And the Favourite Village of the French is........
Tuesday 05 July 2016
For the second year in succession a village in Brittany has been chosen by the French as their favourite village in 2016.
In an annual competition organised by the French television channel France 2, the winner this year of Village préféré des Français is Rochefort-en-Terre, located in the Morbihan department of Brittany.
Last year the winner was the Brittany coastal village of Ploumanac'h, in the department of Côtes d'Armor.
Previous winners of the competition, now in its 5th year, have been the village of Cordes-sur-Ciel in the Tarn department of the Midi-Pyrénées, Eguisheim in the Haut-Rhin department of Alsace, and the village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, also in the Midi-Pyrénées.
The competition is very popular, with around 4 million viewers who watch each of the programmes broadcast over several weeks, and hundreds of thousands who then cast their vote.
Villages are selected for the competition by France 2 on the basis of their charm, authenticity and beauty, as well as the level of conviviality and respect for culinary traditions.
The village of Rochefort-en-Terre (population 700 residents) is already a popular tourist destination and, based on the evidence from previous winners, ten of thousands of additional tourists can be anticipated in the coming years.
The list of the top ten finalists in 2016 was as follows:1 - Rochefort-en-Terre - Moribhan - Brittany
2 - Montreuil - Pas-de-Calais - Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie
3 - Rocamadour - Lot - Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées
4 - Arbois - Jura - Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
5 - Vogüé - Ardèche - Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
6 - Nonza - Haute-Corse - Corsica
7 - Gordes - Vaucluse - Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
8 - Varengeville-sur-Mer - Seine-Maritime - Normandy
9 - Béhuard - Maine-et-Loire - Pays de la Loire
10 - Sare - Pyrénées-Atlantiques - Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes
This competition sits alongside a number of other official and non-official labels that have emerged to promote French heritage - 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.