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All information gathered first-hand, since 1995



Departments of France

France is divided into 96 departments in metropolitan France (the mainland) and 5 overseas departments. The departments were established in 1791 and are mostly named after local geographical features such as rivers and mountains. For example, the Loire and the Var are named after rivers; Alpes-Maritimes named after the Maritime Alps.

The Departments of France are numbered, alphabetically, and are often known and referenced by their numbers.

License plates. Since about 1901 French license plates (plaques d'immatriclation) had a group of numbers followed by the 2-digit department number. A national pastime in France was to identify the department name for the cars you saw on the road, especially on vacation. Alas, in 2009 the license plate numbering scheme was changed to a more Euro-flavored system. The department number can still be specified, in small numbers in the upper-right corner, but it's optional.

Communes of France

A French Commune is approximately a township. A commune can be a very large city, such as Paris or Marseille. A commune is often a few thousand hectares of land with a main town or village, so a particular commune is often related to its town, or visa-versa. There are many communes, including many in Provence, that contain two or more (sometimes many) small villages or hamlets.

Regions

A Region is a group of Departments. France is divided into 22 Metropolitan Regions (an 5 overseas Regions), each with an identifying theme and culture. They were created in 1982 in an effort to help decentralize government, and residents of a particular Region get very attached to their Region as well as to their Department.

The Provence area of France includes parts of the Provence Alpes Côte-d'Azur (PACA), Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées Regions.

In 2016 the 27 existing Regions are being reduced to 18, which some French people are calling super-regions. The new Regions will still be groups of Departments, but some of the Regions will have more departments than before, and some Departments will find themselves moved from one Region to another. Not everybody in the country is happy with the change.

All of the French Regions are listed below, in alphabetical order. Each region has a list of the France departments that make up that region. The departments are listed in alphabetical order, and include the department number. For some of the departments we have mentioned the main town(s).

France Regions 2016

Grand Est

Bas-Rhin (67): Strasbourg

Haut-Rhin (68): Colmar , Mulhouse

 

Ardennes (08): Charleville-Mézières

Aube (10): Troyes

Haute-Marne (52): Saint Dizier

Marne (51): Reims

 

Meurthe-et-Moselle (54): Nancy

Meuse (55): Verdun

Moselle (57): Metz

Vosges (88): Epinal

Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Dordogne (24): Périgueux - Lascaux Grotto, Vézère Valley, Cénac-et-Saint-Julien

Gironde (33): Bordeaux

Landes (40): Dax

Lot-et-Garonne (47): Agen

Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64): Bayonne, Pau

 

Corrèze (19): Brive-la-Gaillarde

Creuse (23): Guéret

Haute-Vienne (87): Limoges

 
 

Charente (16): Angouleme, Cognac

Charente-Maritime (17): La Rochelle

Deux-Sèvres (79): Niort

Vienne (86): Poitiers

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Allier (03)

Cantal (15)

Haut-Loire (43)

Puy-de-Dôme (63)

 

Ain (01): Bourg-en-Bresse

Ardèche (07): Tournon-sur-Rhône

Drôme (26): Valence, Montélimar

Haute-Savoie (74): Annecy

Isère (38): Grenoble, Vienne

Loire (42): Saint Etienne, Roanne

Rhône (69): Lyon

Savoie (73): Chambery

Normandie

Calvados (14): Caen, Deauville, Honfleur

Manche (50): Saint Lô, Cherbourg, Mont-Saint-Michel

Orne (61)

 

Eure (27): Evreux

Seine-Maritime (76): Le Havre, Rouen, Diepe

Bourgogne-Franche-Compté

Côte-d'Or (21): Dijon

Nièvre (58): Nevers

Saône-et-Loire (71): Mâcon

Yonne (89): Auxerre

 

Doubs (25): Besançon

Haute-Saône (70): Lure

Jura (39): Dole

Territoire-de-Belfort (90): Belfort

Brittany - Bretagne

Côte-d'Armor (22): St Brieuc, Dinan

Finistère (29): Brest, Quimper

Ille-et-Vilaine (35): Renne

Morbihan (56): Lorient, Vannes

Centre- Val de Loire

Cher (18): Bourges, Vierzon

Eure-et-Loir (28): Chartres

Indre (36): Chateauroux, Menetou-sur-Nahon

Indre-et-Loire (37): Tours, Chenonceaux

Loir-et-Cher (41): Blois, Chambord, Vendôme

Loiret (45): Orléans

Ile-de-France

Essonne (91): South of Paris

Hauts-de-Seine (92): Paris suburbs W, NW, SW

Seine-et-Marne (77): E, NE, SE of Paris

Seine-Saint-Denis (93): Paris suburbs NE

Ville de Paris (75)

Yvelines (78); W, NW, SW of Paris

Occitanie

Aude (11): Carcassonne, Narbonne, Limoux

Gard (30): Nîmes, Aigues-Mortes

Hérault (34): Adge, Béziers, Montpellier

Lozère (48): Mende

Pyrénées-Oriental (66): Perpignan

 

Ariège (09): Foix

Aveyron (12): Rodez, Millau

Gers (32): Auch

Haute-Garonne (31): Toulouse

Haute-Pyrénées (65): Tarbes, Lourdes

Lot (46): Cahors,

Tarn (81): Albi

Tarn-et-Garonne (82)

Hauts-de-France

Nord (59): Lille, Dunkerque

Pas-de-Calais (62): Calais

 

