Set on the southwestern coast of France, Charente-Maritime is a glorious region, synonymous with sunshine, breathtaking beaches and a hearty gastronomy characterised by oysters and fine wine.
A line of sandy beaches traces the coast of Charente-Maritime, like a golden filigree outlining this unique and popular area. Loved by families and couples alike, Charente-Maritime offers something for everyone.
The bustling restaurants and bars jostling for space along the seafront of La Rochelle contrast with the verdant countryside where areas such as Marais Poitevin are perfect for cycling and wildlife watching.
The islands just off the coast of La Rochelle offer some of the very best golden beaches in the region, including Ile de Ré which is a favoured haunt of stylish Parisians during the summer months. The island is home to La Flotte and Ars-en-Ré, two of France’s ‘Plus Beaux Villages’ a classification which recognises the country’s most beautiful villages.
Heaven for foodies, Charente Maritime is famous for its mouth-watering Buchot mussels and Marennes-Oléron oysters, which can be accompanied by another fine export from the area – cognac. Indulge your tastebuds in one of the many fine restaurants and rejoice in the fact that most villages have their own local wine maker, so you’ll never be far from a tipple. Pineau des Charentes, a sweet white wine brewed with cognac, is the most significant wine made here.
Activities in the area include fishing, sailing, golf and wildlife watching; of particular interest are the variety of bird species which attract many ornithologists. Walking opportunities abound, and when your feet get weary, head for Jonzac where you can relax in the rejuvenating thermal springs.
A holiday in Charente-Maritime promises variety and enjoyment, both inland and on the coast.