What to do in Charente Maritime in winter?

La Rochelle
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We have concocted a program of fun and original activities to make your winter stay in Charente-Maritime unforgettable! Charente-Maritime is appreciated for its beaches and its frontage on the Atlantic, its archipelago of islands, the picturesque villages of its mouth, the Poitevin marshes and its country of Aunis, the Saintonge and its wine-growing region… These beautiful territories offer many activities in all seasons. Whether you are a lover of old stones, history, culture, or rather sporty, gourmet, or just a curious visitor, you will love it.

Opening : © tunach17 / Adobe Stock

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Visit a typical monument of maritime heritage : the lighthouses

In Charente-Maritime, there are many lighthouses to visit, whether on the islands, at sea or on the coast. Here is our " Top 3 lighthouses " :  

  • The Baleines lighthouse is located on the Île de Ré and allows you to take a nice walk on the coastal path to the Conche beach, to climb to the top of the lighthouse to enjoy a 360° panoramic view and to learn about maritime markings in the museum.

  • On the island of Oléron, it is the Chassiron lighthouse which will offer you a beautiful point of view, particularly on Fort Boyard. The museum tells the story of the life of the people of Oléron, between land and sea. At its foot, there is a beautiful garden in the shape of a compass rose to visit.
  • At La Tremblade, the Coubre lighthouse is open from February to November. You will appreciate a magnificent viewpoint over the Gironde estuary. You can learn about the history of the lighthouse in its museum.

You will find other lighthouses to visit in our section on the lighthouses of Charente Maritime, but some are not accessible in winter.


Headlights

The Lighthouse of the Whales; Photo @Lesley Williamson

Discover the history of the region through its castles

The region has been very coveted over its long history : the Romans, the Franks, the Bretons and especially the English! You will discover a very varied panel of fortifications, from the very first in the Middle Ages to the most modern on the plans of Vauban...

  • The Château de la Roche-Courbon offers you, in addition to a guided tour of this " Historic Monument " and a walk in its " Remarkable Gardens ", many activities : Castle game, Prehistozen, old games, course for children...


the good idea Consult our article to see the other castles in the region.

castle

The Château de la Roche-Courbon

Satisfy your curiosity in museums

Inhabited since prehistoric times, this territory has a long and tumultuous history, which has given rise to many traditions, left a rich heritage and   inspired by artists… This is what to learn and cultivate in the museums of the region.

To select a museum to visit according to your tastes and your current desire, here is our full article on all the museums of Charente Maritime and a small selection by category :  

  • History : The "Le Bunker " (fr) Museum in La Rochelle is a veritable bunker built in the city center during the Second World War and remained intact for 70 years! A very unusual visit awaits you there.

Museum

The museum  

Explore the picturesque villages of Charente-Maritime

Are you a fan of old stones? No doubt, you will be served in Charente-Maritime. There are so many that the choice will be difficult. So we made you a small selection of the essentials :  

  • Brouage, another strategic and fortified place, between the coast and the marshes.

find out more You want more, we take you to explore the 5 villages classified among the " Most beautiful villages of France " of the department.


If you miss the city, La Rochelle (fr) has many facets, many monuments and museums to visit and the tourist office offers fascinating guided tours. Here is an overview of the main points of interest in La Rochelle.


Harbor

The pretty port of l'Houmeau; Photo @Lesley Williamson

Taste local products and regional specialties

For the gourmands, we give you some ideas to taste the local gastronomy, through its many local and sea products and its warm and friendly cuisine.

You already need good local products! We offer you an overview of the gourmet flavors between land and sea of the region. And to find them, several options are available to you :  


Then you need a good recipe and get in the kitchen! Otherwise, we offer you addresses of restaurants and oyster bars that will delight you without tiring you!

the good idea Do you know the mouclade and the eclade of mussels?

And to accompany all these regional specialties, we make you discover the wine terroir of Charente-Maritime. At the moment, it is the Cognac distillation period, this is a good opportunity to do wine tourism and visit the vineyards of Charente-Maritime.

Oysters

The Charente Maritime Oysters, it's the season!

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Practice a sport in nature

In winter, we tend to lock ourselves inside. But in the region, the ocean gives us a little warmth and it is rarely very cold. In addition, the sea air is so invigorating that it is a pleasure to do a little sport, especially after all those good meals. We invite you to admire the panoramas of the coast and the beaches, with this exceptional winter light, or to explore the Charente hinterland. Here are our most beautiful walks :

If you are more of a cyclist, we have grouped together the great cycling tours of Charente-Maritime for you. If you want to know more, do not hesitate to consult the tourist office site and its “ by bike ” section : Infiniment Charente.

Didn't you take your equipment? No problem, go to a rental agency.

One last tip for the road : To never get lost again, download the Loopi Vélo (fr) application, also created by the tourist office.

sunset

There is no season to enjoy the beauty of the sunsets or sunrises, here on the salt marshes of the Ile de Ré.  

Relax in the wellness centers

After sport, comfort... It is high time to take care of yourself and recharge your batteries to recharge your batteries! Here are the addresses of balneotherapy areas, hammams, saunas, etc.

For a stay of relaxation and well-being, we recommend a holiday at Gîtes et Spa La Charmaie in Aigrefeuille-d'Aunis.

the good idea Discover the tropical aquatic universe of the Antilles of Jonzac!

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We hope that these few ideas have inspired you for the next winter holidays in Charente Maritime.

Did you like our article? Find others on the Blog of the Charente Maritime Guide.

Subscribe to the Guide de la Charente Maritime's Facebook page and also find us on Instagram @guidecharentemaritime .

 

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


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