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Archived discussions

Entering from Belgium[edit]

A couple of queries about the section From Belgium

  • Firstly, why do we even have a 'from Belgium' section in so much detail and not a similarly detailed 'from Italy' or 'from Switzerland' etc?
  • Also there is contradictory information in that the first bullet seems to suggest that all trains from Belgium pass through Luxembourg which is not the case when you read the second bullet, and the information about the Thalys trains further back in the article.
  • As someone who knows little about the subject matter of travelling between Belgium and France (i.e. the same state of mind most travellers that read this site are in), this section does little to enlighten me. If anything it confuses the matter in my mind.

May I then suggest that someone who knows what they're talking about take a look at this section and if possible re-write it. Many thanks --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:23, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Good questions. Last time I was in that area (2007 or so), I took a train Amsterdam-Paris via Belgium and back with no border formalities at all. I thought that sort of thing was general within the Schengen group. If so, roughly 90% of the "From Belgium" section could just be deleted.
But you are right, it needs someone familiar with the area to take a look. Pashley (talk) 14:27, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, the Schengen agreement was one thing I didn't mention for fear of coming across as too critical. I've crossed the French border before (from Spain and by car) and there was barely an acknowledgement of the border, let alone any controls. If this article is to be believed, it's easier to get into the US from Mexico than it is to enter France from Belgium, what the prospect of a forest hike in Longwy or a yomp across the dunes at De Panne :) --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:26, 27 March 2013 (UTC)


May I suggest that an editor who knows a bit about French universities and the sort of places foreign students can go to in the country to study takes a look at this section, since at the moment it's looking very bare. Regards, --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:59, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Article Promotion[edit]

I noticed that the article was marked as 'outline'. I have changed to 'Usable' although it could perhaps be considered for 'Guide'. In any case I am putting this here for visibility. Andrewssi2 (talk) 15:02, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

This is definitely at "Usable" status but not "guide". A quick research says that many of destination articles of France are at outline status and until all of them not achieve minimum "Usable" status, promoting this article to guide status will be not a good decision. --Saqib (talk) 15:09, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, unfortunately WV:Country guide status says that the destinations listed in the article must be "usable status or better" otherwise the country article cannot be even usable. The city of Bourges and almost all Other destinations are currently outlines. This is why most countries actually are outlines, even as the country article itself is in a good shape. ϒpsilon (talk) 15:20, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I'm understanding this now. Still, it seems unfair since it means only tiny countries will ever be more than outlines. The United States which has a lot of useful and careful content will always be an outline because people will always create articles for every 'cowshed' and 'one horse town' without adding content. Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:53, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

I think it would be a good new-year's resolution for this site to do something about this two year old issue... Whether it be by addressing France in particular or the general problem of country guide status... Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:59, 19 December 2015 (UTC)

Remove cope section[edit]

I noticed France has a cope section, which is not part of the standard template: Wikivoyage:Country_article_template

The content is around using the toilet, which although a valid traveler issue probably doesn't merit a top level section.

I move the text below instead: Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:53, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

++++++++ Toilets are available in restaurants, cafés; there are also public facilities, which generally charge a fee. Note that American euphemisms such as "restroom", "washroom" etc. will often not be understood; ask for "toilets" (or in French "toilettes". In older public facilities, particularly those that do not charge or in isolated rest areas, you may encounter squat toilets.

I don't think it matters whether "Cope" is an optional section not shown in the template. It can be used if it helps travellers. And shouldn't this content be somewhere in the article? Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:25, 19 December 2015 (UTC)

Merge talk sections and shorten 'vous' and 'tu' explanations[edit]

I just noticed there are effectively two talk sections:

The 'talking to people' section in particular seems to really want to hammer in the idea that you shouldn't use 'tu' when you need to use 'vous', and seems to try an explain it repeatedly over many paragraphs.

