Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Alps and Pyrénées, France, located in the northwest of Europe, is rich geographically as well as culturally. Capital city Paris boasts world-class art museums like the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay and has inspired generations of poets, authors, painters, and writers from across Europe. Provence is a region just as renowned for its creative spirit, captured by Van Gogh in Arles and Matisse in Nice. Part of the Alpine EU macro-regional strategy, the Alps cover 35,000 square kilometres in France and include famous peaks like Mont Blanc in the north and resorts like the Trois Vallées of Courchevel, Méribel and Les Ménuires. Follow the paths of famous Impressionist painters like Renoir or Monet on Impressionisms Routes, stopping at landmarks like Paris’s Musée du Louvre, Musée Claude Monet in Giverny and Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon. In the Aquitaine region, considered the “land of water” of the Roman Empire, the Pyrénées are home to prehistoric cave art, medieval castles and villages, and churches, which have sheltered pilgrims following the Santiago de Compostela since the 11th century and now welcome travellers on trails like The Santiago De Compostela Pilgrim Routes, Iter Vitis, and the Cluniac Sites in Europe.
How to get there?
Fly into Lyon’s St Exupery international airport or Geneva’s international airport to reach the Alpine region’s part of France. The Eurolines bus network runs to 224 destinations in France, as well as from many major European capitals to Paris. Many cities have their own metro or tram lines, such as Nice, Marseille, Toulouse, Lyon and Grenoble, and some offer bike sharing programs like the Vélib’ in Paris.