You may be quite happy sitting by the pool or taking a drive into one of our local towns to visit one of great markets but if you dream of driving further afield to explore the Poitou Charentes region as a whole then here are a few ideas to mull over.
La Rochelle - www.larochelle-tourisme.com
You can spend many hours in La Rochelle and still not see half of what it has to offer. Charente Maritimes capital city has it all. Its famous old harbour and new marina are just 2 of its places to see. The 2 old towers stand guard to the old harbour and so provide spectacular views in every direction. Many museums can be found linking together La Rochelles rich maritime history. The newly built aquarium is one of Europes largest, featuring 10,000 creatures from the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Tropics!
By the evening you will be drawn to its plentiful Quay-side restaurants to enjoy local oysters washed down with a glass of wine or maybe grilled Basse with a glass of Charente 'Pineau'.
Three islands can be found off the La Rochelle/Rochefort coast, inexpensive boat trips can be taken to all three daily. Ile d'Oleron is the largest with beautiful views across the Atlantic, whilst Ile de Re has bustling harbours and great eating. A wonderful day out for all the family.
Le Marais Poitevin - www.veniseverteloisirs.fr
Spend a day in the mysterious Marais Poitevin and you will come away more relaxed than when you arrived. Hire a boat for a few hours and meander through the miles of canals that disect this area, rich in fauna and wildlife.
It will not take long before you will see why it is known as 'The Green Venice'.
Le Puy du Fou - www.puydufou.com/en
Enjoy an unforgettable stay or a family weekend, by visiting the Puy du Fou. Voted the world's best park and situated in the Vendée, it is a unique theme park in France. The Puy du Fou is an experience unlike any other leisure and amusement park because you can experience spectacular shows and unusual hotels that transport you through the centuries. If you start early you can also manage to visit the top 6 shows within the park in one day.
Puy de Fou is 2 hours from the gites.
Bordeaux - www.bordeaux-tourisme.com
One and a half hours drive south brings you into the city of Bordeaux well known throughout the world for its reputable production of some of the best red wines available, so you will find it hard not to visit at least one Chateau for a tasting tour. Chateau Beycheville is a fine Bordeaux red or'Claret' as reds from this region are known.
A beautiful Chateau that is open from 10:30am - 5pm Monday to Friday and admission is free. Rue St Catherine is Bordeauxs main shopping street, it is over 1km long and entirely pedestrianized. The Grand Theatre is well worth a visit, built between 1773 and 1780 this is considered to be one of the most beautiful 18th century buildings in Europe.
Two museums in Bordeaux springs to mind; The 'Musee de vins des Bordeaux' dedicated to the wine producing culture. The vaulted cellars dating back to 1720 as well as the storehouses, bear witness to the importance of wine from this time onwards.
The 'Musee d'Histoire is one of Frances oldest museums, set in a stunning private 'Maison' adjoining the 'Jardin Public', the museum has a zoological collection of specimens from all over the world, it features present day species including those at risk of extinction.
Palmyre Zoo - www.zoo-palmyre.com
A day at the zoo will bring enjoyment to all the family; The zoo was created by Claude Caille in 1967, a man of passion and determination driven by a taste for adventure and a pioneering spirit. La Palmyre has around 1600 animals from every corner of the earth making the zoo the most popular private zoo in France as well as one of the most famous zoos in Europe and a vital part of regional heritage... A day out the kids will love!
Futuroscope - www.futuroscope.com
Set on the northern outskirts of Poitiers is the Futuroscope theme park. This futuristic attraction is second to Disneyland Paris, so if you want an exhilarating 3D journey to the bottom of the ocean or a trip along the length of the Nile, then this is the place to be.
La Vallee Des Singes ( Monkey Valley) - www.la-vallee-des-singes.fr
This park is one of a kind in France as all of the monkeys can roam free within its 37 acres, you will also find a mini farm featuring animals from the Potou-Charentes region. Children will also love the adventure play area that features jungle decor.
Sat Nav: 45°51'49.09N 0°27'52.92W
If you prefer to travel by car then you have many options available. Most people either use the Channel Tunnel or the Port of Dover, but with so many routes to choose from it is best to shop around for the best deal. Choose to use either Paege (toll roads) or Route National (main roads). The Paege will take approximately 7 hours to our front gates, we have found this useful Route Finding Tool to help you.
La Rochelle Airport
The airport at La Rochelle may only be small but Ryanair, Easyjet and Flybe use the airport daily. With 6 airports in the UK and now connected flights with Dublin, you can soon see the pleasures of Charente Maritime. Hire a car at the airport and you can be with us in just 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Including Frances T.G.V network you can also travel from any UK pick-up-point to Saintes, just let us know and we will be ready and waiting.
Travel by coach and take the hassle out of your holiday, from almost every city in the UK you can be whisked away by an air-conditioned coach to Saintes (20 minutes from our door), just let us know when you will be arriving and we will be happy to collect you from the coach.