Poitou-Charentes: Varied Landscapes and Structural Wonders
Located in the southwest of France lies the largely undiscovered region of Poitou-Charentes. With free-flowing rivers and the Atlantic lapping at the shores, the region offers a variety of landscapes that you can explore while staying at your holiday home in Poitou-Charentes. The region has a rich history in seafaring that dates back to the medieval era in La Rochelle.
Diving right into the history of Poitou-Charentes, La Rochelle is a port city of the region that begs to be explored. The feel of La Rochelle is very unique.
The Old Port is guarded by the Tour Saint-Nicolas and the Tour de la Chaîne, which were used for defense in the Middle Ages. The harbor is teeming with cafes that host the hustle and bustle that many tourists adore. For shopping, head into the Old Town and take a stroll down The Grand Rue des Merciers. Its name means, "The Street of Haberdashers."
Looming over the Charente River sits Angoulême, a historic town that has quite a stormy past. From the walls, you can catch picturesque glimpses of the French countryside. These walls were heavily relied upon for protection during the Wars of Religion, which took quite a toll on Angoulême.
The Cathedral of Saint-Pierre is Angoulême's main attraction. As a combination of Byzantine and Roman styles, it is quite a magnificent sight. You can stand in awe at detailed scenes of the Last Judgement and the Ascension before marveling at the spacious dome ceiling.
Rochefort-sur-Mer is known for its history, art, and spa services. Two of the best spas in the area are the Maison du Curiste and the Société Thermale de Rochefort. Before you head to your facial or massage, you may want to stop by and see the replica of the Hermione, which is the ship that Marquis de Lafayette came to America on. For a further glimpse at the rich naval history of the city, you can go to the Maritime Museum and the Corderie Royale.
Ile de Ré is a pleasant surprise for those visiting the Poitou-Charentes region. It's a beachy getaway from historic cities that provides a space for relaxation and fun. While it gets busy in the summer, this balmy spot still has a private feel.
If you are still yearning for more historical and architectural views after your day on the white sand, Ile de Ré encompasses two quaint villages, Ars-en Ré and La Flotte-en-Ré. It's an all-inclusive destination of the region that blends leisure and learning with beautiful backdrops.
Ile d'Oléron is the place to be for seafood lovers in the summertime. Thanks to the island's oyster beds, residents and tourists are able to enjoy the gastronomic oyster festival that takes place each August. It's a special time that pays homage to the fishing history of the area and is the perfect chance to savor fresh seafood. Surfing is also a popular activity on the island.