Map of France

Map of France

UPDATE Jan 12th 2013

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    Regional Detailed Map of France

    Click Map for larger image

    Moving to France Links

    If you're considering France as a destination to move to, you might like to take a look at the following links, BUT don't forget to sign up for our Free Plan for Peace Newsletter to up to date with any new tips or content about Moving Overseas and to co-create peace wherever you are:

    Moving to France - This excellent site by the Kiechle family is an invaluable guide for Moving to France. Do Not miss this site !

    Moving to France - an article on Channel 4's website about Moving to France. Take notice of this advice if you want to succeed in your move to France.

    World Factbook - France - Facts & figures provided by the CIA

    Map of France - Map of France - Map of France - Map of France - Map of France - Map of France - Map of France

    Map of France - My memories of France (Pete)

    Camping in Brittany, driving through Loire Valley, visiting French Chateaux & seeing artists painting on the banks of the Seine in Paris. Eating French Bread with Camembert, Pate & tomatoes on the beach in Brittany. These are my childhood memories of France. As a family we'd go camping in France every so often, usually for about 4 weeks at a time. One year I remember camping in a storm. We put ropes over the top & inside our 6 berth frame tent to stop it blowing away. The next morning ours was one of very few remaining tents.

    Mum would still be speaking with a French accent a couple of weeks after we got home :-)




    windsurf-in-france (9K)Fast forward about 5 years when at age 18, my mate Phil & I drove the best part of a thousand miles down to the south coast of France in my mini. It took us 23 hours before we finally found a camp-site & pitched tent. We spent many an evening drinking red wine at 20 centimes a glass because it was cheaper than the white at 40 centimes. We had a windsurfing lesson from a French lady & half way through she removed her top. I don't suppose Phil will forget that moment either ! A few days later we ventured towards St. Tropez to see some more sights. We camped there for a couple of nights before getting flooded out then headed home, picking up a hitch hiker on the way to share the driving.

    In the summer of 2000 my son Danny & I took a 2 week tour of Europe in my pick-up truck loaded to the gunnels with camping gear. Via Belgium, Germany, Switzerland & Italy, the final leg home took us through France. We camped for 3 nights on the outskirts of Paris & took the metro in to "do the sights". We walked beneath the Arche De Triumphe, climbed the Eiffel Tower & saw the arts in the Louvre.

    arc-de-triomphe-france (38K)
    Map of France - Arc-De-Triomphe-France

    eiffel-tower (41K)

    Map of France - Eiffel Tower

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    river-seine-france (38K)
    Map of France - River Seine France - A view from the Eiffel Tower

    louvre-paris (36K)
    Map of France - Louvre Paris

    The following day we visited the Disney village had beer in McDonalds & Planet Holleywood. In the late afternoon when tickets were half price, we entered DisneyLand Paris & joined the queues, which fortunately were not too bad as it was drizzling.

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    Map of France - Disney Village Paris

    disneyland-paris (24K)
    Map of France - Disneyland Paris

    planet-hollywood-paris (25K)
    Map of France - Planet Hollywood Paris

    Map of France - A Motorcycle Ride through France

    In 2004 I took yet another camping trip through France, this time on my newly acquired Honda Shadow. Loaded to the gunnels I embarked on a close to 2000 mile trip over 9 days. My saddle bags became my larder, once more stocked with Pate, Camembert, baguette & beer.

    motorbike-in-french-forest (99K)
    Map of France - Motorbike in French forest

    I intended writing a brief summary here of my trip, but dug out a journal I wrote during the trip & decided to duplicate it here. They are just rough notes which I've not corrected for grammar. I wrote it for myself to remind me of the trip in years to come so feel free to skip to the end if you get bored.

    Map of France - Day 1 Saturday 31st July 2004
    No room at the Inn - 230 miles Norwich to St. Etienne

    I made this journey partly because of my recent purchase of a motorbike, which gives me a complete sense of freedom when riding it, especially when loaded up with all my camping gear. I also wanted to experience traveling on my own, with no definite plans as to where I was going.

    I'm intending to head South using smaller roads through French villages, stopping for lunch then finding campsites at the end of the day. The idea is to head for the most scenic areas which provide not only better views but great windy roads going up and down hills and mountains which make for great biking roads.

