Britons planning to make the move abroad, or tourists hankering for a longer stay than a brief holiday in France, will be asking the same question this summer: where’s the best place to live?
Now, research from a group set up to find out almost exactly that has revealed the answer. The study, conducted by The Observatory of Happiness, which monitors what makes French people happy, found that costal places are some of the happiest parts of the country.
“Mainly coastal towns, where the climate is pleasant, and life is sweet,” Jean-Pierre Ternaux, neurobiologist and co-ordinator of the Observatory, tells The Local . “But above all, these cities [which have been chosen] have made tremendous progress in terms of ecological development, and we are able to breathe [in them].”
Bordeaux is the happiest place in France, according to the study, which is partly thanks to its location close to the coontry’s Atlantic coast. Montpellier, capital of the popualr Languedoc-Roussillon province, is the second happiest, with 15 per cent of the votes. Toulose and Nantes (12 per cent for each) are the joint third happiest place in France, the former located close to the Mediterranean and the latter close to the Atlantic.
Nice completed the top five.
“Before, people would say Bordeaux is a ‘sleeping beauty’ – a sad or dark city, a city where you get bored, But now they say it’s a city that’s alive, where you can walk peacefully and there are beautiful things,” says Stéphan Delaux, deputy mayor of Bordeaux and president of the Bordeaux Tourism Board.