This department is located in the south-west of France, within the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. The golden, sandy beaches are popular with both locals and tourists, and the area enjoys a warm microclimate with vast, flat countryside further inland, perfectly suited for farming and agriculture. There are many islands just off the coast of Charente-Maritime, with Ile de Rey and Ile d’Oleron being two of the most popular. Boat excursions ferry visitors to and from the islands, where they can explore the villages and partake in various activities such as horse-riding, cycling, water-sports and sunbathing to exploring the local markets and sampling the delicious cuisine at one of the many restaurants and seaside cafes.
La Rochelle is the capital city, with a thriving port guarded by iconic towers, Tour de la Chaine and Tour Saint Nicolas, and many local festivals and events drawing in visitors throughout the year. The maritime museum and large aquarium are fascinating and always a hit with the children, as is the audiovisual theme park, Futurescope, located in Poitiers and the Palmyre Zoo. The city of Poitiers is worth exploring, with its many churches including the Baptistere Saint-Jean, which is claimed to be the oldest Christian building in all of Western Europe. Marais Poitevin is the second largest wetland in France and affectionately known as ‘The Green Venice”. The picturesque canals, quaint footbridges and adorable cottages are just some of the attractions in this little village. You could take a day trip and visit Cognac, where you can tour some of the most famous Cognac brand distilleries such as Remy Martin and Hennessy. The vineyards and riverside villages are truly beautiful and worth a bit of tie to explore.
La Rochelle has its own international airport and TGV train station, allowing for ease of travelling when exploring the area and its surrounds.
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