More About Charente-Maritime
If you fancy a perfect break by the beach, book one of the many villas in Charente Maritime. Favoured by Parisians that like to relax by the sea, this stunning stretch of French coastline offers an upmarket option for a summer holiday where sea meets sand and there is plenty of sunshine. As you can imagine, Charente Maritime holiday rentals are in high demand during the summer months when the weather is at its warmest, in particular on the nearby islands of Île de Ré, Île d'Aix, and Ile d'Oléron. These islands are popular with tourists as they have good surfing, there is a chance to do some horse riding, the shopping is great and there are also many historical buildings to see. Villas in Charente Maritime situated along the coast, or further inland are ideal for exploring this fascinating departement, steeped in culture, natural beauty and historical significance.
Charente-Maritime Cottages and Villas
Charente-Maritime’s mild and sunny climate and convenient transport connections with Britain make it an ideal destination for anything from a weekend away to a full-blown summer holiday. Nicknamed La Côte de Beauté, the region’s coastline is blessed with long stretches of golden sandy beaches and clear blue waters that make it perfect for sunbathing and watersports, while its interior is a blend of nature and history. And then, of course, there is the food. Charente-Maritime is famous for both its seafood and its aperitifs and there are plenty of both to go around.
Things to Do in Charente-Maritime
The Charente-Maritime coastline boasts warm sunshine, cool water and soft sand that draw tourists in their thousands for a mixture of relaxing beach activities and adrenaline-pumping water sports. Sunbathe on the white sands at one of the picturesque beaches on Île de Ré, off the coast of La Rochelle or splash in the clear blue waters off St Georges-de-Didonne south of Royan. For a break away from the beach, try a walk or bike ride to explore the Charente-Maritime countryside of open fields, vineyards and forests. The town and villages are filled with historic churches, abbeys and châteaux, follow the medieval Santiago de Compostela pilgrim route that stops at several important religious sites or rent a boat and drift along the Charente River and its tributaries. Charente-Maritime is particularly well-known for its seafood, try the famous bouchot mussels and Marennes-Oléron oysters at a restaurant overlooking the sea or sip a glass of Pineau on a tour at one of the country vineyards.
We want you to enjoy the best that Charente-Maritime has to offer and so here's a selection of our favourite things to see and do;
Le Zoo de la Palmyre
Set over more than 40 acres in the forest of Les Mathes, Le Zoo de la Palmyre is home to over 1,600 animals comprising some 130 species, making it the largest zoo in all of France. Spend a day being wowed by the demonstrations, wandering around the different exhibits, learning more about the animals, and relaxing in the landscaped gardens. Among the most popular residents are the polar bears, orangutans and Siberian tigers.
Aquarium La Rochelle
Come face to face with fearsome sharks and piranhas as well as loveable turtles and octopuses at the Aquarium La Rochelle, one of the largest of its kind in Europe with some 10,000 marine creatures. Travel on an under-sea voyage around the world’s oceans, lakes and rivers as you walk around, under, over and through giant tanks teaming with life, learning about the inhabitants and the importance of their conservation.
Surrounded by sea in every direction, the isolated military outpost of Fort Boyard casts lonely and very out-of-place figure on the horizon. It was built between the Île-d'Aix and the Île d'Oléron in the Pertuis d'Antioche straits to defend against attack by the British, but by the time construction was finished advances in military technology had made it obsolete. Today it provides a backdrop for TV shows and films. Take a boat cruise around the fort and marvel at what was at the time of its construction an incredible feat of engineering.
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