I would suggest this content is better served in the French phrasebook, and the usage of 'vous' and 'tu' should only be covered briefly in the talk section. Would this be an agreeable approach? Andrewssi2 (talk) 15:01, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

The second section is necessary when you want to speak with w:Milou... :D
Jokes aside, I agree that it fits better into French phrasebook. The thing about when to use "vous" and "tu" is, as you know, goes for almost all European countries and elsewhere. Maybe we could include the advice in some form in Talk or Respect? ϒpsilon (talk) 15:19, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that was the other thing. Although each country uses it slightly different, the general gist of 'tu and 'vous' is applicable through much of Europe.
I would say it merits a sentence or at most a paragraph in 'Respect'. (Also I never knew Snowy was called 'Milou' :) ) 15:28, 1 February 2014 (UTC)Andrewssi2 (talk)
I think the "Talking to people" section of "Respect" is useful and informative, but should perhaps be renamed "How to address people," or even "Tu and vous," though that's not all that's mentioned. Where I could definitely see paring the article is in the "Talk" section, where instead of providing an inadequate few phrases, the reader can just be referred to the French phrasebook. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:49, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the French phrasebook does exist so that we don't have to cover the language fully in 'Talk'. Quick and important phrases such as 'Excuse me' and 'please' are probably fine, although 'Où sont les toilettes' probably belongs in the phrasebook. Andrewssi2 (talk) 13:05, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
The section is definitely informative, although I'm not convinced this is the appropriate place for a detailed French lesson. If someone doesn't speak French at all then this level of detail will go right above their heads. Is there no precedent for moving this into the phrasebook? Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:39, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

"L'anglais et les Français" Infobox[edit]

L'anglais et les Français

Yes, it's true: while most people in France under the age of 60 have studied English, they are often unable or unwilling to use it. This is not necessarily linguistic snobbery, but is usually due to lack of practice, or fear that their little-used-since-high-school English will sound ridiculous. If you really must speak English, be sure to begin the conversation in French and ask if the person can speak English, as assuming someone can speak a foreign language is considered very rude. Please note that British English, spoken with the carefully articulated "received pronunciation", is what is generally taught in France; thus, other accents (such as Irish, Scottish, Southern US or Australian accents) may be understood with difficulty, if at all. Try to speak clearly and slowly, and avoid slang or US-specific words or phrases. There is no need to speak loudly (unless in a loud environment) to be understood; doing so is considered impolite. Don't forget that French people will really appreciate any attempts you make to speak French. No French people will laugh at you if you make mistakes in French.

Can somebody review the infobox called "L'anglais et les Français" under France#Talk and let me know what they think?

Perhaps the author meant well, but all I can really read is "All French people can speak English but are too shy, and only understand British accents". (Sorry for the simplification, although I think that is what a quick reading traveler would also pick up)

I'm not convinced any content in that infobox is particularly true or helpful. Speaking English clearly isn't exactly advice that is limited to France or even Europe.

A quick check shows that it was added in much of the existing state in March 2008 by an anonymous user. Andrewssi2 (talk) 15:31, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

It may be OK, but as you say, it's probably unnecessary. Plus, as a minor point, it's of course untrue that French people will never laugh at funny mistakes French learners may make. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:42, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
OK, I have moved here in case anyone else wants to have a go at working on it :) Andrewssi2 (talk) 13:02, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

L'anglais et les Français

Yes, it's true: while most people in France under the age of 60 have studied English, they are often unable or unwilling to use it. This is not necessarily linguistic snobbery, but is usually due to having forgotten most of what they learned, lack of practice, or simply fear that their little-used-since-high-school English will sound ridiculous. Among E.U. members, France is in the middle when it comes to foreign language knowledge—49% claim they are unable to converse in a language other than French. As with nearly every country in the world that doesn't speak English, you should always try to politely ask the person you are speaking with if they speak English—"Parlez-vous anglais?"—and always speak clearly and, if necessary, slower while using a more basic English vocabulary. Politeness is also more appreciated than in most countries and liberally using "please" and "thank you" goes a long way.

