Rendez-vous in Poitou-Charentes, Atlantic coast & Cognac country

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Rendez-vous in Poitou-Charentes, Atlantic coast & Cognac country 86000 Poitiers fr

From the Marais Poitevin to the Cognac Cave, from the Atlantic coast to the Futuroscope, from the old Port of Rochelle to Royan, Poitou-Charentes offers a variety of destinations ideal for tailor-made holidays.

Just like a postcard

Following in Gargantua’s footsteps, you may encounter the otters, eels, herons and wading birds that inhabit the Charentes-Maritime marshes. The Marais Poitevin (Poitevin Marsh) is listed as a Grand site de France (a Notable Site in France), and the area known as Green Venice at Aiguillon Bay can be explored on the canals aboard a “plate” or a batais (a traditional black flat boat). Or instead, try one of the pathways and cycle paths that crisscross the marsh.

It’s possible to cycle to the beaches on both Ile d’Oléron and Ile de Ré. The coastline, with its secured and fortified cities endowed with such rich architecture, inevitably draws history enthusiasts. La Rochelle’s towers make for picture-postcard scenes.

Not forgetting Poitiers (the city of 100 steeples) with its baptistery from the fourth century, Rochefort (a spa town) with a royal rope factory,
Niort with its unique twin dungeons, Royan with its seaside villas and church
of Notre Dame  (symbolic of post-war

Jewels of Romanesque Art

Poitou-Charentes, on route of Santiago de Compostela, is a haven for Roman art treasures : the Abbey of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, the Abbey of the Dames of Saints, the Abbey of Fontdouce and the Notre-Dame-la-Grande Church, and the Saint- Pierre d'Aulnay-de-Saintonge Church.

Poitou-Charentes specialities

The Atlantic Ocean supplies Poitou-Charentes with seafood, including shellfish, crustaceans, and the famous Marennes-Oléron oysters and mussels raised in bouchot. Gourmands can feast on Poitevin stuffed lamb, melon from Haut Poitou, mojette (white beans) or potatoes from Ile de Ré with local Poitou-Charentes butter. And be sure to sample the local cheeses: the Poitou chabichou, the tourteau fromagé (a traditional cheese cake), the Poitevin broyé (another traditional pastry), the Charentaise Galette, and the Niort Galette flavored with angelica. 

There is no shortage of traditional regional drinks to accompany these delicacies. Try the pineau from Charentescognac (produced at the second AOC vineyard in France) and the wines from Haut Poitou.

Festivities in Poitou-Charentes

The Festival of Roman Nights highlights the exceptional local heritage. The streets and port of La Rochelle also come alive with The International Festival of Film and the FrancofoliesAngoulême opts for the 9th art with its International City of Comics and Animation and the International Festival of Comics. The Grand Pavois and the International Sailing Week reaffirm the ties that bind Poitou-Charentes to the ocean, epitomized by the Chantier of Hermione and the Phare des Baleines (The Whale Lighthouse). The Museum of the Bougon Burial Mounds, the Museum of Donjons, Castle Oiron and Castle Rochefoucauld recount the history of Poitou-Charentes. The Château des énigmes (Enigmas Castle) is no exception but it's another story you will be told!

Poitou-Charentes certainly has many surprises in store. Enjoy adventures at the Futuroscope. Laugh at the antics of the residents at The Valley of the Monkeys or the Palmyra Zoological Park. And admire the silent balletic dance of the fish in the Rochelle Aquarium.

Poitou-Charentes is a multifaceted destination with something for everyone.

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Things to see

Point of interest

  • Rendez-vous in Poitiers

    © Office de Tourisme - D. PROUX

    Many chapters of French history were written in Poitiers. Discover the winding medieval streets, the different listed monuments open to the public, etc. Look around at over 2,000 years of history and pay attention.
  • Rendez-vous at Futuroscope

    © Futuroscope

    Get away to one of France's most popular amusement parks and the only one of its kind in Europe, with films in giant format, thrill-filled attractions, interactive visits, and more...
  • Rendez-vous at the Gallo-Roman site of Sanxay

    © Ph. Berthé. Centre des monuments nationaux

    Between the 1st and 4th century, Sanxay was an important centre for cures and pilgrimages placed under the protection of two divinities.
  • Rendez-vous at the Abbey of Charroux

    © A. Lonchampt. Centre des monuments nationaux. Paris.

    Its famous octagonal tower, known as the “tour Charlemagne”, its outstanding Gothic sculptures ans its treasures make it one of the most important sites in Poitou’s Heritage.
  • Rendez-vous at the Château of Oiron

    © Centre des monuments nationaux - Philippe Berthé

    The unique Château of Oiron houses a marvellous collection of art and curiosities.