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The France Page

France Geography

Image : Wikimedia under GNU

France is located in Western Europe with coastlines on both the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. It has land borders with Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Andorra and Spain.

France occupies a large and diverse land mass that produces varied weather patterns.

West & North West : The Atlantic coast enjoys a temperate maritime climate with mild wet winters and cool summers. The prevailing wind from the west is humid : rain and mist is frequent. Northern France is flat allowing this weather pattern to move further inland.
East : The landlocked east of France has a continental climate producing hot summers with cold winters. The mountainous parts have mountain weather, with rain (snow) increasing with altitude.
Central : The centre of France has a continental climate modified by the maritime effect increasing towards the coast.
Mediterranean : The Mediterranean coast enjoys hot dry summers and mild winters. Rainfall is at the same level as much of central France but tends to fall as torrential rain in relatively few days over the winter.
Winds : The west coastal area weather is influenced by the prevailing winds from the Atlantic. The Rhone valley has occasional cold Mistral winds blowing from the north. The west Languedoc area has a similar wind : the Tramontaine that blows from the NW.

The west and north are fairly flat with low rolling hills. Mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills.
Mountainous areas include the Alps, Pyrenees, Vosges and Massif Central. See illustration above.

Natural resources
coal, iron ore, bauxite, fish, timber, potash, and zinc

Land usage
agricultural land: 35%
forest: 27%




Peter Hornby Management Consultancy