I think it was well-intentioned and worth a little more attention than Andrewssi2's simplification. I get the impression that the French have a reputation for not speaking English, which is undeserved but probably results from the large number of tourists the country attracts and probably the large number of English-speaking tourists who are rude and/or don't bother to try using any French. Regarding politeness, there was an image ([1])that spread on the internet last year of a cafe in the south of France that charged much higher prices for people who ordered coffee without saying "hello" and "thank you".
I doubt there are many instances where native francophones will laugh at tourist's mistakes; maybe in a casual setting, but not openly in public. The only somewhat humorous mistake a non-native may make is in pronouncing "répéter" (infinitive of "repeat"), which is subtly different than "refart" (to fart is "péter"). Of course, how many times does anyone say "refart"? They'll understand what you mean, but maybe it would be funny to children. However, it's probably not worth mentioning laughing at mistakes. AHeneen (talk) 03:04, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
The simplification was important in order to demonstrate the lack of clarity the infobox was providing. Also not quite sure why the news story about politeness is relevant to English speaking in France?
In any case I'll give the Infobox a go myself to try and get there... Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:41, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

L'anglais et les Français

While most people in France have studied English, they are often unable or unwilling to use it. This is not necessarily linguistic snobbery and politeness is much appreciated from visitors, and you will find the liberal use of Excusez-moi ("Excuse me"), S'il vous plaît ("please") and Merci ("thank you") will go a long way. You should always politely ask the person if they speak English — "Parlez-vous anglais?"'


Would suggest replacing Bourges in this article's city list with some other city. Bourges is in an outright sad state and other language versions don't have much to translate. I would replace it with Nice, a major destination which I was surprised not to find in this list. Or if we want to have something representing Central France, then how about Clermont-Ferrand for instance? ϒpsilon (talk) 14:52, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

I haven't been to Bourges or Clermont-Ferrand, though I will trust your judgement that the former is a poor destination. I haven't heard much good about C.F. either, and would err on the side of Nice, having been there and knowing how nice (cringe) it is, as well as its popularity and good reputation. As a courtesy to central France and promoting my old home region, I would also like to suggest Orléans or Tours as possible replacements for Bourges. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:15, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
You misunderstood me :), I meant the article is virtually empty. ϒpsilon (talk) 16:21, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Oh yes, of course you did, haha :) Well, I still think Bourges is less of an attraction than Nice, and possibly Tours and Orléans too. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:47, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Nice's article looks most extensive (Tours and Orleans are as of now short on hotels and restaurants). I'll make the change tomorrow if nobody opposes. --ϒpsilon (talk) 18:03, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Yep, makes sense. I'm working on expanding those two, but they're a way off yet. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:39, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
I haven't been to Bourges or Clermont-Ferrand, but Nice is good to list. ThunderingTyphoons!, I like Orleans and it's a significant city, but what city would you like to substitute it for? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:50, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Bourges :) --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 08:55, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Would you not add Nice? Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:49, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Ikan, I feel like you're not reading my previous posts. As I said, I would fully support the addition of Nice, but proposed Orléans and Tours as possible alternatives (partly for self-interested reasons, partly because they are both, like Bourges, in central France). --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:40, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
But, realistically, the list looks incomplete without Nice, more so than being without Orléans. The Loire Valley is certainly a top-level important destination, but thinking about it between Orléans / Tours and Nice, there is no contest. If we put more than 9 cities, certainly, but as we don't... Nice is the 5th largest city in France, Tours is 27th and Orléans is 33rd. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:46, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
I did read your previous posts and thought that you might be interested in adding both Nice and Tours or Orléans. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:24, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Only if we can have more than nine cities :) --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:43, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Having taken a look at said pages, I have the opinion that Nice definitely deserves to be featured, as not only is the city a great touristic destination, but its page is in a very good condition, much more so than either Bourges, Orleans and Tours. I'd propose thinking of putting Chamonix in place of Lille, but would rather not polemize that further. Ibaman (talk) 17:55, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Chamonix is certainly a better article, Lille's a more notable city. The only northern city too, which would make the list even more weighted toward the south than it currently is. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:47, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't think we should be making our decisions based on the current state of articles. As ThunderingTyphoons! says, Lille is indeed an important city that deserves to be in the list. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:49, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
I'll go ahead and replace Bourges with Nice. ϒpsilon (talk) 15:01, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Merci, ϒpsilon :)

