . Open Sail

Open Sail began its activity in 2014 and already many nautical miles traveled with always the same pleasure to sail beautiful sailing boats : Pogo & RM as monohulls, TS as multihulls.

Open Sail
2 . Open Sail

Open Sail began its activity in 2014 and already many nautical miles traveled with always the same pleasure to sail beautiful sailing boats : Pogo & RM as monohulls, TS as multihulls.

Grune Sec Location
3 . Grune Sec Location

Sail around the Chausey Islands and the Anglo-Normandes Islands.

Lepesqueux Location
4 . Lepesqueux Location

Yacht charter from Granville to Chausey, Jerry, Guernesey, Sercq, Herm, Aurigny. Or explore north Bretagne , St Malo, Brehat, south England or Scilly isles. Choose one of 10 yachts, only 3 hours fr...

Corse Catamarans
5 . Corse Catamarans

Actor in Nautism in South Corsica for 25 years, we have at heart to transmit our passion: the sea, the sail ... Based in Ajaccio and Propriano, for 15 years, the most beautiful sites of the Corsica...

Top Marinas, Harbours and Anchorages

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

A large secure marina surrounded by unusual buildings.

Port de Porquerolles Marina
2 . Port de Porquerolles Marina

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.

Port du Grand Large Harbour
3 . Port du Grand Large Harbour

A large marina on the eastern side of the port with 6 large pontoons.

YCMN Marina
4 . YCMN Marina

A large marina on the eastern side of the port further up from the Port du Grand Large.

Basin du Commerce Marina
5 . Basin du Commerce Marina

A marina with five pontoons on the inside of the lock and drawbridge.

Bassin de la Marine Marina
6 . Bassin de la Marine Marina

A small marina with five pontoons tucked inside the depths of the port behind the lock and drawbridge.

Bassin Vauban Marina
7 . Bassin Vauban Marina

The marina is near the Vauban Citadel and has six pontoons which are tidal and dry out at low tide.

Calais Port Marina
8 . Calais Port Marina

Eight pontoons on the starboard approach parallel to the canal behind the lifting bridge.

Calais Bassin du Paradis Harbour
9 . Calais Bassin du Paradis Harbour

45 buoys for contract holders in the historic basin well-known to Calais inhabitants. The tidal basin has just been renovated and is accessible only to boats under 6.50m with low draft.

Calais Waiting Buoys
10 . 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.

Outer Harbour
11 . Outer Harbour

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

Frederic Sauvage Basin Harbour
12 . Frederic Sauvage Basin Harbour

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.

Napoleon Basin Harbour
13 . Napoleon Basin Harbour

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.

Etples Harbour
14 . Etples Harbour

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

Marina Saint Valery sur Somme Marina
15 . Marina Saint Valery sur Somme Marina

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

Crotoy Harbour
16 . 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.

Hourdel Harbour
17 . Hourdel Harbour

A drying narrow estuary with a single long boardwalk.

Treport Marina
18 . Treport Marina

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

Marina Jehan Ango Marina
19 . Marina Jehan Ango Marina

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 Marina
20 . Duquesne basin Marina

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

Paris basin Marina
21 . Paris basin Marina

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

Marina Saint Valery en Caux Marina
22 . Marina Saint Valery en Caux Marina

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
23 . 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 Harbour
24 . Berigny Basin Harbour

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

Le Harve Marina
25 . 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 Harbour
26 . Port Vauban Harbour

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 Harbour
27 . Port de Honfleur - Vieux Bassin Harbour

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.

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

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

Port Deauville Marina
29 . Port Deauville Marina

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 Marina
30 . Port Morny Marina

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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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.

Le Grau-du-Roi
2 . 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.

3 . 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.

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...

5 . Calais

Calais is 49km from nearest town Folkestone in England. Calais is the home of a commercial, a ferry harbour and the Eurotunnel.

6 . Dunkerque

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

7 . 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
8 . 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.

9 . 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.

10 . 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.

11 . 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
12 . Le Crotoy

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

13 . 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
14 . 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
15 . Le Treport

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

16 . 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.

17 . 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.

18 . 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
19 . 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.

20 . 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.

21 . 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...

22 . 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.

23 . 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.

24 . 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.

25 . 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.

26 . Carentan

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

27 . 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 ...

28 . Barfleur

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

29 . 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.

30 . Goury

A small village on the end of the peninsula with a tiny harbour for local boats.

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See the top 100 towns