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Best Village in France 2019

Tuesday 09 July 2019

The village of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue in the Manche department of Normandy has been voted best village in France this year.

Located on the north-east coast of Manche, around 30 kilometres east of Cherbourg, the village sits in a charming, attractive bay, and is a significant marina and fishing port. It has a population of 1,800 inhabitants. 

It is the first time a village in the Normandy has carried off the award since it started in 2012.

The winner last year was Cassel in Brittany and the previous recent winner was Kaysersberg, near Colmar, in the department of Haut-Rhin.

The competition is an 'unofficial' one, run by the French television channel France 2, in a programme called Village préféré des Français. Viewers vote for their favourite. It is very popular, with several million viewers each year. 

Villages are selected for the competition on the basis of their charm, authenticity and beauty, as well as the level of conviviality and respect for culinary traditions.

In second place this year was the village of Pont-Croix, Brittany, and the village of Terre-de-Haut, Guadeloupe came in third place. 

The following photos show some of the reasons why Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue won the competition this year.

The list of the villages and their regions in the competition this year was as follows:

  • Souvigny, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
  • Mouthier-Haute-Pierre, Bourgogne Franche-Comté
  • Pont-Croix, Brittany
  • Frazé, Centre-Val de Loire
  • Erbalunga, Corsica
  • Les Riceys, Grand Est
  • La Ferté-Milon, Hauts de France
  • Bourron-Marlotte, Ile de France
  • Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue, Normandy
  • Mornac-sur-Seudre, Nouvelle-Aquitaine
  • Le Thoureil, Pays de Loire
  • Lauzerte, Occitanie
  • Cotignac, PACA

Other similar competitions that seek to promote French heritage, both official and non-official, are Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, Station Verte, Petite Cité de Caractère, Pays d'art et d'histoire and Concours des Villes et Villages Fleuris.

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