Caution box?[edit]

When is it time to take the caution box at the top of the page about the Paris attacks in November off? I have no idea whether there are still controls at the borders, but if there are, shouldn't that be put in the get in section? I don't know. Anyway, thanks.  Seagull123  Φ  20:59, 19 December 2015 (UTC)

In my opinion, yes, it should be removed now. I fully agree with your points. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:01, 19 December 2015 (UTC)
The national state of emergency is still in effect, so I think it should stay for now --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:48, 19 December 2015 (UTC)
Are there any actual travel implications for the 'national state of emergency' ? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:41, 19 December 2015 (UTC)
Dunno :) --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 00:10, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
I guess that is what we are looking for. According to the US State Department, there is indeed a national state of emergency that appears to mean there are increased powers for the police, but nothing as far as I can tell that impacts travelers. I guess the caution box can be removed. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:56, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Administrative reorganization?[edit]

I don't know a lot of details, but it appears that Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes were combined administratively earlier this year. There may have been other combinations as well. Is it important that our hierarchy reflect the administrative divisions on the ground? Powers (talk) 20:30, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

There have been quite a few mergers, meaning the number of regions has been reduced from 22 to 13. Many of the new regions have been renamed (for details see:, so it may indeed be time to review our region hierarchy.

We may, for example consider removing the distinction between geographic regions like "Northern France" and "Southwestern France" which only exist on Wikivoyage and other travel guides, and substituting actual regions such as Normandy and Nouvelle-Aquitaine, which are now enshrined into French law. This would remove one extra layer of the hierarchy, which in my view would be a good thing as our current top level regions are very sparse in their content. The new top-level regions would combine the contents of merged regions such as Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy into one Hauts-de-France article.

Please comment and say what you think. Bonne année ! --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:37, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

Bonne année à tous! I think we should definitely use the new official regions, but I'm not positive we should avoid some kinds of general geographic regions, though it would probably make sense to reduce those. Here are the tables from Wikipedia:

Regions that merged:

Former region New region (interim name) New region (final name)
Burgundy Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Aquitaine Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Lower Normandy Normandy Normandy
Upper Normandy
Alsace Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine Grand Est
Languedoc-Roussillon Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées Occitanie
Nord-Pas-de-Calais Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie Hauts-de-France
Auvergne Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Regions that remained unchanged:

Centre-Val de Loire
French Guiana
Pays de la Loire
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Quite a few of the unchanged regions are overseas departments that Wikivoyage doesn't include in the France guide. So perhaps we could group the current regions like this:

