Charente Maritime, the coastal region of Poitou Charentes, France, has 300 miles of beaches. As you would expect from this region of France, the seafood is sensational, especially the locally harvested oyster beds, and is best washed down with a selection from the cellars of the local vineyards. A Charente Maritime property or some of the gites in Charente Maritime on offer here provide a perfect base for not only discovering the coast and beaches, but for cycle tours walks in the region.
The beaches make taking a holiday rental in Charente Maritime worth it by themselves. However, they are only a tiny fraction of the activities on offer here. If you take to the water, the sailing is exceptional, and there is equipment available for all levels of expertise. You can sail to discover some of the islands just off the coast, including Ile de Re or Ile d'Aix. There are many international sailing events here, including the Whitbread Trophy which is contested in the blue seas of Charente Maritime. The waters are also perfect for fishing, with sea-bass, sea bream and meagre all available.
Inland, anglers have a wealth of choice. The Charente, Boutonne and Dronne rivers are all available for angling. Following the rivers inland, you discover some areas of incredible natural beauty. There are national parks including Port des Salines and Cabane de moins encapsulating salt marshes and lagoons. This is an important area for migratory birds coming from America, so bird watching is also popular.
Charente Maritime is an established centre for Romanesque art, and information is available at the heritage centre in Lozay.
La Rochelle is a town devoted to the sea. Due to the port, La Rochelle grew into a major town on the French coast, and now has moorings for 3,600 yachts. The town itself is perfect for a leisurely shopping trip for antiques or fashion, and the Saturday market around the historic market place is bustling. La Rochelle also has two main beaches to enjoy during the summer, the Chatelaillon-Plage and St Georges de Didonne, and there is a children’s surf club at Pontaillac.
The town of Rochefort is a charming town renowned for its thalassotherapy centres, and with the café des Longitudes offering home made ice-cream and some of the best fish on this side of the French coast, Rochefort is perfect for a weekend break to fully relax.
Charente Maritime’s climate is affected by the Gulf Stream, meaning that it is much warmer than many places of the same latitude. It enjoys long summers and mild winters, and therefore, Charente Maritime properties can be used to explore the region all year round.
Charente Maritime is only 90 minutes by air from London, and the introduction of regular cheap flights to La Rochelle (LRH) has meant that the area has become much more open to tourism. Ryanair often provide cheap flights direct to La Rochelle from Stansted.