Scroll down the page to see self catering gites, villas, apartments and holiday accommodation to rent in Poitou Charentes - France. Properties are listed in random order. Please scroll down the page to see all our holiday properties to rent in Poitou Charentes. Accommodation is listed in random order.
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Poitou Charentes is a popular French family holiday destination on the Western Atlantic coast, mild year round and the area is within an hour of La Rochelle is the sunniest region of France after the Cote d’Azur. The whole Charentes region is within an easy day’s drive of all the Channel ferries by autoroute (St-Malo 4 hours and Calais-Eurotunnel 7 hours.) A short break or last minute charentaise gite holiday in France is straightforward and economical for couples and larger families, even in school holidays, seeking almost guaranteed sunshine. Poitou Charentes boasts two airports (La Rochelle and Poitiers) served by low cost flights from the UK.
Holiday makers are drawn to the fantastically varied Atlantic beaches of the Charente-Maritime (Dept 17). From the gently shelving and sheltered sandcastle beaches at Fouras to rugged surfing beaches bordered by towering pine forests on the Côte Sauvage. The cosmopolitan seaside resorts of Royan and La Palmyere, naval Rochefort and medieval La Rochelle also attract windsurfers and sailors with superb marinas. It is even possible to cycle the whole 250km coast on car free bike paths. The famous zoo at La Palmyere is one of the best in Europe, situated in the Forêt de la Courbe and a “must see.”
Ile de Ré and Ile d’Oléron, the two larger islands, are now connected by road bridge to the mainland and are as famous for their beaches as the oyster beds, or “huîtres.” Seafood is the speciality of the region; nothing beats a plate of the freshest “fruits de mer” washed down with a glass of pineau whilst watching the world go by.
Swathes of smiling golden sunflowers dot the agricultural land in summer and merge with the majestic symmetry of the vines defining the prized vineyards approaching Cognac. The undulating countryside is perfect for family cycling, walking and horse riding. The Saintonge area is famous for many well preserved 11th and 12th century Romanesque churches. Saintes and St Jean d’Angely are well worth a visit.
Staying south but moving inland we come to Charente (Dept 16). There are many annual festivals and events in the area, including Cognac’s Blues Passions Jazz Festival in July and Angoulême’s exciting classic car “Circuit des Remparts” race in September. The region is picturesque and uncrowded even in high season; the best grapes are nurtured for world famous Cognac and the local apéritif Pineau des Charentes. The famous Cognac houses including Remy Martin, Hennessey, Martel and Otard offer guided tours, naturally culminating in a dégustation.
By contrast, Futuroscope is the second largest theme park in France, just north of Poitiers, the Poitou Charentes’ capital in Vienne (Dept 86). Perched on a hill top, the University city is well worth an afternoon’s visit .
Finally, the north west is the largely agricultural area Deux Sevres (Dept 79) and the picturesque Marais Poitevin or Venise Vert. This “Green Venice” area of slow moving rivers, shaded by tress, is a delight to explore by canoe, foot, bike or horseback. On the hottest of summer days a peaceful fishing spot can be found and a leisurely “piquenique” enjoyed “en famille”.
What more could you want from a perfect holiday destination? Poitou Charentes really does “have it all!”