France is steeped in history, art, culture and beauty. Explore the regions of France with our three-part guide. Check out the French region index to find the area you're looking for!
1 - Alsace
In the northeast of France you'll find Alsace, a region covered in flowers, gabled roofs and panoramic views. To the west are the Vosges mountains and to the east is the Rhine. Alsace is also the origin of choucroute, the national dish of France, which is sauerkraut served with sausages, potatoes, smoked ham and wine or beer.
2 - Aquitaine
In the southwest of France you'll find Aquitaine, the capital of which is Bordeaux, a city famous for wine, commerce, and plenty of outdoor activities. A visit to Aquitaine means you'll want to brush up on your history. This center of ancient arts holds the caves of Lascaux and many ruined Greco-Roman cities. Aquitaine is also France's best golf destination.
3 - Auvergne
Locked in the center of the country, Auvergne is situated on a plateau of granite and hardened lava. You'll find deep gorges and sharp mountain peaks in this prehistoric area. People have inhabited Auvergne as far back as 400 BC, leaving their marks in the form of churches, castles, artwork and more.Also of note in Auvergne is the exctinct volcano Puy de Dôme. It rises almost 1,500 meters (over 4,000 feet) into the sky and allows for great views of the surrounding plains and mountains. Because of its rugged landscape, you can find a number of outdoor activities in Auvergne as well, such as hiking, skiing, rafting, hang-gliding and more.
4 - Burgundy
In the northeastern corner of France and just southwest of Paris, Burgundy is easily accessible for travelers. It offers some of the best tastes of France in one area - fine wine, rich medieval history, delicious cuisine (especially if you're into garlic snails) and stunning views of the countryside. The town of Dijon is also in this area, which is famous for, you guessed it, mustard.
5 - Brittany
Sticking out at the westernmost point of France proper, Brittany has a robust coastline of more than 750 miles. The fishing region has long been famous in France for fine seafood. Its best known attraction, Mont Saint Michel, has some of the most powerful tides in all of Europe. And for the mythology buff, head inland where you can stroll through the forest of Merlin the Magician, the famed woods where the Knights of the Round Table searched for the Holy Grail.
6 - Centre Val de Loire
The aptly named Centre Val de Loire is located at the core of France. The famous Loire Valley covers most of the region and is conveniently connected to Paris by car. You'll find two of France's most remarkable cathedrals in Bourges and Chartres and some stunning stained-glass artwork in each. In Ussé you can see the castle that inspired the home of Sleeping Beauty. And what would part of France be without wine? Loire produces over 20 well-known wines such as Vouvray and Montlouis.
7 - Champagne Ardenne
While the name betrays one of this region's most famous points, Champagne Ardenne is also blanketed with a thick forest and dotted with pristine lakes, streams and limestone rocks. When you're feeling tired of walking on land, a number of helicopter or balloon tours can take you across the north-central region for breathtaking views.
8 - Corsica
The island region of Corsica is off France's southeast coast. It's the third largest island in the Mediterranean and is actually closer to Italy than it is to France. Most of its inhabitants live in Bascia or Ajaccio, so wide swaths of land are open and free to be explored. You'll find a good mixing of Italian and French culture on Corsica, meaning you'll be hard-pressed to find better food and drink anywhere in the world.