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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Charente

Nanteuil-en-Vallée - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Charente

Nanteuil-en-Vallée is a town in Charente, in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region, 8 km east of Ruffec.

Its vast territory of 68 km² occupies a plateau crossed by valleys from east to west, in particular that of Argentor.

Farmland and forests still constitute more than 70% of spaces and offer a bucolic and green landscape.

The village of Nanteuil-en-Vallée developed precisely in a bend of the Argentor, after the year 1000, thanks to the growth of an abbey founded in the 8th century and which was located on a pilgrimage route leading to in Santiago de Compostela. Long prosperous, the abbey declined even before the Revolution. However, its remains still contribute to the charm of the village, the rest of the built and environmental heritage of which (half-timbered houses or houses decorated with sculptures "recovered" from the abbey, park of the gardens of Argenton) justifies that the label of " Small city of character "has been attributed to it.

Now with nearly 1,400 inhabitants (the neighboring villages of Aizecq, Messeux, Moutardon, Pougné and Saint-Gervais were attached to it in 1972), Nanteuil-en-Vallée is proving to be a pleasant stopover that will be appreciated in particular by lovers of green tourism.

Geographical information

Tourism label
Latitude46.0005840 (N 46° 0’ 2”)
Longitude0.3213980 (E 0° 19’ 17”)
AltitudeFrom 82m to 218m
Surface area68.85 km²
Population1370 inhabitants
Density19 inhabitants/km²
PrefectureAngoulême (54 km, 52 min)
Insee code16242
IntercommunalityCC Val de Charente

Nearest cities & towns

Saint-Georges5.8 km (10 min)
Bioussac6.2 km (9 min)
Vieux-Ruffec8.2 km (10 min)
Poursac8.3 km (14 min)
Chassiecq8.6 km (12 min)
Champagne-Mouton8.6 km (11 min)
Verteuil-sur-Charente8.6 km (15 min)
Condac8.9 km (9 min)
Saint-Gourson9.2 km (14 min)
Barro10 km (14 min)
Turgon10.2 km (14 min)
Saint-Sulpice-de-Ruffec10.4 km (16 min)
Ruffec10.9 km (12 min)
Lizant11.2 km (18 min)
Surin11.4 km (17 min)

Things to see and do

The site of the Benedictine Abbey of Notre-Dame, founded in the 8th century by Charlemagne, remains the jewel of the locality, even if it was dismantled during the Revolution. In addition, it is his monks who cleared the land and built the canals so that the numerous sources ensure a good distribution of water. The abbey, rebuilt in the 12th century, prospered until the 15th century, but its decline was very clear even before the Revolution: in 1770, there were only six monks left there! The bishop of Poitiers then decrees its abolition and the abbey church is demolished: elements are transferred to neighboring churches, others used by the inhabitants to adorn their houses, such as modillions (carved supports for roof cornices or balconies).

In the 19th century, a fish farm was set up on part of the site. In 2005, the remains were acquired by the town and archaeological sites have been regularly carried out since.

Of the abbey proper, remain a square building from the 12th century, called the "treasure room", and a large dwelling which served as a hotel (13th century), some interior walls of which are still adorned with old paintings. We can also still distinguish the west door of the abbey, flanked by two Romanesque capitals.

Next, in the town of Nanteuil, but isolated, the chapel of Boisaugeais, which dates from the 15th century, and served a priory dependent on the abbey. Its sculpted decorations and old paintings justified its inclusion in the Inventory.

In the village itself, also protected, the parish church of Saint-Jean Baptiste dates from the 13th and 15th centuries and was restored in the 19th century. Built by monks for the inhabitants, in the 18th century it benefited from contributions from the old abbey: stalls, woodwork in the choir, tabernacle. There is also a capital which has been transformed into a font.

Also worth seeing is the Saint-Jean fountain, whose origin dates back to the beginning of the second millennium and which was rebuilt identically in 1840. This is again a contribution from the monks to inhabitants, pilgrims and travelers and until 1960, it was the main point of drinking water supply.

We will also mention a number of dwellings adorned with sculpted decorations or with half-timbered facades, or, in another genre, in the surrounding countryside, small stone shelters typical of Charente which were used to watch over the herds (of "lojhes").

Finally, in the neighboring village of Aizecq, attached to the town, the noble silhouette of the eponymous manor is worth a look. It dates from the 16th century. At the level of the dwelling, there is a skylight with a semi-circular tympanum, mullioned windows and an entrance door decorated with a gable (wooden pieces joined together forming an inclined spire). In the 19th century, two arcades were added to the main facade which includes a square entrance tower. The other facade has retained a watchtower with a conical roof. An old dovecote adjoins the whole.

Note that guided tours dedicated to the abbey and the heritage of the village are offered all year round by reservation on +33 5 45 31 05 42.

Another great site which greatly contributes to the reputation of the town of Nanteuil: the Gardens of Argentor. This park includes on the one hand an arboretum designed in 1932 by a landscape architect. Neighboring the course of the Argentor, the arboretum overlooks a canal that once supplied the mill wheel. Trimmed boxwood materialize the paths. On the upper part, are planted in particular magnolias, araucarias, pines and plane trees.

The local authorities acquired this first space in 1995 and then in 2000 built an aquatic garden next to the arboretum, between the canal and the river. It provides a link between the park created before the last war and the natural environment of the valley.

The ornaments, paths, walkways, ponds and fountains and of course the gardens themselves constitute a peaceful and exotic place to walk… Free access all year round. Information on +33 5 45 31 02 50.

For walkers, a number of hiking trails are marked and accessible in and from the town. Some take the old routes of the ways of Saint-Jacques. All allow you to enjoy bucolic landscapes, between woods, rivers and heritage elements. Maps and information on +33 5 45 31 05 42.

Places of interest

Leisure centres
Natural sites

Events and festivities

The second weekend of June, medieval festival on the site of the old abbey and in the village.

In July and August, several farmers' markets are offered.

In December, Christmas market.


Jardin de l'Argentor - Summer 2019
Jardin de l'Argentor - Summer 2019
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Alley in the Jardin de l'Argentor
Alley in the Jardin de l'Argentor
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View of the bridge from the Jardin de l'Argentor
View of the bridge from the Jardin de l'Argentor
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Thursday 30 june
Min. 12°C - Max. 19°C
Friday 1 july
Min. 8°C - Max. 24°C
Saturday 2 july
Min. 10°C - Max. 27°C

Visits, leisure and activities nearby

Leisure activities

Last nameActivity typeRateCity
Discover nature in a Swincar
Entertainment75 € Parzac (10.2 km)
Visit L'Isle Nature
Culture and education4 € Saint-Fraigne (26 km)


Last nameOuting typeDifficultyDurationDeparture municipality
Saint Martin L'Ars: between architectural heritage and nature
HikeEasy3h20Saint-Martin-l'Ars (29 km)
Taste the charms of the Availles Limouzine countryside
Car itineraryEasy55 minAvailles-Limouzine (29 km)
Between trails and alleys in Availles Limouzine
HikeIntermediate55 minAvailles-Limouzine (29 km)
Botanical trail
HikeEasy1h00Mons (29 km)
Trotte-Renard Mill
Village visitEasy1h30Bunzac (33 km)


Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals



Your holidays
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