The 10 tourist and natural sites to visit in Charente Maritime

Saint-Jean-d'Angle
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Charente Maritime is full of magnificent natural sites. And be careful, we're not just talking about the beaches! Nature, adventure, fun and unusual visits ... Holidays with family, lovers, sports or relaxation, cultural or natural ... There is something for everyone! We have prepared a selection visits, to make you happy as you wish !

The Château de la Roche Coubron


In the Val de Saintonge , in the town of Saint-Porchaire, the Château de la Roche Coubron is the largest castle in Charente Maritime. It conceals many treasures to be discovered during the guided tour : period furniture, painted ceilings, ceremonial staircase … Let’s say no more! You will also find a prehistoric museum there , old games for adults and children , workshops and activities, ...

But above all, its listed gardens have a unique feature in France … They are on stilts ! And to fully enjoy it, everything is planned: lovely refreshing walks along the canal , its large pools or a stream in the undergrowth ; a belvedere with a panoramic view of the castle and the park; and even an escape game in the heart of nature ! To learn more, read our article .

If you are fond of old stones , stop in Saintes , known for its 2000 years of history , its Gallo-Roman amphitheater and its magnificent religious heritage .

Roche Coubron Castle Roche Courbon Castle

Photo: The Château de la Roche Coubron

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Paleosite


Near Saintes , we go back in time , to prehistoric times , on the Paleosite of Saint-Cézaire. You will have access to the first interpretation center in Europe , at the cutting edge of technology . You follow an interior course with interactive rooms: projections, virtual reality, life-size prehistoric animals ... Then you walk in a shaded natural site with reconstructions , animations and workshops to experiment the techniques of the time.

For practical details, visit their paleosite .

Paleosite

Photo: Paleosite

The fortified castle of Saint Jean d'Angle


In the Pays d'Aulnis , this fortified castle has several towers in its pocket… No wonder, you are in the kingdom of the fairy Mélusine ! In this medieval park of Saint Jean d'Angle, families are well received. The children follow a treasure hunt , in the form of puzzles . For parents, it's a quiz that allows you to walk around the castle and its exteriors .

A real adventure , in costumes , punctuated by staging and entertainment during the summer. Everything is done to make you appreciate the life of the castle : reconstruction of the castle mound , medieval-inspired garden , trebuchet shooting , farmyard and farm animals , rose garden, old games ... And to spice things up a bit, do a little sport thanks to the orientation course and get lost in the corn maze .

Find all the practical information on their website .

Are you going to miss Rochefort ? Follow in the footsteps of the young ladies , at the museum of the old shops , followed by a refreshment at the Brasserie des Demoiselles , of course ...

Fortified castle of Saint Jean d'angle

Photo: Fortified castle of Saint Jean d'Angles

The towers of La Rochelle


Capital of the Pays d'Aulnis , La Rochelle is a rebellious city with a troubled past . It is difficult to summarize it in a few cultural visits, but its famous Tours are very significant of its history. To avoid spoiling the visit, the panorama embraces the city, the port and the islands .

Want to know more, here is our full article on the city. Or dive into its history and its relationship to the ocean at the Maritime Museum . Not to mention its aquarium , a must.

Do you fancy a little sport? Why not take a bike tour of La Rochelle… Rent your bike at Cyclo parc .

If you need a bit of freshness, now is the time to take a bucolic trip on the Canal de Rompsay .

To take a different view of the city, try an approach by sea with the Croisières de La Rochelle .

Even more original ? A retro ride ... And why not take the opportunity to take a gourmet trip to the port of l'Houmeau (north of La Rochelle).

La Rochelle

Photo: The Tours de la Rochelle

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City of the Oyster


South of Marennes , at the heart of the oyster beds, the city dedicated to him offers a fun and lively visit. Themed huts , trails, initiations , films, games and activities ... something to teach all ages ! A real immersion in this harsh environment, through a traditional profession , exercised by enthusiasts, to discover oyster farming . All practical information is available on the Cite-huitre.com site.

Fancy a walk along the water to discover another part of the heritage typical of the Charente coast, here is a tour of Carrelets ...

A stone's throw from Marennes , an unusual visit: the fortified city of Brouage .

