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Here is some information on France that you may find useful before you go on your tour.

France is an independent country in Western Europe and the very center of a large overseas administration. private tour of london england It is the third-largest European nation, the only two that are larger are Russia and Ukraine.

A long long time ago France was a part of the Celtic territory known as Gaul or the Gallia. Its present name comes from the Latin Francia, meaning "country of the Franks," from Germanic people who conquered the area during the 5th century, at the time of the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It became a separate country in it's own right in the 9th century.

Since the 17th century, France has played an important role in European and world events. In the 20th century alone it has experienced numerous crises, including the devastation of two world wars, political and social upheavals, and the loss of a large empire in the countries of Indochina, Algeria, and West and Equatorial Africa. It has, however, survived and emerged above from the ruins of World War II to become an important world supplier of agricultural and industrial products and a major partner in the European Community also known as the EC or Common Market.

Today, the term "metropolitan France" refers to the mainland areas and CORSICA, which is a large island located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Italy which has been a part of France since 1768. France has six overseas areas: FRENCH GUIANA in South America; GUADELOUPE and MARTINIQUE in the West Indies; MAYOTTE, an island which was formerly part of the Comoros, located in the Indian Ocean; REUNION, an island which is in the Indian Ocean; and the SAINT PIERRE AND MIQUELON, islands off the east coast of Canada. In addition, France has numerous small territories called overseas territories. These include a group of widely scattered islands residing in the South Pacific, which are administered from Tahiti and are known collectively as FRENCH POLYNESIA; FRENCH SOUTHERN AND ANTARCTIC TERRITORIES; NEW CALEDONIA and WALLIS AND FUTUNA ISLANDS; and many small islands located in the southern oceans, including the Kerguelen and Crozet archipelagos and the islands of St. Paul and Amsterdam situated in the Indian Ocean. The overseas departments and territories are represented in the French National Assembly. Geography

In size, France is about 80% the size of Texas. In the Alps near the Italian and Swiss borders is western Europe's most highest point named Mont Blanc (15,781 ft; 4,810 m). The forest-covered Vosges Mountains are situated in the northeast, and the Pyrénées reside along the Spanish border. Except for extreme northern France where the country may be described as four river basins and a plateau. Three of the streams flow west, one is called the Seine which flows into the English Channel, another is the Loire which flows into the Atlantic, and the last is Garonne which flows into the Bay of Biscay. The Rhône flows south into the Mediterranean. For about 100 mi (161 km), the Rhine is France's eastern border. In the Mediterranean, about 115 mi (185 km) east-southeast of Nice, is located the island of Corsica (3,367 sq mi; 8,721 sq km). On this last section of its course the river flows through a valley that separates the uplands of the Massif Central on the west from the French Alps on the east. It forms a marshy delta at its mouth, part of which is known as the Camargue. Besides the Saône, other major tributaries include the Isère and Durance. Navigation on parts of the upper Rhône is difficult because of the river's generally steep gradient and its tendency to form sand bars. South of Lyon a series of dams and canals make the Rhône navigable to the port of Marseille, which lies on the Mediterranean Sea to the east of the river's mouth. To the north other canals and waterways connect the Rhône with the Rhine, Seine, and Loire rivers. Five nuclear power plants are located on the banks of the Rhône. The river is also an important source of hydroelectric power.

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