La Grange is a detached property with original stonework, wooden floor, exposed beams and a wood-burning stove. Outside there is an enclosed garden which is perfect for sitting quietly in the shade of the hot summer sun. Hire a canoe (payable locally) and explore the local canal network, or visit the pretty villages, markets and beaches of the Vendée and Charente.
Our region is blessed with an exceptional number of sunshine hours per year ( 2250). It is the sunniest region in Western France. Winter is mild and the mimosas flower as early as January; Spring comes early (and is beautiful) and, whilst Summer naturally sees most tourist activity, Autumn is still warm enough for the calmer main holiday.
The coast of the Poitou Charentes is one of the most popular with French holidaymakers, known for its long stretches of fine sand and good weather. The famous coastal town of La Rochelle is located in the Charente Maritime department. The old harbour and three medieval towers symbolise the port's rich history; there are lively quayside markets, trendy bars and excellent restaurants a-plenty Take a guided tour in a horse-drawn carriage, a boat trip to Fort Boyard or visit the fascinating aquarium The idyllic beaches of the Ile de Re (some 30km worth) are also within easy reach and the island is well worth a day's visit in its own right.
The area is perfect for walking, riding and cycling The countryside is made up of rolling hills divided up into a patchwork quilt of sunflower and corn fields interspersed with fields containing cows and goats. The marais poitevin (or Green Venice) is a fascinating maze of rivers, dykes and tree-shaded canals which thread between meadows and fields. They cover an area of 230,000 acres from Niort and Fontenay-Le-Compte to the Atlantic ocean. The best way to explore is by boat, either with or without a guide. Visit, also, the Poitou donkey park at Dampierre-sur-Boutonne and marvel at this special breed of dreadlocked donkey!
Futuroscope, in Poitiers, is a collection of simulated visual spectacles, ranging from a white knuckle ride to journeys of dicovery in 3D to a magic carpet to a ride in a Formula 1 car. Puy du Fou is a huge medieval theme park with fascinating displays during both the day and the night. Marvel at the beautiful birds of prey, gasp at the stunt riders and take a step back in time in the vast roman stadium.
The region's history could have been lifted from an adventure story book: visit medieval fortresses, roman churches, Renaissance chateaux, protestant temples, grand abbeys, ramparts, fortifications and dungeons. Across the region stand some 600 beautiful examples of the Romanesque sanctuary, a heritage which began around the 10th century with techniques born of the Christian Roman Empire
Food & Drink:
The food of the region is simple and rustic, the food of peasants, but created from the wonderful local vegeatbles, fruits, dairy produce and fish. Seafood has pride of place with mussels in white wine and oysters wrapped in bacon and grilled with garlic butter as two of the more famous examples. Eels flourish in the marshes of the Poitou and are eaten grilled on coals or stewed with onions, muhrooms, butter and white wine. Other favourites from the marshes are fricassed frogs legs or garlic-stuffed snails. The markets of the region are colourful and extremely interesting, there is no better place to buy your provisions; lamb, beef or seafood, melons from Haut-Poitou or vegetables from the coast. There are 50 or so goat's cheeses or how about a torteau fromager, a delicate cake made from goat's cheese with a crispy blackened top. Those with a sweet tooth can buy some candied angelica in Niort or taste a multitude of flavoured honeys in Coulonges market.