    I set off at 7.30am having had no sleep the previous night. Not a good start. I stopped twice in the first hour for coffee, red bull and rest as I was feeling very sleepy. The next stint lasted an hour before I stopped for petrol just before the Dartford Tunnel. Feeling much more awake I headed for Dover and cruised the last 70 odd miles at 80mph arriving at 11.30 with just enough time to catch the 12.30 ferry. I met up with 6 other bikers. A couple on Harleys, a couple of guys off to meet their RAF mate in Germany and a couple of Belgian guys returning from touring Wales and Scotland. On the ferry I bought a map of France and one of the the Belgian guys showed me several areas in France which were good for biking. I grabbed half hour kip on ferry.

    Off ferry at 2.30pm (3.30 French time). Headed West remembering to ride on the right. From Dunkerque I took the Motorway (A16) as far as Calais then got onto the D940 coast road and started enjoying the windy roads through the villages while looking for a campsite as I was well ready for sleep. Trouble was I wanted to fill up with fuel before stopping the night as several people had told me it is very difficult to get petrol on Sundays. I passed several campsites but no sign of a petrol station. Also bursting for the toilet. Stopped at a supermarket (hoping petrol would be sold too). I bought some petit pan and Camembert for about 5 Euro's.
    Came out of supermarket and found petrol station and loo. Suitably relieved and continued along D940 towards Boulogne. Got stuck in traffic jam and Boulogne and got hot and sweaty. Feeling very tired now (but very alert so no problem riding).

    I fought my way out of Boulogne and eventually saw signs to campsite in Hardelot. Unfortunately they were full and the guy tried to give me directions to another site but my French is not good so had difficulty understanding. Grabbed a bit of bread and cheese before continuing. Followed signs to campsite but could not find it. Just found signs to a different site which again I could not find. Stopped in a bar in a village and had a cold Stella and asked the barman who directed me to yet another site which I found easily. But oh dear it was also full. (Lorraine typed this out for me from my journal. I think it originally said something a little stronger than "oh dear" :-). 7pm now so getting very bored of this and thinking I'll end up pitching by the side of the road but the guy told me to try the site next door (which I didn't realise was there). Fortunately they had space.
    camping-in-france (22K)
    Quite nice site in the woods with sandy soil. Trees providing a little shade yet allowing some sunshine (of which there was plenty) to come through.

    Pitched the tent. Ate some more bread and cheese as I couldn't be bothered to cook. Took a wander round the site and found a small bar but thought Id better not go in so went back to tent and decided to go to bed and have a look at map of france to plan next day. Didn't do so though and just fell asleep about 8pm.

    Map of France - Day 2 Sunday 1st August 2004
    Lost It - 224 miles St.Etienne to Sées

    french-breakfast (28K)Awoke at 8am feeling great. Another bright sunny day but pleasantly cool in the forest. Washed and shaved. Bread and cheese and coffee for breakfast got map out and started planning route and decided to write up a journal. Swapped a few texts with Lorraine.

    Nearly 11am now so time to pack up and go. Was gone 12 when I eventually left. Got back onto D940 and continued South (West). In Le Touquet I stopped to check map to find I'd left the top of the tailbag open and the map had blown away. Got stopped by a couple of French girls as I was about to go to shop asking about the bike. One of them had a Virago and wanted to buy a Shadow. The other one spoke English. Turned out she was an English teacher who studied in Colchester. Bought map of france, water, ziplock bags, sellotape, lipbalm. Wandered through village centre where they had a sort of car boot sale in the market place. Seemed all very old stuff.

    Got back on the road and ended up on motorway again. I found it difficult finding and staying on the minor roads as nearly all the signs point to the motorways. Decided to stay on the A16 for a while and get some miles under my belt as it was now nearly 2pm and I'd only gone 30 miles. Pulled over at a service area to re-fuel and stopped for 10 mins in a picnic area to eat yet more bread and cheese and drink water. Couldn't find my cargo net when I de-camped earlier so searched for it again. No luck. Tried to get off motorway and a couple of times but couldn't really suss it out. Stayed on until I got round Rouen and finally got onto the N138 to Le Mans. Sign posted fine, but that's because there is as yet no motorway to Le Mans. Stopped again in another picnic area for more water and found I'd left one of panniers undone and lost a towel from the top. I pulled out and realised my sunglasses were missing so turned back and found them. Pulled into Petrol Station to top up and noticed that my spare sunglasses which were secured to drinks bottle holder by elastic had also gone. So today I've lost a map, cargo net, towel and sunglasses.

