The largest Western European nation,(France) covers 543,965 square
kilometers (210,026 square miles), a territory about four-fifths
the size of Texas.
France is bordered by the English Channel to the northwest, Belgium
and Luxembourg to the northeast, Germany and Switzerland to the
east, Italy to the southeast, the Mediterranean Sea and Spain to
the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.
The climate of France is temperate, but wide regional contrasts
exist. Broadly, the areas along the Atlantic coast respond to ocean
air that makes summers pleasant, but not too hot, and winters mild,
In Mediterranean coastal areas, semitropical conditions prevail,
bringing hot, dry summers and warm, wet winters.
As for the interior of the country, the climate takes on a more
continental character: winters are cold, and summers are hot ( though
rarely above 32° C or 90° F ).
Generally, temperatures in the northern two-thirds of the country
swing from 2° C or 35° F to 27° C or 80° F throughout the year.