5 fictional French villages to put on your bucket list

Among the many cultural feats the French have mastered (red wine, red tape, etc.), the art of naming villages stands out.

You may already know about crowd-pleasing locales like Biarritz, Saint-Tropez and Deauville, but what about villages that have really stupid names?  Allow Gymglish to suggest 5 lesser-known destinations that continue a long tradition of improbable village names. Note: the following French villages do not actually exist. 

1. Ullioles-les-douches

This charming seaside village distinguishes itself from the lot with restorative showers rather than baths. Be sure to try the snack bar. They have only the bad flavors of Magnums (ice creams), but at this point you’ll be too frustrated to care.

Fun fact: There is a casino opening in the industrial zone in 2027. Patience is a virtue.

2. Sortie-sur-Autoroute

True to its name, this quaint rest area boasts a gas station and market with 7 different coffee varieties in their espresso machine. Need a last-minute gift? They’ve got you covered with menthol cigarettes, stuffed animals and a laminated guide to the Portuguese language. Showers available for the bold.

Fun fact: Several big rig truckers traffic methamphetamines in the toilets here. Discounts available with the promo code “SORTIE”.

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3. Centre-ville-en-travaux

Famed for its confounding traffic circles and rotaries, this medieval village has been updated with all the modern trappings of a seasonal vacation spot, with one notable exception: infrastructure. Here you can be sure that you’ll sit in a hot car for hours, pound your GPS in frustration, ask passers-by for detours as you try to navigate the baffling series of roads under construction or closed due to mysterious reasons.

Fun fact: The mayor of this town is embroiled in several local scandals, and has declared herself “mayor for life” on multiple occasions.

4. Déprimant-en-hiver

This alpine hideaway has something for everyone, unless everyone needs sunlight and decent dining options. This flat, grey expanse doesn’t have a lot going on aside for an overpriced snack bar and a grocery store with a mean-looking dog outside. Still, the sullen mountainside landscape is sure to inspire you to hit the road, Jacques and continue on your travels. 

Fun fact: Scenes set in Siberia have been filmed here.

5. Hockey-sur-gazon 

This green village known for its grassy plateaus is off the radar, and for good reason. Though the claim to fame of this town is nominally the semi-professional field hockey player they produced in the early 1980s, the real draw here is a secret air force base. With test flights, bombing runs and frequent sonic booms, we advise you to bring along a pair of earplugs. 

Fun fact: Sister city: Hockey-sur-glace in Québec province.

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