    The N138 looked promising to start with, with a few twisty bits, but it soon settled down to a long straight road with hardly a village to break the boredom as most of the towns and villages were bypassed. Lots of roundabouts on bypasses. Sun beating down. Every time I stopped, first thing I did was remove jacket. 2nd thing remove helmet. If I hesitated I got soaked in sweat. Head sweaty most of the time. Slow moving traffic in town makes for hot sweaty riding. Need to keep a reasonable pace to keep cool.

    Started to look for campsites about 4pm as I didn't want to end up like yesterday struggling to find one with any space when I'm getting tired. Nice site in Gace but most of town seemed shut so continued to Sées which looked a bit more promising. 6.60 euro for the night seemed a good rate. Ate last of bread and cheese (5 euro for over a days food, could certainly live cheaply here!) and pitched tent in the shade. Had shower and lay down in shade reading for a while.

    Went into town about 7.45pm walked passed a small bar which looked ok but decided to continue into the centre. Only one other bar/restaurant but they wouldn't let me sit at the bar so I didn't bother staying. Tried to order food about 8.30 and as the barman looked doubtful, I just asked for frites. 20 mins and a beer later he came out with steak and chips and a basket of bread. The steak was medium rare. I would have ordered well done but I decided to overcome my dislike of raw meat and give it a go. With a little mustard, salt and pepper it was quite nice. Don't think I'm converted but might try medium-well done next time. 9pm and bar closing so wandered back to campsite and read for a bit longer while making some parmesan pasta followed by coffee. Bed at 11.30. Woke at about 4am to 14 texts from Lorraine. Read and replied. Not tired so went to loo then sat up and wrote journal. Now 5am so will try get another hour or two before daylight.

    Map of France - Day 3 Monday 2nd August 2004
    Keeping Cool - 185 miles Sées to Chatres

    Lost pen so writing this a day late, so not much detail. Up at 6am. Took a picture of the dawn sky.

    Dawn-sky-france (10K)

    striking-camp-france (23K)

    Coffee. Eventually left at 8. Stopped after 20 minutes or so for petrol. Skirted round Le Mans heading for Tours. Stopped at midday somewhere near Tours at a picnic site next to the Loire, having stopped previously at a supermarket and outskirts of Tours to buy more bread and cheese, a tomato, a peach and a better map. Bright sunshine. Sat beside the Loire.

    french-river (67K)
    Map of France - French River ( Loire ) - Picnic Site

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    Bridge-over-Loire (70K)
    Map of France - Bridge over Loire - Picnic site near Tours

    Very hot. Several messages from 2e re: Danny and one from Lorraine. Called them both. Left about 1, having planned route. Heading for Salbris to ride some roads recommended by bikers from website.

    Stopped again at about 3 at a bar beside the Loire. Very pretty. Took some pics.

    french-river-from-bridge (67K)

    move-to-france (49K)

    Decided to try a tip I got for keeping cool while riding from the same website. So I soaked my long T-Shirt and bandanna in cold water and put jacket on top. Worked a treat. Start to get very tired and stopped at campsite in Chatres, just north of Vierzon. Had shower to cool down. Very hot and tired so pitched inner tent only and laid down on mattress but too hot inside so laid down outside.

    Slept for about 3 hours. Woke at 9 and getting dark so finished tent. Took a wander and found bar/restaurant by the river. Had 5 small Stellas, watched some people playing Boules. Sleep at midnight.

