France

Country

4.3








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 transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Its metropolitan area extends from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea; overseas territories include French Guiana in South America, Saint Pierre and Miquelon in the North Atlantic, the French West Indies, and many islands in Oceania and the Indian Ocean. Due to its several coastal territories, France has the largest exclusive economic zone in the world. France borders Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Andorra, and Spain in Europe, as well as the Netherlands, Suriname, and Brazil in the Americas via its overseas territories in French Guiana and Saint Martin. Its eighteen integral regions (five of which are overseas) span a combined area of 643,801 km2 (248,573 sq mi) and over 67 million people (as of May 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 Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux, and Nice.

Inhabited since the Palaeolithic era, the territory of Metropolitan France was settled by Celtic tribes known as Gauls during the Iron Age. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, leading to a distinct Gallo-Roman culture that laid the foundation of the French language. The Germanic Franks 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 powerful but highly decentralised feudal kingdom. Philip II successfully strengthened royal power and defeated his rivals to double the size of the crown lands; by the end of his reign, France had emerged as the most powerful state in Europe. From the mid-14th to the mid-15th century, France was plunged into a series of dynastic conflicts involving England, collectively known as the Hundred Years' War, and a distinct French identity emerged as a result. The French Renaissance saw art and culture flourish, conflict with the House of Habsburg, and the establishment of a global colonial empire, which by the 20th century would become the second-largest in the world. The second half of the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Catholics and Huguenots that severely weakened the country. France again emerged as Europe's dominant power in the 17th century under Louis XIV following the Thirty Years' War. Inadequate economic policies, inequitable taxes and frequent wars (notably a defeat in the Seven Years' War and costly involvement in the American War of Independence), left the kingdom in a precarious economic situation by the end of the 18th century. This precipitated the French Revolution of 1789, which overthrew the Ancien Régime and produced the Declaration of the Rights of Man, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day.

France reached its political and military zenith in the early 19th century under Napoleon 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. The collapse of the empire initiated a period of relative decline, in which France endured a tumultuous succession of governments until the founding of the French Third Republic during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. Subsequent decades saw a period of optimism, cultural and scientific flourishing, as well as economic prosperity known as the Belle Époque. France was one of the major participants of World War I, from which it emerged victorious at great human and economic cost. It was among the Allied powers of World War II, but was soon occupied by the Axis in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, the short-lived Fourth Republic was established and later dissolved in the course of the Algerian War. The current Fifth Republic was formed in 1958 by Charles de Gaulle. Algeria and most French colonies became independent in the 1960s, with the majority retaining close economic and military ties with France.

France retains its centuries-long status as a global centre of art, science and philosophy. It hosts the fifth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the world's 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 ninth-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, as well as a key member of the Group of Seven, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and La Francophonie." Wikipedia






Latest Reviews

Bonifacio
4.5

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.

Bonifacio
4.9

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
4.9

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
4.2

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
4.2

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

Bonifacio
4.2

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
4.4

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
5.0

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
0.0

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
0.0

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
0.0

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

Lepesqueux Location
4 . Lepesqueux Location
0.0

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
0.0

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
3.7

A large secure marina surrounded by unusual buildings.

Calais Waiting Buoys
2 . Calais Waiting Buoys
0.0

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
0.0

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.

Mention-Garavan Marina
4 . Mention-Garavan Marina
0.0

Outer Harbour
5 . Outer Harbour
0.0

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

Quay Leray Harbour
6 . Quay Leray Harbour
0.0

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

Calvi Marina
7 . Calvi Marina
0.0

Frederic Sauvage Basin Harbour
8 . Frederic Sauvage Basin Harbour
0.0

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
9 . Gourmalon Buoys
0.0

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 Harbour
10 . Napoleon Basin Harbour
0.0

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
11 . Herbaudiere Marina
0.0

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...

Galeria Harbour
12 . Galeria Harbour
0.0

Etples Harbour
13 . Etples Harbour
0.0

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

Noirmoutier Harbour
14 . Noirmoutier Harbour
0.0

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

Porto Harbour
15 . Porto Harbour
0.0

Marina Saint Valery sur Somme Marina
16 . Marina Saint Valery sur Somme Marina
0.0

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

Cargese Marina
17 . Cargese Marina
0.0

Crotoy Harbour
18 . Crotoy Harbour
0.0

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
19 . Joinville Marina
0.0

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...

Ajaccio Old Port Marina
20 . Ajaccio Old Port Marina
0.0

Hourdel Harbour
21 . Hourdel Harbour
0.0

A drying narrow estuary with a single long boardwalk.

Ajaccio Charles Ornano Marina
22 . Ajaccio Charles Ornano Marina
0.0

Treport Marina
23 . Treport Marina
0.0

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

Portu Valincu Marina
24 . Portu Valincu Marina
0.0

Marina Jehan Ango Marina
25 . Marina Jehan Ango Marina
0.0

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...

Figari Bay Marina
26 . Figari Bay Marina
0.0

Duquesne basin Marina
27 . Duquesne basin Marina
0.0

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

Bonifacio Marina
28 . Bonifacio Marina
0.0

Paris basin Marina
29 . Paris basin Marina
0.0

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

Port de Cavallo Marina
30 . Port de Cavallo Marina
0.0

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See the top 100 marinas and harbours






Top Towns

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Bonifacio
1 . Bonifacio
(Corsica Island )
4.1

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 )
3.7

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
3.7

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 )
3.4

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...

Saint-Malo
5 . Saint-Malo
2.8

An historic French port and walled city famous for piracy and wealth from overseas adventures. Now a ferry to England and Channel Islands. Home to a gated basin, a large marina, and a beach with se...

Beaulieu-sur-Mer
6 . Beaulieu-sur-Mer
2.8

A small pretty hillside town on the south-eastern coast of France between Nice and Monaco.

Montpellier
7 . Montpellier
0.0

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

Porquerolles
8 . Porquerolles
(Porquerolles Island )
0.0

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
9 . Dunkerque
0.0

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

Gravelines
10 . Gravelines
0.0

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
11 . Le Gris Nez
0.0

(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
12 . Boulogne-sur-Mer
0.0

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
13 . Etaples
0.0

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
14 . Berck-Plage
0.0

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
15 . Le Crotoy
0.0

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

Saint-Valery-sur-Somme
16 . Saint-Valery-sur-Somme
0.0

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
17 . Le Hourdel
0.0

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
18 . Le Treport
0.0

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

Dieppe
19 . Dieppe
0.0

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
20 . Saint-Valery-en-Caux
0.0

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

Fecamp
21 . Fecamp
0.0

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
22 . Le Havre
0.0

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
23 . Deauville
0.0

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
24 . Dives-sur-Mer
0.0

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
25 . Ouistreham
0.0

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
26 . Courseulles-sur-Mer
0.0

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
27 . Port-en-Bessin-Huppain
0.0

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
28 . Grandcamp-Maisy
0.0

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
29 . Carentan
0.0

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

Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue
30 . Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue
0.0

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 ...

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See the top 100 towns