France, the largest country in Europe, is bordered to the north by the English Channel, the northeast by Belgium and Luxembourg, the east by Germany, Switzerland and Italy, the south by the Mediterranean, the southwest by Spain and Andorra, and the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The country offers a spectacular variety of scenery, from the mountain ranges of the Alps to the attractive river valleys of the Loire, and the flatter countryside in Normandy and on the Atlantic coast. The country has some 1800 miles of coastline.
Language: French is the official language. Many people, particularly those connected with tourism in the major areas, will speak at least some English.
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are widely used; adaptors recommended.
Climate: A temperate climate in the north; northeastern areas have a more continental climate with warm summers and colder winters. Rainfall is distributed throughout the year with some snow likely in winter.
Credit & Debit Cards: American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa are widely accepted.