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France in Europe and around the world

Carte Terres d'outre-mer-Secrétariat d'Etat à l'outre-mer

There are little bits of France all over the world. 

Panneau Place de l'Ile de la Réunion - Photo : G. BrameMartinique, Guadeloupe, French Guyana, and Réunion are French but European too. They are France’s 4 overseas départements - “départements d’Outre-mer” or “DOM” for short. They are known in French as the “terres d’Outre-mer” (lands overseas) and their inhabitants are called “Ultra-marins".

Vol Ariane 5, CSG Kourou, Guyane - Photo : CNES/ESA/Arianespace, 2005 site MAEEFrench Guyana is next to Brasil. It is the biggest French département and the one astronauts prefer. Kourou is the spaceport from which the European rocket called Ariane  is launched.

The island of Réunion is in the Indian Ocean.

Guadeloupe and Martinique are part of the West Indies.

Even more widely scattered are New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Tahiti, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna, Mayotte and a few small pieces of land around the South Pole.

Together with metropolitan France (la métropole), these pays d’Outre-mer, as they are called, make up the totality of French territory around the globe.  

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