The Villa is located in the sunny Charente Maritime department in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine (formerly Poitou-Charentes). The Charente Maritime’s sunny climate is known as one of the best in France, with its number of sunshine hours throughout the year second only to that of the Côte d’Azur.
Although far from the madding crowds, your location offers easy access to plenty of places of interest and things to do. The nearby Charente river offers abundant opportunities for canoeing, boat trips, fishing, or simply taking a walk along its banks.
Photo: Charente river — Port du Lys
Officially one of ‘the most beautiful villages of France’, Talmont-sur-Gironde is a picturesque, pedestrian-only village around 40 minutes away. Enclosed and fortified, it sits on a small promontory that dominates the Gironde estuary. Walk the pretty, hollyhock-lined streets browse the shops, have lunch or coffee in one of the numerous cafes, and visit the 11th century church.
The beautiful beaches of the Atlantic coast are easily accessible, with Meschers-sur-Gironde and adjacent beaches only a 45-minute drive away, and the larger coastal towns of Royan, La Rochelle and Fouras-les-Bains only one hour away by car. The stunning islands Ile de Re, Ile d’Oleron (home of the world-famous Marennes oysters) and tiny Ile d’Aix are 1.5 hours’ drive away and provide wonderful seaside day trip destinations.
We couldn’t mention places to go in our region without a specific nod to our department’s beautiful capital city of La Rochelle. Its picturesque ‘Port des Minimes’ is the biggest marina in Europe; while the quaint ‘Vieux Port’ is also a pleasure to visit with its numerous interesting cafes and craft shops. The old town has half-timbered medieval houses and Renaissance architecture, including passageways covered by 17th-century arches. The city enjoys super shops, and restaurants to suit most tastes. It is a delight to spend time in one of the many water-front cafés, sipping on a coffee or something chilled, just people watching and taking in the beautiful scenery.
Photo: La Rochelle
Bordeaux – selected by Lonely Planet as the world’s best city to visit in 2017 and voted Europe’s best destination in 2015 – and its Medoc wine-tasting route lie around 1.5 hours’ drive away. In June 2016 Bordeaux opened its much-acclaimed Cité du Vin, a wine museum of a standard fitting of the world’s wine capital.
Closer still are the riverside towns of Cognac and Pons, the former being the home of the most famous variety of brandy. Within 12km, the town of Cognac will charm you with its bustling square, attractive narrow medieval cobbled streets, elegant Renaissance facades and of course those famous cognac houses of Hennessy, Courvoisier, Martell, Camus and so on. Cognac also boasts an 18-hole golf course at the Golf du Cognac club (scroll down for more information on golf courses).
Photo: Cognac and the Charente river
Six kilometers away, you will find the pretty medieval town of Pons, complete with 12th century castle keep and pilgrims‘ hospital. Photo: Pons — the castle keep and town hall
Half an hour’s drive brings you to the picturesque riverside city of Saintes with its Roman amphitheatre, abbey, market, cafes, restaurants and the cobbled streets of the St Pierre shopping district. Photo: Saintes and the Charente river
Less than half an hour’s drive brings you to the historic spa town of Jonzac with its impressive chateau and state-of-the-art aquatic centre – Les Antilles – which uses the town’s naturally heated thermal waters, creating a warm, almost tropical environment. As well as swimming, Les Antilles also provides an impressive list of beauty/spa treatments. Just over one hour’s drive away, you can enjoy exploring the maze of tiny islands and picturesque canals of the Marais Poitevin or Venise Verte as it is also known. Activities include boating along the myriad canals in traditional barques which can be hired from the numerous piers, bird-watching in the marshlands, or simply exploring on foot and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Golf: there is a selection of golf courses to choose from in the area:
- Golf du Cognac, Cognac
- Golf Municipal Louis-Rouyer-Guillet, Saintes
- Golf de Royan, Royan
- Golf de la Prée, La Rochelle