North: Hauts-de-France, Normandy, Île-de-France, Brittany

Northeast: Grand Est, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

Loire Valley: Centre-Val de Loire, Pays de la Loire

Southeast: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Corsica

Southwest: Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Occitanie

Or we could just take ThunderingTyphoons!' idea and have 13 regions for France, corresponding to the 13 new official regions. What would best serve the traveller? Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:23, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for your input, Ikan. I had hoped one of our proposals would spur discussion on the topic, but a week on that doesn't seem to be happening. I'll put a request for comment, and hopefully some Wikivoyagers will descend from the heavens. Perhaps Powers would be interested as well, as the original instigator of the topic. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:21, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
In the event you don't get any more participation, I think you should just plunge forward with whatever you think best. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:15, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
Given that the new regions give less than 9 for metropolitan France and the current subdivision seems to be suboptimal, I see no reason not to implement a regional breakdown based on this. And from that downwards we can assess which regional subdivisions are excessive and which should be recombined or otherwise changed from what they currently are. And should this discussion die down without resolution, I second Ikan's request to just go ahead. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:16, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
I've just realised that a major barrier to changing the regions is the country map. What's the standard procedure regarding that? I could easily replace it with a dynamic map and have co-ordinate numbers represent the regions, but that would be rather inferior to what we currently have. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:07, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
Nations need static maps, so a new one has to be created. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:13, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
Okay, that may throw a spanner in the works. I don't expect someone else to spend the time to create such a map just because of three people agreeing the regions need changing, neither do I have the skills to do it myself. Even if we kept the top-level regions as they are (catering to the current map) that would still leave administrative regions such as Occitanie spread across two of our regions. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:42, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
Don't make up other people's minds for them. It's perfectly reasonable to request for someone to create a new map. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:00, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
Alright then, thanks for the advice. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:35, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
I have no knowledge of France with which to render any advice on whether or not to use the new administrative regions as travel regions, except to remind that there is no requirement to do so. The map should not be an issue; the "skills" required are minimal and in many ways creating a map is easier than writing travel guides. Powers (talk) 18:23, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
Excellent. I'll wait a day or two more, then if no-one else has come forward to comment, I'll make the changes, and put in a request at the region map project. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:40, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
I just had a look at the map, it comes with a SVG version with a hidden layer containing the borders of all the administrative regions. As the new regions are just a recombination of those, it should be quite straightforward to create those new regions from the old map. Drat70 (talk) 01:04, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

I modified the map to include the new regions let me know if there are any mistakes or feel free to edit it yourself: File:France-regions-2017.svg.

Wikivoyage region map for France (SVG)

As some of the region names are quite long, it's quite a squeeze to put in the name to some of them. We could consider abbreviations for some, but not sure which. Drat70 (talk) 05:23, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Thank you very much Drat70! At a quick glance, the regions look perfect. The roads are definitely outdated, in that most of the yellow should be red, but I couldn't tell you all the stretches, and am not sure how much it matters. As the longer region names tend to be the new ones (those that opted to combine their old names, rather than agreeing on something new) there may not be any common abbreviations for them. The only one I know that is in very common use for a long-established region is PACA. Thanks again, --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:36, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
It's somewhat aesthetically displeasing that the words Ile de France are outside of the region they describe, but otherwise good work. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:37, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, the roads (as much as everything else except the region) has been taken over from the old map, so the information is most probably outdated.
I agree, it looks weird that the words are outside of the region and the arrow that points into it is not very visible as well. This has been the case in the old map already, and given the size of the region, I don't really see how I could make it fit. Maybe somebody else has an idea how to improve on this? Drat70 (talk) 07:56, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
I went back and changed it. Turns out it can just fit in, since the font size is now smaller than in the old map (this is due to the bigger number of regions). It looks a bit crammed now. IMO this is the lesser evil as compared to having the label outside, but if you disagree, feel free to revert to the old version of the image. Drat70 (talk) 08:06, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
It looks like the change is ready to go. The 13 regions were decided upon? I'm OK with that. User:Hobbitschuster, are you OK with that? Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:59, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Hi. I'm still working on the mergers, albeit slowly. I regret that it's taking as long as it is, but I'm trying to do both a high-quality job and trying to fit it around everyday life, which is hectic at the moment. Four out of the six new region articles (created from mergers) are in a 'finished' state, while one is nearly finished, and the last one is still empty of content. And yes, I'm working on the basis of 13 regions, since nobody had any objections to that plan back in January. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:31, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
@Ikan Kekek: I see no reason to object and look forward to the changes coming online. @ThunderingTyphoons!: There is no rush, so do it on your own time. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:09, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Sorry to mar the great consensus, but I think this is a bad idea. Several of the old regions have a strong regional identity and distinctive character and are well known among travellers to France, e.g. Alsace, Lorraine, Burgundy, Auvergne. I do not think it serves the interest of travellers (i.e. our targeted audience) to replace them with abstract, purely administrative constructs like "Grand Est" or "Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes". The only case that makes sense to me from a traveller's point of view is the merger of Upper and Lower Normandy because they were always perceived as one touristic region anyway. I know that some of the old regions were oddly assorted, too, e.g. Rhône-Alpes, but in a general view the old regions are still better fitting (in a traveller's perspective) than the new ones. --RJFF (talk) 15:59, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The old regions were above all way too many. We can of course subdivide those if and when and where needed, but we should not immediately divide France into thirty regions. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:25, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

