What to do in autumn in Charente-Maritime?

La Rochelle
What to do in autumn  ...

Whatever the season, Charente-Maritime is pleasant to visit with its beautiful beaches, ports and pretty towns with a rich historical heritage. Located on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in the west of France, it is adorned with golden colors in autumn, when the red and yellow leaves spread out on the ground and the atmosphere is filled with the softness of the post-season. Put on your vest and find out what to do in autumn in Charente-Maritime.


Photo: AdobeStock jujud3100


1- Discover the vineyards and wines of Charente-Maritime

The month of September often heralds the grape harvest in the vineyards, the start of a new cycle for these grains harvested by passionate winegrowers. Discover the production of alcoholic drinks such as Charentais wine, but especially cognac. Amber digestive resulting from the distillation of white wine followed by aging in oak barrels, it is renowned for its finesse and its aromas of candied fruits and citrus fruits. Don't forget to start with Pineau des Charentes. Red, rosé or white, its sweet side is well appreciated as an aperitif after a visit to the vineyard.

Find out about all the subtleties of wines in our article on visiting and discovering the vineyards of Charente-Maritime


Cognac


2- Strolling on the beach in the mildness of autumn

The post-season is pleasant for exploring the beaches. Vacationers have deserted the stretches of sand which offer magnificent landscapes in autumn. The orange glows mix with the blue of the ocean, creating a unique, special and ephemeral atmosphere. With its 90 beaches between La Rochelle and Talmont-sur-Gironde, Charente-Maritime is ideal for walks with friends, family or lovers along the coast. Grande Plage de Châtellaillon, Boyardville Beach, Grande Plage de Nauzan or Plage de la Grande Conche, you will be overflowing with ideas for getting away from it all.

Select the beach where you stroll in our top of the most beautiful beaches in Charente-Maritime


Chay Royan Beach Photo: AdobeStock Stéphane Gourinchas


3- Discover the island of Oléron

Summer is over, the summer heat is replaced by the autumnal mildness which allows nature lovers to enjoy walks in the forest. Treat yourself to a breathtaking view of the entire island of Oléron and adjacent islands from the top of the Chassiron Lighthouse, trace history at the citadel of Château d'Oléron or taste oysters directly from the producers. In this mild and mild climate, observe the birds beginning their migration or practice your favorite sport. Kite surfing, sand yachting, horseback riding or mountain biking, there are plenty of activities in autumn on the island of Oléron.

If you only have a weekend, discover the 10 essential experiences to enjoy


Chateau d’Oléron Photo: Lesley Williamson


4- Discover the ports in Charente-Maritime

A marine region bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Charente-Maritime is full of small marinas that are pleasant to explore in autumn, when the rays of light are reflected in the blue waters on the hulls of boats. Sea air, seagull cries and the comings and goings of fishermen, the ports are perfect for relaxing for a day. Linger in a café and sit on the terrace if the weather permits to listen to the lovely music of the clanging boat masts. Port de Marans, port de l'Houmeau or port de la Flotte, each has its own particularity which will seduce you.

Discover the most beautiful ports of Charente-Maritime in our detailed article


Marans Harbor Photo: Lesley Williamson


5- Visit the castles of Charente-Maritime

Most of the time, the castles are open all year round. Take advantage of a season calmed by the departure of summer visitors to venture out to discover the history of the region. If you are patient, you can even discover them by night during the heritage days which take place in autumn. Travel back in time to authentic Renaissance-style castles, whether in Roche-Courbon castle transformed into a residence, at the Château de Neuvicq perched on its hillside or at the Château de Panloy which retains the period furniture.

Immerse yourself in history and visit the castles of Charente-Maritime


The Medieval Keep of Pons


6- Visit natural sites and watch birds

Birds return to their natural environment in the mildness of autumn after the heat of summer. In Charente-Maritime, several sites allow you to observe them discreetly to let them evolve in total freedom. Head to the Marais-Poitevin, an exceptional natural park where colorful birds migrate every year. On the Île de Ré, the Lilleau des Niges nature reserve offers an incredible ornithological spectacle at dawn and the rising tide, where golden colors mingle with the flight of birds. Take your binoculars and be patient to observe the surprising ballet of these flying inhabitants.

7- Taste the local gastronomy

There is no season to indulge. Take advantage of the start of the school year to discover and appreciate the specialties of Charente-Maritime. Seafood, cooked dishes, gourmet desserts, butters and spices, the region has many surprises in store for your taste buds. Gourmet events not to be missed are mouclade and mussel eclade, two culinary traditions perfect in autumn, which is the peak season for this tasty shellfish. Perfume your recipes with saffron from Île de Ré, a spice cherished all year round whose bulbs awaken to the sweetness of autumn.

Bikki Beach

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La Pièce à Café

La Pièce à Café
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Le Grand Large

Le Grand Large
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8- Take a hike in Charente-Maritime

On foot or by bike, you can explore Charente-Maritime as you wish. The start of the school year sounds like the end of a season, with the arrival of a milder climate and ideal temperatures for being active on the trails. Stroll along 5,000 km of circuits that take you along the seaside, along estuaries or in the countryside. With friends, family or children, take flat and passable routes, an ideal outing to enjoy the orange colors of autumn. You can even join the Routes of Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle like the pilgrims.

Read our article and discover walks and hikes in Charente-Maritime


Fort Boyard and its beach


9- Visit the most beautiful villages in France in Charente-Maritime

Combining the walk with discovery is a good idea. Take advantage of the post-season to wander the streets of the “5 most beautiful villages in France” nestled in a beautiful cultural and authentic region. Ars-en-Ré to the north of the island of Ré, La Flotte-en-Ré and its small port, Brouage in the heart of the marshes, Talmont-sur-Gironde on a rocky promontory or Mornac-sur-Seudre and its sumptuous market halls, these are the destinations to be favored when the golden rays color the towns with warm colors.

Brouage Photo: Lesley Williamson


10- Take a stroll on the island of Aix

A little jewel of the Charente estuary, the island of Aix can only be reached by boat. Find the calm and relaxation of the end of summer where vehicle traffic is regulated. Nicknamed “ the little Corsica of the Atlantic ”, this little corner of paradise of 3 km offers a 360° view, a breathtaking panorama of Fort Boyard, the island of Oléron, the island of Ré or the island Madam. Fine sand beach, soothing atmosphere and mild climate, this is the perfect mix for a lazy day to rest after taking a 2-hour stroll around the island of Aix.

How good it is to see fall coming when you know everything you can do once summer is over. Experience a peaceful return to school, we tell you what to do in autumn in Charente-Maritime.


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