Aisne (02): Saint Quentin, Soissons

Oise (60): Beauvais, Compiègne

Somme (80): Amiens

Pays de la Loire

Loire-Atlantique (44): Nantes

Maine-et-Loire (49): Angers, Saumur

Mayenne (53): Mayenne

Sarthe (72): Le Mans

Vendée (85): Le Roche-sur-Yon

Provence Alpes Côte-d'Azur (PACA)

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04): Digne-les-Bains

Haute-Alpes (05): Gap, Briançon

Alpes-Maritimes (06): Cannes, Nice

Bouches-du-Rhône (13): Marseille, Aix-en-Provence

Var (83): Toulon

Vaucluse (84): Avignon

Corsica (Corse)

The Island of Beauty

Corse-du-Sud (102A)

Haute-Corse (102B)

Regions 1982-2015

Alsace

Bas-Rhin (67): Strasbourg

Haut-Rhin (68): Colmar , Mulhouse

Champagne-Ardenne

Ardennes (08): Charleville-Mézières

Aube (10): Troyes

Haute-Marne (52): Saint Dizier

Marne (51): Reims

Lorraine

Meurthe-et-Moselle (54): Nancy

Meuse (55): Verdun

Moselle (57): Metz

Vosges (88): Epinal

Aquitaine

Dordogne (24): Périgueux - Lascaux Grotto, Vézère Valley, Cénac-et-Saint-Julien

Gironde (33): Bordeaux

Landes (40): Dax

Lot-et-Garonne (47): Agen

Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64): Bayonne, Pau

Limousin

Corrèze (19): Brive-la-Gaillarde

Creuse (23): Guéret

Haute-Vienne (87): Limoges

Poitou-Charentes

Charente (16): Angouleme, Cognac

Charente-Maritime (17): La Rochelle

Deux-Sèvres (79): Niort

Vienne (86): Poitiers

Auvergne

Allier (03)

Cantal (15)

Haut-Loire (43)

Puy-de-Dôme (63)

Rhône-Alpes

Ain (01): Bourg-en-Bresse

Ardèche (07): Tournon-sur-Rhône

Drôme (26): Valence, Montélimar

Haute-Savoie (74): Annecy

Isère (38): Grenoble, Vienne

Loire (42): Saint Etienne, Roanne

Rhône (69): Lyon

Savoie (73): Chambery

Basse-Normandie

Calvados (14): Caen, Deauville, Honfleur

Manche (50): Saint Lô, Cherbourg, Mont-Saint-Michel

Orne (61)

Haute-Normandie

Eure (27): Evreux

Seine-Maritime (76): Le Havre, Rouen, Diepe

Bourgogne

Côte-d'Or (21): Dijon

Nièvre (58): Nevers

Saône-et-Loire (71): Mâcon

Yonne (89): Auxerre

Franche-Comté

Doubs (25): Besançon

Haute-Saône (70): Lure

Jura (39): Dole

Territoire-de-Belfort (90): Belfort

Brittany - Bretagne

Côte-d'Armor (22): St Brieuc, Dinan

Finistère (29): Brest, Quimper

Ille-et-Vilaine (35): Renne

Morbihan (56): Lorient, Vannes

Centre

Cher (18): Bourges, Vierzon

Eure-et-Loir (28): Chartres

Indre (36): Chateauroux, Menetou-sur-Nahon

Indre-et-Loire (37): Tours, Chenonceaux

Loir-et-Cher (41): Blois, Chambord, Vendôme

Loiret (45): Orléans

Ile-de-France

Essonne (91): South of Paris

Hauts-de-Seine (92): Paris suburbs W, NW, SW

Seine-et-Marne (77): E, NE, SE of Paris

Seine-Saint-Denis (93): Paris suburbs NE

Ville de Paris (75)

Yvelines (78); W, NW, SW of Paris

Languedoc-Roussillon

Aude (11): Carcassonne, Narbonne, Limoux

Gard (30): Nîmes, Aigues-Mortes

Hérault (34): Adge, Béziers, Montpellier

Lozère (48): Mende

Pyrénées-Oriental (66): Perpignan

Midi-Pyrénées

Ariège (09): Foix

Aveyron (12): Rodez, Millau

Gers (32): Auch

Haute-Garonne (31): Toulouse

Haute-Pyrénées (65): Tarbes, Lourdes

Lot (46): Cahors,

Tarn (81): Albi

Tarn-et-Garonne (82)

Nord-Pas-de-Calais

Nord (59): Lille, Dunkerque

Pas-de-Calais (62): Calais

Picardie

Aisne (02): Saint Quentin, Soissons

Oise (60): Beauvais, Compiègne

Somme (80): Amiens

Pays de la Loire

Loire-Atlantique (44): Nantes

Maine-et-Loire (49): Angers, Saumur

Mayenne (53): Mayenne

Sarthe (72): Le Mans

Vendée (85): Le Roche-sur-Yon

Provence Alpes Côte-d'Azur (PACA)

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04): Digne-les-Bains

Haute-Alpes (05): Gap, Briançon

Alpes-Maritimes (06): Cannes, Nice

Bouches-du-Rhône (13): Marseille, Aix-en-Provence

Var (83): Toulon

Vaucluse (84): Avignon

Corsica (Corse)

The Island of Beauty

Corse-du-Sud (102A)

Haute-Corse (102B)