Geography and climate

Surface area:  547,000 km², or 211,200 sq. miles
France is the biggest nation in Western Europe. France has land borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Andorra. It is also bordered by the North Sea, the English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean.
carte de France         
The highest point in France is Le Mont Blanc, whose summit is at 4,810 m (15,800 ft) above sea level . Le Mont Blanc lies on the border between France and Italy, just south of Switzerland, and is also the highest peak in Europe.
The second highest mountain range in France is the chain of the Pyrenees, on the Spanish border.
The largest mountain area wholly in France is the Massif Central


The climate in France is generally West European on the whole, a bit warmer than the UK, a bit cooler than Spain.
It could be divided in two main climate zones, and within these two zones, in different sub-zones.
 In the western and north-western half of France, stretching from the Belgian border to the Pyrenees, the climate is generally oceanic. In practical terms, this means that these western areas of France benefit from a mild climate, with moderate rainfall possible at all times of the year. The "oceanic" area, and notably Brittany, jutting out into the Atlantic, has a particularly mild climate, but can be quite rainy. The semi-oceanic area, also called the intermediate area, has less rainfall particularly in summer, as it is more often under the influence of continental high-pressure systems. This band includes the Beauce (south of Paris) and the Midi Pyrenees region, around Toulouse.
The eastern side of France has a more continental climate. Apart from the mountain areas, it is generally drier than western France, with winters that are colder and summers that are hotter, for a given latitude, The south coast of France benefits from a continental climate moderated by the influence of the Mediterranean Sea, generally drier than the rest of France, and without the cold winters of the rest of the continental climate zone.
These zones can be seen in the map.
Like many places on Earth, France has weather conditions that are strongly influenced by barometric pressure: low pressure tends to leave France open to the influence of the Atlantic airstream, bringing with it clouds and rain; but when a ridge of high pressure builds up over the heart of western Europe, a large part of France, sometimes even the whole country, can be protected from the prevailing westerlies under a vast covering of dry air, often accompanied by winds from the east.
  According to France climate and France holidays, the best period for visiting France is spring (May, June) and the beginning of autumn (September, October) especially in the South of France and South West of France.