    Map of France - Day 4 Tuesday 3rd August 2004
    Me and My Shadow - 229 miles Chatres to Brioude

    Woke at 9. Put kettle on a went for a quick shave and shower. Kettle boiling by time I got back. Offered cup to elderly lady pitched next to me and had a chat. She was on her way to holiday with her daughter and son in law at Mont.Blanc. They are rock climbing. She lives in Le Mans but moving shortly to H……? near where her 2 other daughters live.
    campsite-france (25K)

    Left at 11, heading for Salbris. Joined N144 and headed North towards Salbris. Long sweeping bends through forest. Took bends steady at 50-60mph as lacking confidence. Reckon they would be safe at 70mph though. Stopped between Nancy and Salbris in forest to remove pants as seams causing discomfort. Turned round to head South towards Bourges and was passed by 2 bikers, one on a Harley. Started to rain.

    Stopped for petrol just outside Bourges then into Bourges centre to ring Lorraine and have lunch at 1. Steak and potatoes in a cheese sauce (very nice) and beer for lunch. Wrote up journal in restaurant. Left at 2.15 still raining a little. Fought my way out of Bourges and got back onto the N144. Roads getting better all the time. Long steep climbs with lots of bends and scenery improving too. Stopped to take photos.

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    french-chateau (31K)

    Me-and-My-Shadow-in-France (68K)

    Continued through Montlucan towards Clermont Ferrand. Got onto the N9 by-passing Clermont without taking the motorway, but heavy traffic with large shopping area's and restaurants lining the roads. Bit like Florida. Then got onto the A75 dual carriageway, which is an excellent biking road. Bend after bend which could be taken at 80mph. I stuck to 60-70mph.

    Stopped for fuel and to restock food at 7pm. Beginning to worry about getting a campsite. But I wanted to crack on. The sun was starting to get low in the west casting a golden glow across the countryside. Forked off A75 onto the N102 towards Le Puy en Velay and stopped at first decent sized town - Brioude. Rode through town searching for campsite signs beginning to worry again as now nearly 8pm but then spotted site. Nice. Beside river with a wier. Kayaking at weekends, table tennis, bar etc. kettle on, pitched tent. Bread, cheese and coffee then wandered to the bar (shack) and had 3 beers while reading. Used my new "head-torch". Excellent. Bed at about 10.30.

    Map of France - Day 5 Wednesday 4th August 2004
    A ride in the Mountains - 146 miles Brioude to Didier en Velay

    Up at 7.30. Breakfast, pack, shower, call Lorraine. Away at 9.45. Had soaked shirt and bandanna in cold water again as it looked like the sun was about to break through for another hot day. But after only 30 miles or so it started pouring down. There were rivers running down the streets in Le Puy en Velay so I pulled into a bar and had a beer and planned my route whilst it eased. I would have liked to have got to the South coast of France, but it's Wednesday already & I've gotta be back at the weekend & I don't want to have to rush home. I'd rather enjoy the ride & take it easy. I therefore decide to go a little further south before heading back up on the East side of France.

    Half hour later rain stopped so continued on my journey. Sun shining again so fingers crossed. Got about another 20 mins down the road and huge black clouds ahead, so decide to stop in village to change my wet top and gloves. Having difficulty finding spare gloves, but discover "lost" cargo net so I now have two as I bought one a day or two ago in Tours. The heavens open whilst I'm re-packing so I nip into a bar and order a beer. Cover bag with rubble sack just in case. Rain is very persistent so end up having a "Croque Monsieur" and another beer. Eventually left about 12ish. Looking like a low mileage day. Intending to ride up into the hills so re-fuel a little futher down the road. Bright and sunny now so hang wet gloves under cargonet to dry. Turn off the N102 at Lanarce onto the D288. A narrow very windy road going up into the hills. No road markings as newly re-surfaced. Great roads & scenery.

    french-countryside (55K)
    longdesc="french-mountain" name="french-mountain" title="french-mountain" width="778" hspace="10" vspace="5" />
    Map of France - French Countryside

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    Map of France - French Mountain (Mt. Gerbier De Jonc)

