France is one of the states of Western Europe. In the northeast, France’s neighbors are Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. On the east side is Switzerland. To the southeast are Italy and the Kingdom of Monaco. Neighbors to the southwest are Andorra and Spain.
Sea shores are washed by the Mediterranean and North Seas, as well as the Straits of La Manche and Pas de Calais. A small piece of land in France is washed by the Bay of Biscay. The entire area occupied by France occupies 551.6 thousand square kilometers. The northern and western parts of the country are considered plains. To the east are the mountains of the Massif Central de France. The High Pyrenees is the southwestern border of France. The Alps are spread out in the southeast of the country.
France has three different types of terrain. This includes ancient plateaus, high mountains and endless plains. The topography of France is such that the predominance of a few elevated areas does not create any obstacles to transport links between the plains.
Mountain ranges are represented by the alpine mountain system. These are: The Alps, the Pyrenees, and the Jura. On the territory of France there are remnants of the ruined ancient Geocene mountains – the Central Massif, the Ardennes, the Vosges and the Armorican Massif.
The North French Lowlands and the Garonne Lowlands (in other words, the Paris Basin and the Aquitaine Basin) are plains with low height amplitudes.
The territory of the French lands is cut by four large rivers – the Loire, the Seine, the Rhone and the Garonne. The Loire is considered the longest river in France. Its length is more than a thousand kilometers. At the mouths of these rivers are the largest seaports in France: Nantes, Le Havre, Marseille and Bordeaux.
The Seine flows through the Paris basin into the Atlantic Ocean near the port of Le Havre. This river, thanks to the even distribution of the flow, is favorable to the development of navigation.
The Loire River begins its course in the Massif Central of France, then crosses the Paris Basin and flows into the Atlantic Ocean near the port of Nantes. This river does not have the same water level throughout the year, which very often leads to flooding.
The Garonne River has its source in the Pyrenees mountains, and then crosses the Garonne lowlands near the port of Bordeaux and flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Rhone originates in Lake Geneva in Switzerland, then enters the territory of France. Running through almost all of France, this river near the port of Marseille flows into the Mediterranean Sea. The Rhone has the largest turbulent flow of any river. This distinction allows for the construction of a number of hydroelectric power plants along the banks of this fast river.
The main rivers of France are connected by a system of canals. All of this is of great importance to the country’s economy.