Porquerolles

Porquerolles

photo by Gasti (Flickr Creative Commons)

France Geography

photo by Stefano Merler (Wikimedia Commons)Pointe du Van, Bretagne Photo by Stefano Merler (Wikimedia Commons)

France is the largest country in Western Europe, nestled between Belgium and Switzerland to the North, Germany and Switzerland to the East, Spain to the South West and Italy and Monaco to the South East. The country boasts of some of the most contrasting landforms which create stunning scenery with low lying forest plains and sparkling rivers that add a dash of blue and gentleness to the facade of its stern rocky ranges. If you want to capture every nuance of beauty that the country abounds in, you will need a campervan. If you don’t own a campervan, France motorhome rentals will be a cheap and the best option.

The landscape of France alternates between low lying plans that are almost 200 meters below sea level to the steep mountain ranges. The most popular mountain ranges in France are the Alps and the Pyrenees; ranges that extend beyond the geographical bounds of the country. Mont Blanc, rising to an altitude of 4,807 meters is the highest point in the Alps and the country. The mountainous areas to the south west present a stunning backdrop for the coastal plans that lay below.

The majestic scenery is full of craggy summits, jagged peaks and deep valleys all carved by glacial erosion. These ranges are home to some of the most diverse fauna seen in Europe such as the brown bear, marmot, chamois and the alpine hare. The forests in the valley are full of pines and oaks and even Eucalyptus imported from Australia. The lush green vegetation is home to foxes, squirrels, weasels, badgers, rabbits, otters, mouse, beavers, shrew and hedgehogs.

The country is drained by four major rivers which became the focal point for the development of civilization with their alluvial soil presenting the prefect environment for crop cultivation.The longest river is the Loire which runs for 1,012 kilometers before merging with the Mediterranean. Others such as the Garonne and the Seine have major ports around them that serve the country while the Rhine forms a border between France and Germany and is one of the most important waterways in Europe.

The coast line of France is as heterogeneous as the rest of the landmass; stretching over 5.500 km; it boasts of incredibly varied scenery; from the steep vertical cliffs of Normandy and Picardy to the estuaries of Seine and Somme. With the sea as their master sculptor; several bays, islets and promontories have formed along the coast of Provence, Brittany and West Corsica. Miles of sandy beaches delight tourists along France’s coastline and the marshy areas of Camargue and Piotevin are now part of natural reserves that are frequented by thousands of tourist each year. People are stunned at the sight of lush greenery full of olive trees, figs, mulberry, wild herbs and laurel as they drive towards the Mediterranean. The rivers and the ocean around France are teeming with salmon, trout, crayfsh, eel, roach, carpel and many other marine life forms.

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