Charente, a landlocked department in western France, is at the heart of the Poitou-Charentes region, surrounded by Vienne, Dordogne, Gironde and Deux-Sevres. It is a peaceful, rural area with sweeping vineyards and graceful chateaux.
Activities available from a Charente gite are mostly outdoor orientated. There are four magnificent golf courses in the region, ranging from the vineyard bordered golf course in Cognac to the hilly course of Angouleme.
The countryside also creates the perfect place for walking and rambling through the thick forests, open rolling hills, limestone cliffs and waterways. These can be explored not only on foot, but also on horseback, bicycle and canoe. There is no better way to refresh after a tough days exploration than going for a quick dip in the Charente River or one of the numerous lakes, upon which rowing, windsurfing, fishing and swimming flourish.
The rivers and lakes of Charente are fishing havens. Carp, bream, trout, perch, gudgeon, catfish and roach, to name but a few, can be caught in Charente, and cooked using traditional techniques in a self catering Charente gite or holiday house.
On a cultural level, there are numerous castles, chateau, abbeys and museums which adorn the countryside, giving an unparalleled understanding of the region to visitors staying in Charente accommodation.
Angouleme is a glorious medieval town, overflowing with art and history. Animation has taken a grip on the artistic heritage of Angouleme, bringing its art right into the 20th Century, where various artists have left their heroes ornamented on the walls.
Cognac is a medieval town on the banks of the Charente River, where the famous brandy originated. It is a beautiful place to visit, with tiny winding streets emerging into old cognac warehouses and cork manufactures, where tours of the cognac production line are common.
Temperatures in Charente are delightfully mild all year round. While temperatures in the depths of winter remain above 5°C, summer temperatures average around a very pleasant 23°C.
Within an hour and a half of any of the holiday cottages or rental property in Charente are the airports of Bergerac (EGC), Poitiers and Bordeaux (BOD), which are all serviced by a range of ‘no frills’ airlines from across Britain.