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MAP: Longest beach, most bakeries - A tour of France by its records

We go round the country looking at the hottest and coldest towns, the village with the fewest number of people and the city with the most CCTV cameras

We look at which French city has the most cycle lanes, which has the most bakeries and where the longest beach in France is Pic: Chrisdorney, Petr Kovalenkov, Altitude Drone, Thomas Dutour / Shutterstock

France is the country that attracts the most international visitors every year, with over 90 million tourists flocking to see its sights every year, pre-Covid figures show. 

It can also claim some more unusual records – it has the most private swimming pools of any European country and the second most in the world after the US. 

But perhaps more interesting are the records within France.

In our map below, we look at various records attributed to cities, departments or regions in France métropolitaine. 

Which city has the most cycle lanes or bakeries? Which region has the most bars per person?

Which city has the most single people? And where is the longest beach? 

Find out in our map and below read about some of the records in more detail. 

The records are all based on the most up-to-date information available, but are subject to change as time goes on and more data is published. 

France’s single-person village

Rochefourchat in the department of Drôme is not a lively place. In fact, it is quite likely that if you go there you will not meet a single other person. 

That’s because the hamlet only has one registered resident, and that person does not live there year-round. 

In the hamlet is a single house located next to the Église Saint-Pierre. There is also a public telephone box and a sign describing local hiking trails. 

An article about Rochefourchat on a local Drôme tourism blog says that it is possible to organise a marriage in France’s least populated village. 

It states that the commune “hides many romantic places”. 

Screenshot / Google Maps

Caption: A house and a church in Rochefourchat

The department obsessed with dating apps

A study by a French dating federation - the Fédération française de dating - found that the Brittany department of Finistère has the highest proportion of active users of the dating app Tinder. 

It states that 4.33% of its residents are Tinder users, more than any other department. 

In second place is the Hautes-Pyrénées (Occitanie), with 3.98% of its inhabitants on the app, followed by Haute-Vienne (Nouvelle-Aquitaine), with 3.94%.

Dirtiest city?

This might be unfair on Marseille, which is a beautiful and historic port city on the Mediterranean Sea. 

A 2018 competition organised by the radio show Radio Brunet on RMC asked its listeners to vote for France’s dirtiest city. 

Marseille was chosen, and it was awarded with the Balai d'Or (Golden Broom) – this is a joke reference to the The Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball), a prize awarded to the world’s best footballer. 

Paris suburb Montreuil was voted the second dirtiest city, while Paris itself came in third. 

The vote was based on people’s experiences and subjective opinion and is not necessarily factually correct. 

The most bars

French region Brittany is known for being a place in which alcohol is often enjoyed and is part of the everyday culture of the people. 

But a study by French newspaper Le Télégramme in the mid-2010s found that the island of Corsica actually has more bars per person than Brittany. 

Using data from France’s national statistics bureau Insee, it worked out that there are 1.83 bars per 1,000 people. In Brittany, there are around 0.99 bars per 1,000 people. 

The above map is part of our ongoing series showcasing different elements of French society and culture through maps. 

We have also written about French inventors, cheeses, funny commune names, local sweets and desserts, local aperitifs and many other topics. 

If you have any suggestions for maps you would like us to make or think we should add anything to our previous articles, let us know at

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