Poitou-Charentes Vacation Rentals on the Sunny Atlantic Coast of France
Poitou-Charentes is located on the Atlantic coast of France, between the Loire Valley and Bordeaux regions. It benefits from an oceanic climate and is one of the sunniest areas along the coast, with moderate summers and warm winters. It has over 300 miles of coastline, with excellent beaches and wonderful ocean villages and towns. Inland, it is region of woodlands, valleys, canals, and famous vineyards. The region is divided into four areas, referred to as departments -- Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sevrés and Vienne. The regional capital is Poitiers.
Poitou-Charentes accommodations include a selection of hotels, bed and breakfasts, inns and vacation rental properties. Many visitors here choose rental properties for the wide choice of homes available, the benefit of more space than in hotels, and facilities such as a private pool. Renting a home provides visitors with the opportunity to experience French living, in towns or villages across the region.
Poitou-Charentes Accommodations Are Surrounded by History
Charente-Maritime is the most popular coastal vacation area. One of the most famous towns for Poitou-Charentes vacation rentals is La Rochelle. This historic coastal town dates from the 17th century and is one of the charming port towns in France, with a wealth of attractions for visitors. The old town area, around the harbor, is of particular interest, with fascinating architecture and monuments. The town is known for its fish restaurants and the harbor area is a nice place to stroll in the evening. Along with wonderful shopping, there are an excellent natural history museum, aquarium, and a small beach. For those who enjoy bicycling, there are numerous paths and areas for biking. From La Rochelle, visitors can take a variety of boat trips to many places, including several islands, such as Ile de Ré, a wonderful village with great beaches and a unique atmosphere or Ile d’Oleron with excellent beaches and a beautiful chateau to explore. Also nearby is Ile d’Aix, famed for its prison, dating from the French Revolution, and a house built by Napoleon which is now a museum.
In the area of Charente is the town of Cognac, whose major product is the popular liqueur of the same name. Visitors here should not miss the opportunity to buy a bottle or two! Visitors to the area will also enjoy the village of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne. A carefully renovated village, it is known for its white stone houses and a spectacular 5th-century church, hewn from the rock. The town is set on a steep hill, overlooking the Dronne River.
The regional capital, Poitiers, located in the Vienne department, is an interesting town with spacious boulevards and a maze of streets with charming shops and cafes. The abbey at Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe is a world heritage site and a famous attraction of the area. Chauvigny is a medieval market town with three castles. Close to this town is Angles-sur-l’Anglin, known as one of the most beautiful villages in France. For families, a must-see is the local theme park, Futuroscope. Children will enjoy the rides, giant movie screens, and dancing robots.
The fourth area is Deux-Sevres. Much of this area is ideally explored by boat, for its canals and marshland. Here, visitors may enjoy the Melle, a lively town with three 11th- and 12th-century churches.
Regional Specialties of Poitou-Charentes
France is a delightful country for food lovers, and each region has its own specialties. Due to the coastal location of Poitou-Charentes villas, the regional specialties are mainly seafood, such mussels in white wine or cream and a delicious fish soup. Other dishes such as Poitou lamb and Chabichou are both common on many restaurant menus. Naturally, cognac is a local beverage as well as good local wine.
Poitou-Charentes Villas for Fabulous Local Souvenirs
Both La Rochelle and Poitiers are great shopping opportunities. Visitors looking for local souvenirs may want to consider the region’s most famous export, Cognac, or the local wine, pineau des Charentes. Another regional specialty is the wonderful cheese, such as brebis d'Oléron, bûche du Poitou Chabichou du Poitou, Chabis, Chavroux, chèvre du Poitou and faisselle.