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Lawrence Fraser, Reservations Manager

"The region of Poitou-Charentes has beautiful landscapes and coastlines, great for those looking for a relaxing break coupled with picturesque scenery, it’s also a region boasting little vineyards, so this is the place to be if you love wine! Ile de Re is a pretty destination and my favourite view of the island is from St Martin’s church, I would also recommend going for a picnic like the French locals on one of the beaches, either La Couarde or Le Bois Plage en Re."

Poitou-Charentes at a glance

The Atlantic coastline of Poitou-Charentes covers 280 miles of pristine, diverse landscapes and beautifully preserved heritage offering an authentic atmosphere full of sights. Diverse, historic villages provide a charming atmosphere to explore local culture, while bustling seaside promenades and the regions famous vineyards and culinary specialties make its food and wine scene hard to resist.

Most of North America’s Acadian and Cajun population can trace their roots back to this region. Early on, the area was under Gallic, Roman, Visagoth, and English rule before finally falling to the French crown. Today the region is divided into four areas – the Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres and the Vienne, each providing their own unique charm and attractions.

Visit historic La Rochelle, with its renaissance architecture, aquarium and maritime museum. Inland, head to Cognac country and take one of the many distillery tours or visit the archeological site of Paléosite to see what life was like in prehistoric times.

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Beachfront attractions
  • Indulgent cusine
  • Historic attractions

Getting around

Renting a car, or bringing your own car by ferry, is a great way to explore the coast, countryside and cities of this region. There is also a bus service that runs throughout the four principle areas of Poitou-Charentes, with timetables available at train and bus stations as well as tourist offices. 

Dining in Poitu-Charentes

In a region dominated by coastline, some of the country’s finest cuisine and best seafood can be found here; visit the oyster beds of Marennes-Oléron or enjoy a fresh, local favourite at a neighbourhood brasserie. The area is also famous for its smooth cognac and its fortified wine, pineau. Goat’s cheese, snails and locally raised beef are also popular staples.

Must-try local dishes

  • Mouclade – Locally grown mussels cooked in white wine and covered with a creamy sauce
  • Poitevin – A traditional herb paté typically made from cabbage, onions, spinach, eggs and pork, usually served with bread
  • Le tourteau fromagé – a small variation of a pie with a blackened top and cake like texture, usually made with goats’ cheese, egg, flour and sugar

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice 
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Population 1,722,000
Languages French
Currency Euro
Visa Information No visa required for UK citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Interesting facts

Some of the country's finest cusine and best seafood can be found here, visit the oyster beds of Marennes-Oleron.

Distance from airports
La Rochelle 0km

Activities in Poitou-Charentes

Puy du Fou

Voted the world’s best park, Puy du Fou is France’s second largest attraction and quite unlike any other theme park in the world!

Entertainment is in the form of 60 spectacular daytime and evening shows, each one packed with action and technical wizardry. Marvel at the sight of a Viking ship rising from beneath the water during Les Vikintgs show, at the rush of beating wings as falcons, eagles, owls and vultures whizz overhead and at horseback acrobatics during Le Secret de la Lance.

Interactive walk-through experiences bring to life wartime in the trenches; and the Park’s newest adventure, Le Premier Royaume, takes you on a journey to the world of the Merovingians and a conquering king caught between the ancestral traditions of his people and his quest to found the first kingdom! There are also period villages to explore, with skilled artisans demonstrating the crafts of the time.

Enjoy authentic French food at restaurants which range from an ‘auberge’ in the heart of an 18th century village to a Belle Époque bistro and Le Café de la Madelon, a dining experience which recreates the atmosphere of the Belle-Epoque, before the outbreak of World War I. 

Puy du Fou is located approximately 50 miles south-east of Nantes and 70 miles north of La Rochelle. It's perfect for a family day out or if you would prefer an extended visit choose from five on-site themed hotels, each representing a different period of history.

For more information please contact our Tours and Excursions Specialist on 0131 243 8098.