France, officially the French Republic (French: République française) in Europe, is a country that almost every traveller has a relationship with. Many appreciate its joie de vivre shown by the countless restaurants, picturesque villages and world-famous gastronomy. Some come to follow the trail of France's great philosophers, writers and artists. And others still are drawn to the country's geographical diversity with its long coastlines, massive mountain ranges and beautiful farmland vistas.
France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for over twenty years. It received 83 million visitors in 2012, although these figures are highly skewed by the number of people who frequent the country for the weekend (particularly to visit Disneyland Paris, Europe's most popular visitor attraction). They come to France for a reason: its cities contain some of the greatest treasures on the continent, its countryside is prosperous and well-tended and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions. France is one of the most geographically diverse countries in Europe, shown in areas as different from each other as Paris, the French Riviera, the Atlantic beaches, the winter sports resorts of the French Alps, the castles of the Loire Valley, rugged Celtic Brittany and historian's dream Normandy.
France is a country of rich emotions and very turbulent politics but also one associated with rational thinking and the Enlightenment. Above all, it is renowned for its cuisine, history and culture. Whatever you're after, you're about to find it in France.