The Charentes region, encompassing the departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime, has many treasures to reveal. In Charente-Maritime, the Old Harbour and two towers are famous sights of La Rochelle, a welcoming and dynamic city where the Francofolies music festival hosts many performers every year. Just cross the Pont de Ré bridge to cycle around the flower-adorned streets, or admire the abundant natural habitat of sunny Ré Island. Its wilder neighbour, Oléron, will appeal more to lovers of authentic nature. Visitors with an interest in fauna and flora will be enthused by the astounding biodiversity and the many bird species thriving in the Poitevin Marsh. Talmont-sur-Gironde, a fortified town facing the sea, Royan, a renowned seaside resort, and La Palmyre Zoo always attract and win over visitors.
In Charente, the city of Angoulême successfully combines heritage and culture, with its ramparts overlooking the Charente Valley and its annual comic strip festival. Cognac, meanwhile, is renowned for its castle and its famous wine brandy. You will also discover the surprising underground church of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, listed among the most beautiful villages in France, the medieval town of Confolens and the Gallo-Roman site of Cassinomagus, a remarkable archaeological park in Chassenon. History buffs will be amazed by La Rochefoucauld Castle, the pearl of the Angoumois area, a remarkable Renaissance building towering over the river. Those who prefer gentler forms of exercise can walk or cycle along the towpaths by the Charente, while nostalgia and history-lovers will enjoy a little trip to Jarnac, the scenic town where François Mitterrand was born.
At the seaside and in the countryside, in the charming towns and villages, and among the vines that give us pineau and cognac, enjoy a taste of the good life in Charentes. The local gastronomy is part of this, proudly represented by the Marennes-Oléron oyster, bouchot mussels, potatoes from Ré Island and Charentais melon.