This chocolate-box village has just been named as France's favorite
July 03, 2020
Last Update: 2020-07-03 20:29:23
France's favorite village? It's an Alsatian town full of chocolate-box charm with black and white half-timbered houses and flower-decked windows and balconies.
Hunspach is poised to be the new gem in France's tourist crown after it landed the title of the nation's favorite village. After months of competition, the small town near the German border in Alsace, came out on top in the popular annual TV poll Le Village Préféré des Français (France’s favorite village), the third Alsatian village to claim victory since the competition began.
The former Swedish settlement in the Bas-Rhin département is known for its friendly locals, proud Alsatian spirit and streets lined with 16th-century half-timbered houses, painted white and decorated with carved window frames and colorful plant boxes and blooms. It's small, with a population of just 653 inhabitants, and can be reached on the Haguenau to Wissembourg railway. As an alternative, you can travel by car from Strasbourg and the journey takes just under an hour.
Hunspach is full of chocolate-box charm ©John Elk III/Getty Images
Winning the competition is a major boost, not just to the community spirit, but to small-town economies and tourist industries too. Eguisheim – a picturesque village surrounded by vineyards on the Alsace wine route – experienced a tourist boom after winning the competition in 2013. It's expected that Hunspach will experience a similar fate and Hunspachois, as locals are known, are ready for their close-up.
Flower boxes add a splash of color ©John Elk III/Getty Images
Speaking to France's 20 Minutes, the town's mayor Bertrand Wahl said he's in the process of transforming a chalet in the main square into a tourist reception office. "You see, we are preparing for their arrival," he told reporters. Last year, Hunspach received 2000 visitors but the numbers are predicted to rise by 30% this summer, according to Le Parisien.
Hunspach was trailed by Les Anses-d'Arlet in the French overseas territory of Martinique, which came second in the competition, followed by Ménerbes in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in third place.