The Most Popular Village In France


Cordes-sur-Ciel has been voted the ‘most popular French Village’, on a programme of the same name “Le Village Préféré Des Français”,broadcasted on the national TV channelFrance 2 on Tuesday 1st July. Voting is carried out by French national viewers, who choose their favourite village in France from a shortlist of 22.


Cordes-sur-Ciel, located in the Tarn department of the Midi-Pyrénées, is an architecturally stunning village perched on the top of a hill. Originally named “corte” meaning “rocky heights,” the village was later renamed “Cordes-sur-Ciel”, to indicate its height above the clouds over low-lying areas of the valley – as in a fairytale book!


Interestingly, the Midi-Pyrenees is the only department in France that had two villages listed in the competition, indicating the true magnificence of this region.  The fact that the listing is decided by the discerning French themselves serves as a goodguide for international tourists wishing to visit the ‘real France’anddiscover its natural beauty for themselves.


Two Brits who have done just thatare Jeanne and David Boden who moved to the region 17 years ago.  The Boden’s are now involved in helping to develop La Durantie, so that others like them can own-in and enjoy this beautiful region of France.  Just 22 km from Cordes Sur Ciel, the Chateau de la Durantie is currently being renovated into a country club & spa and vernacular style homes are being developed in the chateau grounds.



The Tarn is a quintessentially French rural region which is not as well-known as neighbouring Provence, but is much loved by a number of British expats who have stumbled upon it and then never left!  The elegant belle époque chateau at the heart of La Durantie is one of the region’s prized architectural possessions; it lies just 55 minutes north of Toulouse and close to the village of Castelnau-de-Montmiral in a landscape of rolling hills, vineyards and ancient hill-top towns.


Overlooking undulating vineyards and miles of dense oak forest, La Durantie will soon become home to 57 vernacular designed single and two storey one to five bedroom detached homes together with two styles of apartments with either 2 or 3 bedrooms.  In-keeping with the local villages, homes will be arranged in small clusters of approximately six homes with private spaces and landscaped internal courtyards.  Some homes will be stone faced and others will have the traditional render in soft hues bordered by local detailing in brick and stone whilst terracotta roof tiles will enhance the mellow and traditional character of the scheme.  Most homes will also have an ‘integrated’ private swimming pool set within the landscaped private gardens and the four apartments are clustered around a shared pool.



La Durantie will be in keeping with the vernacular-style of the local villages.


Having so many picturesque villages on the doorstep makes for perfect day trips for residents and guests at La Durantie should they ever tire of the magic of “Le Village Préféré Des Français”.