The Area

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For information about holiday accommodation in Charente Maritime and La Rochelle, and for information about the travel options, click here : à la carte home

"A fine place to hear yourself think ..."

(from Southwest France, Facaros & Pauls, Cadogan 1998)

  Charente Maritime countryside

(view from the garden on a Spring evening)

 Charente Maritime : sunflowers

(neighbouring fields of sunflowers)

Charente Maritime : vineyards

(and the all important vineyards !)


We believe we've got the best of both worlds, in many ways :


we're close enough to UK to be easy to get to, but far enough away to be warmer (and not to be in the UK !)


the area is the second sunniest in France, after the Cote d'Azur - but without their prices or crowds !


we're in the beautiful Charente Maritime ("land & sea : the elements of success"), but we're in the 2 most interesting parts : La Vieille Grange is in the south of it (where the countryside's more interesting/undulating) and within easy striking distance of the Aquitaine/Gironde, including the Medoc; and Les Studios à La Rochelle are in lively and cosmopolitan La Rochelle - the centre of the micro-climate !


we're easy to get to, both sets of properties are only a short distance from the A10 motorway, and within easy travelling distance (even walking or taxi distance in La Rochelle !) of a number of airports (mainly La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Poitiers) and TGV rail stations (La Rochelle, Angouleme or Bordeaux)


there's loads of interesting places to visit and things to do including sleepy villages and livelier towns (of which La Rochelle has a life all of its own !), beaches, chateaux/wine tasting, nature reserves, fetes and festivals and (for those into them) lots of outside activities including walking, cycling, fishing, golf, horse riding and bird watching - or just sitting outside bars watching the world go by ! 


with year round Summer warmth available at a brand new (opened August 2002) indoor tropical lagoon/aqua pool complex at Jonzac, just 20 minutes away from La Vieille Grange


La Vieille Grange is set in a small hamlet of about 12 houses and a farm, in the middle of the countryside (surrounded by vines and sunflowers), but within 10 minutes of the nearest small town (Mirambeau), 10 minutes of the Gironde Estuary, 20 minutes of a larger town (Jonzac) and within 30 minutes of the nearest beach


both Les Studios à La Rochelle are in central La Rochelle, set in quiet residential areas, but within 10 minutes walk of the Old Port and bars and restaurants


for those who like nightlife (gay or otherwise) as well as the country life, there is plenty to be found in La Rochelle or Bordeaux - with smaller scale nightlife available at Saintes, Rochefort, Royan and Niort.

Our location :

Charente Maritime : map

Use the links at the top of the page to see how perfect your holiday location will be : to find out about places to go, events and activities, the weather (including today's !), maps/leaflets/books for planning your holiday and a photo gallery showing the variety and beauty of the area.

A number of tourist boards have web sites for further information about the area (or France in general), but unfortunately many are not well presented :

For France :

French Tourist Office

Loads of info - badly organised and piecemeal for the most part - but its Practical Information and Brochure Orders sections are excellent !


For the region of Poitou Charentes :

Poitou Charente Vacances

 START HERE !!! - it used to be by far and away the best summary of what the area has to offer, and although it's lost its way since it's still a good place to start -

Good for ordering brochures also : especially their "Guide Touristique" and "Carte Patrimoine" available in many languages and one of the very best general summaries of all the area has to offer (follow "tout savoir/commande de brochure")


For the Department of the Charente Maritime :

Charente Maritime Department

AND THEN GO HERE !! - the second best site. Plenty of content - use the "Patrimoine" and "Les 9 Pays du 17" links :  La Haute Saintonge for our local area. But to be honest, the presentation is as dry as chewing on yesterday's baguette - c'est typique !!

Tourisme en Charente Maritime

Quite interesting site - but so overly stuctured as to make it almost impenetrable ! (Would make a good case study on French tourism's marketing strategies !) But has some particularly good points :

The Organisez votre Sejour facility is a useful way to find events on during your stay (e.g. brocantes) : select "Agenda"

The "Cartographie" is a mildly interesting map based facility to find places to go etc - but it's content is extremely selective - bizarrely so !

It is a good place to access tourist brochures (either to read online, download or order by post) - especially their "Guide Vacances", the "Carte Touristique" tourist map and "Les Trésors de Saintonge".

For amusement value (but also some interesting footage) try the "Videos" section. Best turn sound off when you get to the droning "talking heads" that French video makers seem to love !

Charente Maritime -

English version of the above website - but with rather less content

Evadez-vous 17

Mainly concerned with selling pre-packaged holidays, but nevertheless some interesting content

 For the local areas :


Pays Royannais

Like chewing on a 2 day old baguette this Tourist section !


Much better designed, but still not much content


But for some of the best websites (e.g. La Rochelle Tourist Office and Royan Tourist Office) - see individual "Places to Go" (above)