Lots of things to do and places to visit ~~

The Poitou Charente region has an endless variety of sporting activities on offer as well as, many historical sites to visit and some very special local produce to savour.

You could check out the www.lacharente.com website or you will find lots of info. and brochures to give you ideas in the gites.

HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF OUR SUGGESTIONS !!

There are several indoor and outdoor water parks to choose from which are great fun for adults and children. La Grande Prairie is just 20mins away and has a lake with a supervised sandy beach for swimming, canoes, boats, windsurfing, fishing, tennis courts and childrens' play areas. The boating club also puts on a fantastic free Fireworks Display around the second week of August each year. Just a couple of minutes from the lake is Nautilus which is an indoor leisure complex with swimming, flumes and even an ice rink.

JONZAC is a very picturesque town around 25 mins away, which has a traditional french market place, a pretty little Chateau, shopping, restaurants, a terrific leisure centre called Antilles and a great park with swimming, boating, adventure trails, horse riding and lots of activities for all ages of children.

Or if you prefer ther are lots of places where you can swim in the river Charente itself !!

ROYAN is a fabulous seaside resort with long sandy beaches and nearby is PALMYRE where the Zoo is one of the best in Europe.

COGNAC is a 40 min. drive from here. This historic town has shops, restaurants, cafes and of course, the famous cognac distilleries. The Grand houses of Remy Martin, Hennesey, Martell and Camus, just to mention a few, offer tours and tastings. There is also a Blues festival, a Jazz festival and several other riverside events held here during the summer months.

The DORDOGNE is a just short drive away with the beautiful medieval towns of Aubeterre, with its monolithic Church, Perigeux, where you must have lunch in the Place St. Louis and Brantome, where you can meander through the lanes or cool off in a canoe on the river. 

LA ROCHELLE, with its old port and yachting marina is well worth a visit.Eating out or shopping is a real pleasure.You must try the oysters or seafood platter here!

The CHARENTE also has lots of sporting activities on offer, such as hot-air ballooning (the European Championships take place about 3kms from Le Grand Bois and provide spectacular viewing from the gites in early August), cycling, horse riding, quad biking, aqua-jet skiing, fishing, canoeing, karting, ten-pin bowling or simple counrty walking. Something for everyone!

BORDEAUX is an amazing city full of culture and fabulous architecture ~ as well as the wine !

There are of course some wonderful old churches and Renaissance or classical Chateaux and country houses to enjoy too.

"THE VIGNOBLE TRAIL"

The south-west region is renowned for its many cognac and wine producers,such as Remy Martin,Hennessy,Courvoisier,St.Emillion,Bergerac and Blaye. All welcome visitors and offer tours and tastings. Follow the "Vignoble Trail" around some of these world famous producers tasting the odd glass or two as you go!


GOLF

If golf is your game,there are excellent courses at Cognac and Angouleme,both about half an hour away and others at Royan or down into the Dordogne.


EATING OUT OR AT HOME.

Enjoy local produce bought fresh from one of the daily markets, cooked at home, in the gite or BBQ and eat outdoors in the sunshine. Try the confit of duck, fois gras, sweet Charente melons, goat's cheese and seasonal fruits and nuts. This can be washed down with some chilled local rose wine or a good red bordeaux from around only a couple of euros a bottle. Or you can eat in one of the many excellent but inexpensive restaurants . But whatever you do,don't forget the Pineau for your aperitif and the cognac to finish!


EVENTS

Throughout the year there are lots of organized events in and around the Charente;



THE WEEK LONG COMIC/CARTOON FESTIVAL IN ANGOULEME.

THE BASTILLE DAY CELEBRATIONS.

THE BLUES AND JAZZ FESTIVALS IN COGNAC.

THE EUROPEAN HOT AIR BALLOON CHAMPIONSHIPS.

THE CONFOLENS FESTIVAL OF INTERNATIONAL DANCE AND MUSIC.

SHOW JUMPING AT CHALAIS.

THE HUGE FIREWORKS TO MUSIC DISPLAY AT ST. YRIEIX.

VINTAGE AND VETERAN CAR RALLY AROUND THE RAMPARTS OF ANGOULEME.

GASTRONOMADE WEEK - THE CELEBRATION OF FOODS FROM AROUND THE WORLD.

THE THREE DAY AGRICULTURAL FETE AT BARBEZIEUX.



AND lots more local Fetes and Brocantes (flea markets).