Quite a few people in France were up in arms about the mergers too, so you're not alone, RJFF :-)
To (hopefully) address your concerns, all of those regions you cite will be made into redirects, so anyone searching for them will still find the right place. Many (indeed most) of the old region articles have precious little information and empty sections, whereas the new articles I've created all have plenty of content, which in my view better serves the traveller. It is also my hope that when the new regions are online, that we will split some of the larger ones into subregions, which could be based on their departments or on some of the more familiar regions, and that those articles will also steadily fill with content. That is to say, there is no reason why in the future there couldn't be an e.g. Alsace article under the hierarchy of Grand-Est. You could think of Grand-Est as replacing the even more anonymous (and once again contentless) Northeastern France. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:30, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) We can use the new administrative regions as top-level regions, but should keep at least those of the old regions that have a strong historical and cultural identity (e.g. the ones I mentioned above) as sub-regions. It would be very user-unfriendly to just blank, say, the Alsace article and redirect it to "Grand Est". --RJFF (talk) 16:33, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
P.S. Please keep in mind that a large part of our readers arrive directly from search engines and do not really use our geographical hierarchy step-by-step. We would lose a lot of readers searching for a free travel guide on Alsace, Burgundy or Languedoc-Roussillon, because it is unlikely that search engines would rank a mere redirect as highly as they rank an article whose title exactly matches the search term. Blanking and redirecting these popular articles would be against the "traveller comes first" principle. Also, most of the new regions are huge and need sub-regionalisation anyway. In many cases, the old regions are the most natural and practical choices for subregions (more so than the départements whose names are mostly unfamiliar to foreigners). --RJFF (talk) 17:16, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
Is that the case though? We have a pretty stubborn problem of low search engine rankings and anecdotal evidence has shown "newly" created articles like Intercity buses in Germany to rank pretty high whereas legacy articles do not, so that's actually a slight argument in favor of new names for our regions. Also, where does it say that redirects are not found? Also also, we may subdivide the regions directly beyond France at some point in the future if and when necessary according to logic that will be evident by that point, so we may well end up with regions like idk Southern Alsace if and when that makes sense. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:45, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
Oops. When searching for [region] + Reiseführer, German Wikivoyage often comes up among the top 10. I assumed that the same would apply for the English version, but obviously it doesn't. That's a pity. Perhaps we should task someone at Wikimedia Foundation to seriously think about search-engine optimisation for this project. Anyhow, I think it is a fallacy to believe that using more unusual article titles would increase our readership. While our page may be among the top results for those search terms, how does that help if no one is searching for these terms? Seriously, who looks up "Grand Est" rather than "Alsace", "Lorraine" or "Champagne"? --RJFF (talk) 18:30, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
Google tailors its results to individual users. Unless you use a non-tracking search engine (such as "startpage") your results will be distorted by the fact that you're rather active on WV. At any rate part of the reason for this is the "duplicate penalty" that google slaps on every article of ours that is too similar to that other site. de-WV obviously has less of this as it migrated earlier. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:39, 10 April 2017 (UTC)


Bonjour, les Wikivoyageurs. Could anyone advise the best course of action for this particular merger? Rhône-Alpes is divided into subregions, whereas Auvergne is not. Presumably an Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes article which is only partially divided would be sub-optimal and against policy, so would it be best to create four new articles (corresponding to the four departments that made up Auvergne; initially they would be only empty templates as I focus my efforts on finishing this region merger job), or to make Auvergne itself a sub-region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes? I'm excited to get going on this one, as it's the last new article needed before the merger takes place. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:11, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

