The Charente at St Jean D'Angely
Charente Maritime is steeped in history with plentiful attractions, including prehistoric caves, Roman remains, including
an amphitheatre at Saintes, Romanesque churches, numerous chateaux, historic towns, and the naval shipyard at Rochefort with
the Hermione frigate project. There are innumerable museums, exhibitions and aquariums. Saintes, the City of Art and History,
is just down the road, whilst off the coast the Ile De Re, and the Ile D’ Oleron are within easy reach. The Vignoble
de Bordeaux can be quickly accessed by a short ferry across the Gironde from Royan.
the more active there are first class golf courses at La Rochelle, Royan, Saintes and Cognac. Tennis courts are within
easy reach as well as great bike rides down quiet lanes and by the Charente. Closeby there is also a well established equestrian
centre and stables offering riding tuition and hacking trips through the beautiful countryside and on the beaches.
The Charente River, and the various tributaries to it, provides excellent
opportunities for canoeing, water skiing, walks and picnics, as well as numerous riverside restaurants and bars.
The bar at Taillebourg
There are plenty of wonderful beaches, including a 12 km long
sandy beach near Marennes, some 25 minutes drive, and all the way down the coast to Royan, at the mouth of the
Gironde Estuary, roughly 35 minutes drive . Sailing, surfing and waterskiing are available at La Rochelle, Rochefort
For nature lovers the 6,700 hectare wildlife Reserve Naturelle Moeze-Oleron is a short drive, just to
the north of Rochefort. The bird population is quite fantastic with a huge range of resident and migrating sea birds,
duck and waders, including Avocet, Spoonbill, and White Stork, many different large birds of prey, and Kingfisher. The
wildlife, space and sense of calm are an experience not to be missed.
The area, which is renowned for Cognac and Pineau de Charente, (which is
essential for that evening drink beside the pool), also benefits from easy access to some of the finest wine regions of France.
The food in the region is varied with an abundance of fresh and salt water fish and seafood, and in particular the oysters,
which are all major local industries, as well as the lamb and beef from the water meadows and salt marshes of the Charente
and La Rochelle respectively.
The Weather in the Charente Maritime
Average temperatures in degrees centigrade
Feb March April May June July
Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
9 9 13
15 19 22
25 24 22 17
days of sunshine
March April May June July Aug
Sept Oct Nov Dec
16 20 23
23 25 26 23
22 19 15
(Courtesy of Bowhills 2007 brochure)