Why France ?
With 195 countries in the world, you will probably wonder why France is the number one tourist destination in the world? Here are the explanations why:
France is one of the oldest nations on Earth and the most ethnically diverse country in Europe. These deep and broad influences have made France a world leader throughout history in different aspects of culture, including cuisine, philosophy, music, art, film, fashion, literature and sport.
France is also one of the largest countries in Europe, and it is neighbor by borders with 6 countries: Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. It is also connected to England through the English Channel by Eurostar. France has also numerous international airports as well as ferry terminals.
France, an historical country:
France is also well known because of the long timeline history of the country. It all started around 300,000 B.C with Neanderthals and later the cro-magnons. Over time, Celtic tribes from Central Europe moved into the region and when the romans occupied the territory in the second century B.C, they named it Gaul. Julius Caesar established full Roman control over Gaul in 51 B.C but by 400 A.D Rome was decline. Gaul was attacked by neighboring tribes, including Visigoths, Vandals and the Germanic Franks, from which France would eventually get its name. In 843 a treaty created the territory of west Francia, which would later become France. Over the next thousand years, west Francia was ruled by a series of powerful Kings. Several wars were fought over who would rule France, including the 100 years War from 1337 to 1453. In 1789 a violent period of change called the French Revolution began, eventually ending in the overthrow of the monarchy. Napoleon Bonaparte à general during the French Revolution, declared himself leader of France in 1799. He began a campaign of wars with neighboring countries, and built a large French empire that ruled over much of continental Europe. But france’s domination in Europe game to an end in 1815, when Napoleon was defeated at the battle of Waterloo. France later suffered great losses in both World War I and II. It has since emerged, though, as an important and prosperous world power. It is therefore a delight for tourists and French to visit the castles, the archeological sites, the old French villages or old buildings.
France, a foody country:
In France, « cooking is a serious art form and a national sport ». Haute cuisine which is literally translated as « high cooking » was brought to the fore in 1900 by Georges Auguste Escoffier through is famous book « le guide culinaire » that you can still find in most professional kitchen across the world. The country is home to more Michelin stars than any others. French cuisine is not cheap, but it definitely worse it. As many regions as there are regions in France means as many different types of gastronomy. Each region has their own food specialties and drinks:
- Paris, the classic of the city is unavoidably the snails, smothered in garlic and butter it is a delight. You can also find the famous « coquille saint Jacques (a beautiful scallop and cream dish), the steak tartare (minced meat prepared with brandy and Tabasco and topped with an egg)
- Burgundy, being a famous wine region, the burgundians are all about the food life. Their food is hearty and drenched in in the local beverage and one of the best offerings in all of France. We advise you to taste, the œufs en meurette (eggs marinated in red wine), boeuf bourguignon (meat cooked in red wine), frog’s legs…
- French Riviera: being on the azure coast, you have to try the sea specialities as la bouillabaisse (a soup of fish and saffron) sea food platter …
- Cheese: ex-president Charles de Gaulle once said: « how can anyone be expected to govern a country with 264 varieties of cheese? » I am sure the governor would be utterly horrified to discover that today, the country is producing around 450 distinct types of France’s favorite dairy product. French cheeses are split into 3 very distinct types, soft, blue and pressed cheese. Around 40 of them certified by the « appellation d’origine contrôlée » as protected recipes and evidence of their local origins.
- Dessert: in France the sweet is just as important as any other course, pastries, cakes, sorbets, tarts, ice creams… just name it, the French make it. « Crêpes » are maybe the most known dessert, they come in every sort of guise imaginable. The macaron, available in a multitude of colors, sizes and flavors, it is light and sandwiches a cream filling…
- Wines: France is the largest wine producer in the world. French wine traces its history to the 6th century B.C. 2 concepts central to the better French wines are the notion of « terroir », which links the style of the wine to the locations where the grapes are grown and the wine is made. Appellation rules closely define which grape varieties and winemaking practices are approved for classification is each France’s several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover regions, villages, or vineyards. You can find red, white and pink wine, as well as champagne in France. A delight for each taste.