Are the subregions of Rhone-Alpes really needed at this point? Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:24, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
They all have a fair bit of content, so I would say yes. Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is also a very large region, larger than Switzerland, in fact. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:32, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I maintain my proposal (uttered at Talk:Rhône-Alpes) to merge the department articles into three articles about more "natural" subregions, i.e. French Alps, Greater Lyon, Ardèche and Drôme (the last one already exists). They could be placed next to Auvergne as sub-regions of the new Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes article. --RJFF (talk) 16:33, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
That would be an elegant solution. Would you be willing to work on that merger, while I created the main Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes article? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:38, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
@AlasdairW: Would you, as the main author, be OK if I merged Rhône, Ain and Loire into a "Greater Lyon" article? --RJFF (talk) 16:51, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
Although personally I have a slight preference for having articles for Departments, I am quite happy if you merge the articles. Most of the content that I added was based on the French WV article, and I would suggest looking there in the course of the merger. AlasdairW (talk) 21:58, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
I am done with merging Ain, Loire and Rhône into Greater Lyon (there is still some fine-tuning to be done). I am not sure what to do about the three Alpine départements. Haute-Savoie has some content that is worthy of preservation and eleven sub-ordinate places, enough to warrant a separate region. Should it be a sub-region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (administratively correct) or French Alps (more intuitive and travel-related)? The article on Savoie is nearly empty, but has seven sub-ordinate places. Isère has little content and few places and could be merged into French Alps without considerable loss. --RJFF (talk) 18:19, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hi, RJFF, sorry for the slow response; I haven't had much time for Wikivoyage. Thanks for your work on Greater Lyon, it's come out really well.

Haute-Savoie doesn't have any proper 'see' or 'do' sections, which for me is enough reason to not justify its own article. On the other hand, Savoie does have 'see' and 'do' info, so perhaps a neat little merger of the two? It'll make quite a long list of towns, but this is allowed for with bottom-level regions. What's more, much like Upper and Lower Normandy, they are culturally one entity and will share pretty much all of the same 'understand', 'talk', 'eat' and 'drink' content.

French Alps is currently an extra-hierarchical region, meaning it doesn't fit within the breadcrumb trail of country > main region > little region > city, so although it can and does link to the departments within its area, it cannot itself 'own' sub-regions that are part of the breadcrumb. For this reason, we can't make the Savoies, Isère or anywhere else a sub-region of French Alps. The trouble with fixing this by bringing French Alps into the main hierarchy is that it overlaps with another top-level region altogether (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur). For now, it might be best to have Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes split into:

that is until we either work out where to put Isère, or write enough content for it to definitively stand by itself. What do you think?

Just as a response to what you may be implying by talking about "preservation" and "considerable loss" (and I apologise if I've got the wrong end of the stick): there should be no question of deleting content. This is supposed to be a gathering of the information we have got into fewer articles so it's all spread less thinly. Through the mergers I've been doing elsewhere in France, the only information I deleted was either outdated / factually incorrect, or else wasn't suitable for a region article (for example, a restaurant listing - which should be moved down the hierarchy rather than deleted from Wikivoyage outright.) So although it may be a bit of a bore, it is just a case of seeing what information fits best where, and shunting it up or down the hierarchy as necessary. Once again, if you already realise this, and I'm just reading too much into your word choice, then forgive me for stating the obvious!

Hope you're having a smashing Thursday, --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:53, 20 April 2017 (UTC)


Is it really true? Yes, after much delay, I have finally finished writing the new articles. Check out my project log to see how it was done, and to understand what must be done next, namely blanking, redirecting and transferring the new pages from the sandbox into mainspace.