    Follow various minor roads and signs to Mt. Gerbier De Jonc. 1559 metres high. Lots of tourists there walking/climbing to the peak and lots of market stalls selling souveniers. Continue towards Mt. Mezenc. on way decide to take a video whilst riding as the roads through forest and mountains are spectacular. Tape camera to indicator. Memory card full when I stop to check it after a few minutes and battery low. But I have a brainwave and tape tripod to wing mirror to make it more stable and get better view. Deleted few old clips to make space. Battery doesn't last long but get good clip riding through a picturesque village. Manage to take a few photos on way before battery finally goes dead. Sun really bright. Looks like it's ending up being a really nice hot day after all. Thinking about finding a spot to camp up in mountains but want to re-charge camera and phone and then big black clouds start looming again. So I press on.

    french-scenery (93K)

    Eventually stop in St. Didier en Velay just South of St. Etienne at about 5.30. Pitch tent so have bread and cheese and sausage and a coffee in the sun. Chat to an English couple pitched next to me for a while and have wander round site. Rains again for an hour or so so read in tent. Wander into town for a bit for a couple of beers and return by 10 when gates close. Cook curried rice and retire about 11 to read some more.

    Map of France - Day 6 Thursday 5th August
    - 218 miles Didier en Velay to Til-Chatel

    Motorcyling-in-France (92K)
    Map of France - Motorcycling in France

    Up at 9.15. Take camera to loo to re-charge again (used battery up reviewing video's last night) and to retrieve spare phone battery which I left in loo overnight but no longer there. Hopefully handed into the office. Have breakfast and coffee and write up journal and retrieve fully charged camera. Left 11.25. Stopped for a coffee 12.30 and to plan route in Feurs. Heading for Feteau recommended by Jim and Linda (English couple). Continued North and stopped in Auton for a break and to look for bank to get some more cash. Only 1 machine I could find that was not working so continued onto Dijon. Into town Centre and got cash.

    moving-to-france (23K)No campsite signs anywhere so fought my way out of town with great difficulty and eventually found the N74 heading for Chaumont. Sun out most of the time and pretty hot so rode in just t-shirt for a while. Rained at same time though. Hail stones for very brief period whilst heading into Dijon. Stopped on outskirts for a beer at a lake with windsurfers. About ½ hour North of Dijon found campsite with restaurant. Arrived 7pm. Pitched tent. Had dinner at 8. 4 course for 19.95 euro. Bill came to 29 with 4 glasses of wine and coffee. Very nice and excellent value I thought. Finished meal at 10.45 and went to bed to read.

    Map of France - Day 7 Friday 6th August
    - 210 miles Til Chatel to Futeau

    Up at 7.30am. Skipped breakfast so I could get an early start. Packed and away at 9am.

    This is where the journal stops. It is now July 2006 & I'm sitting on the veranda of our villa in Turkey where we now live & trying hard to remember the last couple of days. I have found the map I used so will do my best.

    Update - it is now November 2011 & i'm in Honduras in my peace-mobile R.V. planning & creating peace full time. Please join me: A Plan for Peace

    french-life (19K) parc-de-lorraine (23K)Headed North on N74 to Langres, N19 to Chaumont then N67 to St.Dizier where I vaguely recall stopping for lunch. I then took the N35 through Bar-Le-Duc. I remember stopping early in the afternoon at a campsite in the grounds of a church. In the afternoon, having pitched camp I took a ride in T-shirt & jeans to the Parc De Lorraine. Came back early evening & stopped for a beer in Futeau before heading back to camp.

    Map of France - Day 8 Saturday 7th August 2004
    - approx. 250 miles Futeau to somewhere near St. Omer

    I don't remember much about this day except that I wanted to get lots of miles under my belt as I had a ferry to catch early the next morning. I therefore stuck to motorways & rode at 80 - 90mph a lot of the way. I took the A4 past Chalons-en-Champagne to Reims, then the A26 past Laon, St.Quentin & Arras before turning of & finding a campsite somewhere near St. Omer.

    Map of France - Day 9 Sunday 9th August 2004
    - approx. 250 miles Somewhere near St. Omer to Norwich

    Again, I cant remember much about the last day, except that I caught the ferry home at about 10am & it was a hot sunny day & that I ran out of petrol at Attleborough 15 miles before home. By rocking the bike from side to side as I rode I managed to coast into a petrol station.

    I covered 2,000 miles in 9 days, saw some beautiful scenery, rode some great windy roads & had a great time. I will remember my trip through France for a long time to come.


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