Facts

  • Population: 63.5 million
  • Major language: French (English is spoken and widely understood)
  • Major religion: Christianity
  • Life expectancy: 78 years (men), 85 years (women)
  • Currency: Euro (ERU)
  • Electricity: 220 volts, 50Hz. European-style plugs with two round pins are used.
  • International dialling code: +33
  • Internet domain: .fr
  • Emergency numbers: 112 (European general emergency number)
    • 17 (police)
    • 15 (specialist medical services)
    • 18 (fire and accident)

Notes

  • France’s ranking when compared to other countries in 2008:
    • Life expectancy: 6th
    • Roads quality: 7th
    • Innovation capability: 11th
    • Property rights: 21st
    • Quality of vocational training: 23rd
    • Reliability of police services: 27th
    • Judicial independence: 28th
    • Freedom of the press: 30th
  • Though many locals speak English, the French will appreciated your effort to speak French.
  • Famous for its fine wines and its sun-drenched resorts, France is the most visited travel destination in the world.
    • Paris, the capital city, is one of the world’s best-loved cities and the most popular tourist destination in the world.
      • Paris is also the largest city in France.
      • You’ll also find multinational communities in Lyon, Marseille, and Nice.
    • France is the most visited travel destination in Europe, followed by Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, and Germany.
  • The quality of life in France is very high.
    • The country boasts a highly developed infrastructure, excellent schools, and one of the best healthcare systems in the world.
  • France’s reputation as one of the world’s cultural and entertainment centres makes it a popular travel destination.
  • France is very rich in cultural places to visit and foods to experience.
  • The French have a relaxed approach to life, and it is part of France’s appeal – the ‘c’est la vie’ attitude.
  • Locals place great emphasis on ‘joie de vivre’.
  • The country’s main industries are agriculture (most notably wine), fashion and tourism.
    • France may have a ‘work to live’ attitude, but this hasn’t stopped France from becoming the 6th largest economy in the world,
  • Bags are routinely checked at museums and large public gatherings.

Geography

Tourism

  • Overtourism: Paris
  • Climate: The south coast has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. The mountainous Alpine regions are the coldest and wettest parts of the country, with heavy snow in winter. Rainfall is moderate throughout the year – the wettest months are usually May and June.

Overland

  • Road Traffic: Drives on the right
  • Unlawful to use a mobile phone, walkie-talkie, or other handheld communication device while driving
  • Highest pave road in Europe – Col de l’Iseran, France (2,770 metres; 9,090 feet)
  • Getting to France by ferry is easy
    • Dover to Calais (DFDS, P&O and My Ferry Link)
    • Dover and Dunkerque (DFDS)
    • Newhaven and Dieppe (LD Lines)
    • Portsmouth and Le Havre (LD Lines)
    • Portsmouth and Caen/St. Malo (Brittany Ferries)
    • Poole and Cherbourg (Brittany Ferries)
    • Plymouth and Roscoff (Brittany Ferries)
    • France is also linked by ferry services to Ireland, the Channel Islands, Corsica, Spain, Sardinia and Tunisia.
  • Eurotunnel between Folkestone and Calais
  • A number of toll operational motorways exist from the ports and across the road network in France.

Overlanding Adventures

  • Le Bourg-d’Oisans (Map)
  • Mont Blanc (Map)

Safety & Security

France is normally thought of as a safe place, however there has been a recent rise in crime and terrorism.

As of December 12, 2018, ​​France has raised its national terrorism threat level to the highest level. A range of increased security measures have been put inplace. Exercise a high degree of caution in France, due to the high threat of terrorist attack.

News

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