Geography and climate
France stretches 1,000km (600mi) from north to south and the same from east to west, covering an area of 551,500km² (213,000mi²) which rises to 675,417km² (254,000mi.²) with overseas territories. It is the third largest country in Europe after Russia and Ukraine (second if you count the overseas included).
Metropolitan France has four coastlines: the North Sea, English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The total length of its coastline reaches 3427 km. With the exception of its northeastern border, the country is bounded mainly by seas and oceans and natural borders: the Rhine and the Jura, Alps, Pyrénées mountains.
France has a temperate and pleasant climate. Continental France is divided into four distinct climatic areas:
- Oceanic climate (western France): average rainfall is spread over many days and modest annual temperature variations.
- Continental climate (central and eastern France): cold winters and hot summers.
- Mediterranean climate (south eastern France): warm and dry summers, rainfall from October to April (damp but mild weather), ample sunshine all year round.
- Mountain climate (above 600-800m altitudes): high rainfall, snows three to six months per year.
Weather forecasts are available:
- by calling 0892 68 02 XX (XX: No department - 0.34 € / min).
- by logging on to www.meteo.fr
Forecasts are usually updated at least three times a day. They have maturities of seven days with more accurate forecasts for the immediate days ahaed.