The gîtes are within easy reach of
historic towns such as Cognac, with English language tours of the famous
distilleries, Saintes, with its Roman remains and river excursions and the
beautiful and ancient port of La Rochelle.
Swimming and boating are available at St
Jean d'Angely, Cognac and Saintes, with golf courses at Cognac and
Saintes. A wide variety of seaside resorts are only an hour away - Royan,
Fouras, and the long sandy beaches of the Ile d'Oleron.
the French way of life
Excellent restaurants serving local
seafood specialities are available within 30 mins drive. The seaside resorts
have a large number of fish restaurants with a good range of prices with the
dishes all prepared with fresh local produce.
Pineau is a local aperitif which is made
in many local villages and the producers have tastings (degustation) on their
premises. The Cognac distilleries are very popular for visitors and
encourage you to visit to see how the Cognac is produced. Most have English
language tours, some including a boat or miniature train trip.
The local villages have bread shops
(artisan boulangeries) with a range of different types of bread well worth
trying - not just the common baguette - and some have a patisserie and
chocolatiere. The local markets are well worth a visit (e.g. Aulnay on
Sunday morning for oysters, fresh bread, fruit, vegetables and olives.) -
and when you want a change from food and drink -why not join the French people
on Sunday mornings through the season at a Brocante (French car boot sale) which
always has absolutely fascinating objects to bargain over?