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France is a large country in Western Europe. The French share borders with the Belgians and Luxembourg in the northeast, the Swiss and Germans to the east, the Italians in the southeast and Spainiards to the southwest . The Atlantic ocean lies to the west, the English Chanel and Britain to the north west. The Mediterranean Island of Corsica is also a region of France.
France has a wide variety of landscapes and climates; from the temperate coastal plains and gently rolling hills of Brittany in the north and west, to mild wet winters and sometimes hot summers along the Mediterranean coast. The deeply patriotic region of Alsace which borders Germany generally experiences hot summers and cool to cold winters, while the mountainous areas of the Pyrenees, the Alps and Auvergne are typically alpine, with lots of snow in the winter.
France is the second-largest country in Europe, and the largest in the European Union, and has been a major economic, political, scientific and cultural influence for many centuries. Ancient France, or Gaul was conquered by Julius Caesar in the first century BC, becoming a part of the Roman Empire. After hundreds of years of wars, various dynasties and monarchies, France gradually unified and evolved through a series of Republican models into the country it is today.
With a population of around 65 million people and a land mass of nearly 5.5 million square kilometres, France is probably the most popular tourism destination in the world with annual visitors of more than 80 million. With such a rich cultural and architectural heritage, along with its natural beauty, it’s no surprise that France is so popular.
While the majority of tourists head for the captall city of Paris or the Cote D’Azar on Mediterranean coast, winter activities such as skiing also draw large numbers.. The city and spiritual centre of Lourdes welcomes millions visitors annually and has the larges number of hotels in France after Paris. Canal boat holidays on the Canal du Midi are also popular. France is its world famous gastronomy; the birthplace of a wide variety of wines, cheeses and food to delight the palate.