France, officially named the French Republic, is the largest country in Western Europe and the third largest in Europe as a whole. It stretches from the Rhine River in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the south to the English Channel and North Sea in the north. It is an international cultural, economic and political power and a key player in the European Union.
France’s history stretches back into pre-history, with the first signs of human presence 1,800,000 years ago. Its history has been somewhat tumultuous, from being divided and re-divided into kingdoms during the middle ages, to the French Revolution, Napoleon, the Franco-Prussian War and to the World Wars. As a country it offers a rich and varied landscape and is full of fascinating cities, beautiful beaches and relaxing countryside. Famed for its cheese and its wine, France is perfect for a quick getaway or an extended holiday with friends or family.