City of the Oyster City of the Oyster

Photo: The City of the Oyster

Regulus Caves


On the Arvert peninsula , in Meschers sur Gironde , this troglodyte site , carved into the limestone cliffs , served as habitat before welcoming you. Today, it is transformed into a Cagouille rally or a small shrimp treasure hunt… As you can see, it is as a family that we stroll through its caves .

It makes you want, we take you on a visit . All practical information here .

Not to be missed: the Nocturnes at the Régulus caves .

While you are in the area, take the opportunity to visit the seaside resort of Royan , its unique architecture , its many beaches , its central market , or its unusual park, the Planet Exotica . And for an original visit, you can do it by little train , skateboard, scooter or electric Segway .

Regulus cave

Photo: Caves of Regulus

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Museum and Gallo-Roman site of Fâ


At the end of the Arvert peninsula , in Barzan, you enter a Gallo-Roman town renowned for its flourishing economy. A museum to better understand the site, a walk in the ruins and activities during the summer allow you to understand the life of the time . The size of the place is impressive and excavations are still in progress, so it is changing every year ... To find out more, visit their website .

Gallo Roman site of the Fa

Photo: Museum and Gallo-Roman site of Fâ

Fort Boyard and Île d'Aix


We set off to board the islands of the Charente archipelago via its famous Fort Boyard ! Since it cannot be visited, treat yourself to a cruise : a commented tour to learn all about its history, or simply a romantic stroll at sunset . More invigorating : take a catamaran tour of the Fort , do you like it?

Fort Boyard, photo Lesley Williamson

Photo: Le Fort Boyard, photo by Lesley Williamson


Its white houses with colored shutters and hollyhocks make it a friendly and warm place , ideal for a day out with the family . The Ile d'Aix is also its fort, so atypical. Fort Liédot is nicknamed Fort de la Sommité, because it dominates the highest point of the island at 9 m high! Its architectural heritage is also notable: church, priory, drawbridge, port and its lighthouse of course… And finally, you can relax on its sandy beaches .

Want to know more, read our full report to discover the island of Aix .

The cool idea : Explore the island of Aix by bike! To find a bike, it's here: Cyclaix .

Aix island

Photo: Ile d'Aix, photo by Lesley Williamson

The little train of Saint-Trojan


Our island- hopping cruise ends smoothly on the Ile d'Oléron . In Saint-Trojan-Les-Bains, it's the P'tit train , which takes us quietly through the pine forests of the Côte Sauvage d'Oléron. And for a romantic getaway , nothing better than the Trains du Soleil Couchant . Romanticism is at the rendezvous, admiring its landscapes and sunsets .

The island of Oléron is also its castle , its typical villages : Saint-Georges-d'Oléron , Saint-Pierre-d'Oléron ; its Marais aux Oiseaux ,

Get on the P'tit train with us , we'll take you on a tour.

An original gift idea: the Cristal du Saulnier , an exceptional salt or a wine made in Oléron .

If you like little trains, hop aboard the Petit Train de l'Ouest de Royan .

You liked it ? Do you want more ? An inter-island cruise , to finish in style.

Ptt train from st trojan

Photo: Le P'tit Train de Saint-Trojan

The blue lakes of Touvérac


We leave for Haute-Saintonge , on a site full of mystery . You are already dreaming of calm and crystal clear waters ... Over time, the old white clay quarries have turned into lakes. Nestled in the middle of the forest , it is an exotic universe that is preserved today and offers you breathtaking landscapes .

Follow us on a stroll around these exceptional lakes .

The site is accessible on foot or by mountain bike, but swimming is prohibited.

Another similar site to visit is Lake Guizengeard .

Blue lake of touvérac

Photo: The blue lakes of Touvérac, photo by Lesley Williamson


We hope that this discovery of the territories of Charente Maritime has inspired you because there are so many other tourist and natural sites to visit that this list cannot be exhaustive.


Did you like our article? Find more on our Blog . Follow us on the Charente Maritime Guide Facebook page and on Instagram @guidecharentemaritime.

Article written by Stéphanie Tempier for the Guide de la Charente Maritime.

 


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