- A typical French meal offers 3 or 4 courses and are accompanied with cheese and bread. This is a joyous and usually long event, gathering families and friends together.
France, the fashion capital:
France is the fashion capital of the world. Chanel, Dior, Hermes… French designers have long created the most renowned and coveted fashion brands in the world. Stylistically innovative and technically exceptional, the outstanding reputation of the French clothing industry can be traced as far back as the 17th century, and it is a reputation that has only continued to strengthen since. Despite a considerable degree of competition from Milan, New York and London, fashion is a deep-rooted aspect of France’s culture and its international profile, and most likely always will be.
France, geography and landscapes and wildlife :
No need to venture far to take in breathtaking landscapes. The French metropolitan territory offers some real natural wonders: mountains, lakes, forests, canyons, deserts and even volcanoes. It counts 13 regions, each region divided into departments:
With 6 mountain ranges including The Mont Blanc, the highest peak in western Europe culminating at 4810m, France is a paradise for trek lovers and ski addicts.
With 4 seas bordering France, water enthusiasts are not left out... Surfing, diving, swimming, or any water sports can be found on the French coast.
The desert also invites itself in France, located in the South East in le basin d’Arcachon the only difference between The Pilat dune and the actual Sahara is that the sea is nearby, which is priceless.
Get impressed by the cliffs of Etretat in the Seine-Maritime region. If you have ever visited Ireland, you will instantly recognize it. Yet the cliffs of Etretat are only available in France, where you can marvel at this sublime landscape. The source of inspiration for many painters, the cliffs of Etretat are a surprise and a delight due to their verticality, their limestone whiteness and their beautiful pebble beaches.
Center of France is also rich of amazing landscapes, with its famous Puy de Dôme, and the Puy of Sancy, the highest point on the Massif Central (1886m of altitude), the chain of Puys and its more than 80 volcanoes is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage candidate! Ideal in summer and winter, it’s a great place to practice outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, skiing…
Because of a common history and geographical borders, it’s not rare to visit a French village with German or Austrian architecture in the East of France. The buildings and the food remind the other country.
Regarding wildlife, France has lots of land area to provide habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals. More than 25 percent of its territory is covered with forest, and another 50 percent is countryside or farmland. Lowland forests are home to deer and wild boar, while the woodlands of the Alps and Pyrenees provide refuge for rare chamois antelope, ibex, brown bears and alpine hares, among many other species. The Mediterranean coastline is a stopover for millions of migrating African birds, too, including flamingos, vultures, egrets and bee-eaters. The French government has made a broad commitment to preserve open spaces and the wildlife they contain. In fact, about ten percent of the country has been set aside as national or regional parklands and nature reserves
And of course, we cannot speak about France without mentioning Paris, the capital city. It is one of the most beautiful and majestic capital cities in the entire world. You can visit the famous Eiffel tower, the museum of Louvres, the Palace of Versailles… You won’t have the time to be border in the city as the cultural attractions are endless.
France, government and economy:
Over the years, France has been through many political crises. Its current government is a combination of presidential and parliamentary systems. The president is elected by the people and is head of state. A prime minister, chosen by the president, works with the elected parliament to pass laws. France is among the world’s largest economies. The country produces many items that other countries buy, including its most famous products – wine and cheese. Other exports include automobiles, electronics and clothing. Tourism is also a huge industry in France. More than 80 million people visit the country every year, more than any other country on Earth!
Few more information about France:
- 66 million inhabitants
- The capital city is Paris
- The Currency is Euros
- Even though it is a secular country, France counts more than 85% Catholics.
- The old French generation doesn't speak much English, if need be, ask the young ones instead.
- France is a revolutionary country, French likes to fight for their rights, don’t be surprise to see demonstrations in the streets.
And the last but not the least, France is world known for the high quality of its school education. With 358 000 foreign students in France last year, France is the place to be to earn a great education. It is home of some of the best universities in the world and a diploma in France opens doors for you all over the world.