I apologise to you all for the inordinate length of time this has taken, but see no further need for delay, so I'll get right to it. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:10, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

Yes Done --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:52, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
Almost done, region categories have not been created. --Traveler100 (talk) 16:08, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
Traveler100: I created Category:Hauts-de-France, but wasn't sure what to do with it next. Shouldn't it fill up with the pages it contains automatically, or do they have to be added manually? Some have appeared while others haven't. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:24, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
The best way is to create the category first (or rather on edit of first city article) then as you edit each article it will update the category. Not a big issue they will update automatically over the next few days or when the article is next edited. I may start forcing updated in the next hour or so. --Traveler100 (talk) 16:27, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
Right, I see. Thank you for creating the other categories. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:32, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
Impressive work! ϒpsilon (talk) 16:34, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
Thank you, ϒpsilon :-) --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:37, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
Bravo, ThunderingTyphoons! Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:29, 15 October 2017 (UTC)


One thing the new regions do need, if someone would be willing, are static maps. This is especially urgent for Occitanie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, which all contain sub-regions. Best, --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:53, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

Maps are up now for Occitanie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Brittany (the regions with subregions). The other regions are bottom-level regions and follow administrative borders so we can probably get a mapmask from Wikidata/OSM and do dynamic maps for them. -Shaundd (talk) 06:32, 18 November 2017 (UTC)

Chateau de Gudanes[edit]

That chateau restoration project sounds like a pretty good voluntourist attraction. --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 12:59, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

P.S. Found a link to the chateau's website. Also a bit of Restore and Stay as well. --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 13:15, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Replacement for Corsica in Other Destinations?[edit]

As Corsica is a region, it shouldn't really be listed as an 'Other destination' as well. The question is, what to replace it with? I had thought another island, such as Île de Ré, which as a bonus is not in the south, unlike five other items on the list, but that doesn't have its own article yet. Other ideas, all firmly in the north, would be the D-Day Beaches, Fontainebleau, or Versailles - although the latter two are towns, they're almost exclusively visited for their respective royal châteaux and estates. What does anyone else think? ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:00, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

Another single-purpose city, albeit down south, Carcassonne.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:02, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
7 2 doesn't of course say there has to be 9 "Other destinations", so you could just delete Corsica.
How about some place from overseas France (even as they aren't breadcrumbed under France itself)? --Ypsilon (talk) 16:58, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
You're certainly right about the number; there doesn't have to be a replacement. That said, most of our well-developed country articles do have nine items in each list. This article explicitly isn't about overseas France, as stated in the Regions section. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:38, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
Right. I'd suggest some individual place in Corsica, but there doesn't seem to be any "other destinations" listed there. In addition to the places you just mentioned (D-Day beaches could be a good idea as it has been featured on the main page and therefore has a good article), some famous French places I come to think of are the Lascaux site, Champagne or Verdun... if the articles would have more content. Ypsilon (talk) 18:29, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
You're right that the D-Day Beaches article is the most well-developed of those already mooted. Perhaps that's the one to go for, then, if any. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:08, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  • "As Corsica is a region, it shouldn't really be listed as an 'Other destination' as well." Is this really so? In this list, only Disneyland Paris and Mont St. Michel are not "regions". Also Camargue is in such a sorry incipient state, it doesn't merit to be featured as it is. As a traveller, I would suggest Annecy, Chamonix and Nîmes as worthy of this attention. Ibaman (talk) 13:29, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
The crucial distinction is that Corsica is a top-level region listed in the "Regions" section of this very article. It makes no sense whatsoever to cover a top-level region as an "other destination". It's not: It's a region. Get it? Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:50, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Also, basing decisions about which destinations to list on how developed the articles about them are is in my opinion almost the reverse of how we should think about things. Destinations should be selected because they're the most beautiful, compelling, fascinating places in France, and then if the articles about them offer insufficient coverage, they should be suitably improved. That's how a travel guide serves travelers. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:55, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

So I've removed Corsica from the OD list now. Still open to suggestions/arguments over possible replacements. ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:40, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

I've spent time only in several regions of France, so I don't know, but it looks like the list is lacking an island. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:19, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
Well there are the Îles d'Hyères. Others which spring to mind either redlink or redirect.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 19:26, 15 September 2019 (UTC)