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Rich Culture and History, take a Trip from La Rochelle to Bordeaux
The west coast of France is regularly visited and written about but here at My-French-House we have a guide of our favourite towns that zig-zag their way from La Rochelle down to Bordeaux. This area of France is renowned for having one of the most pleasant climates along with the French Riviera. As we leave behind a blessed summer full of sunshine and blue skies we head in to autumn with mild temperatures thanks to the oceanic climate. Whether you live here or are just visiting now is the time to enjoy its rich culture and fascinating history but don’t worry there’s still time to relax as we head south to the beautiful city of Bordeaux.
La Rochelle has charmingly maintained its architectural heritage making it one of the most picturesque and historically rich cities attracting tourists throughout the year. At the heart of the city is the “Vieux Port” (Old Harbour) where you can enjoy a delicious meal at one of their seafood restaurants followed by an evening promenade with stunning views of this well preserved old town. Within the town centre you can find properties from medieval houses to private town mansions dating from the 15th to 18th century with fine sculptured stone facades that you could sit and admire for days. Owning a property in La Rochelle or in one of its surrounding towns allows you to offer your friends or guests long weekends or breaks away that will never fail to fill their thirst for culture as there is always a new church, museum or park to discover.
Heading south and slightly in land we head to Cognac, best known for its production of France’s finest spirit but soon to be loved by you for the scenic Charente Valley and sleepy villages. You will find properties here that include pretty 19th century stone built French mansions and 15th century renaissance homes. Once you have visited the must-see Cognac distilleries it’s time to explore the rest of this alluring riverside town, choosing from bustling modern boulevards or quiet historic monuments and of course the Charente river. Many of the buildings in Cognac were constructed from the local white stone that is found throughout the "Poitou-Charentes region, making the local architecture distinctive and striking. You will notice the mix of old and new as you experience the medieval cobbled streets contrasted with the new ‘English style’ gardens. Homes in this area are often unique with land, outbuildings and even separate accommodation, allowing you to share your drop of Cognac with your guests. Once you have taken in all that Cognac has to offer Paris is only two and half hours away or visit one of the many sleepy but curious villages that surround the town.
Nicknamed the “balcony of the southwest” Angouleme overlooks a meander of the Charente River and is less than an hours’ drive from Cognac. Like many towns in France Angouleme has a fascinating heritage but it is also renowned for its comic strips and holds an annual festival that attracts authors, illustrators and enthusiasts from all over the world. That’s not to say Angouleme isn’t rich in history because it is, it’s just not often that you can experience such modern culture with an historic centre. We salute Angouleme for embracing its vibrant new image and we urge you to enjoy everything that the city has to offer. Walking tours, cathedrals, museums and panoramic views, all of this diverse culture is surrounded by large boulevards which stand above the original walls that once protected the town. Looking out from the heart of the town into the surrounding countryside you will find properties described as exceptional, prestigious and authentic. Find your perfect style amongst the properties for sale near Angouleme, you will fall in love with a stone mansion in a unique woodland location or be in awe of large modern villa designed by an architect set in an enclosed 6000 square meter park. To complete your visit of the area why not add a boat trip to soak up the picturesque scenery along the river.
Join us as we head back across this region of France towards to seaside resort of Royan, bursting with crashing waves and sandy beaches that stretch along the Atlantic coast. Different from the other towns and cities that we have visited, Royan has long history as a seaside town however you can still satisfy your cultural cravings with visits to its surrounding towns and villages. Royan is a place to relax and have fun with your friends and family as its beaches are arguably the finest in France. Local properties include stone houses with water mills set in a peaceful area amongst mature trees and trickling streams or a stone charentaise home with enclosed grounds, charming features and a cosy fireplace for days spent away from the coast. You will notice Royan is home to some modern attractions, the church us unlike the Romanesque style of the region and the covered market is certainly a striking piece of modern architecture. As you walk through the town you will appreciate to revolutionising styles of architecture and of course the unmissable views out the Atlantic. Further south, going towards Bordeaux, is the area close to the estuary and the Gironde river.
We have now reached the end of our tour from La Rochelle as we enter the city of Bordeaux. Known of course as the world’s wine capital is also has strong historic links as part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th century. We could talk about some of its 362 historic monuments but you must experience these for yourself during your many visits to Bordeaux as once you have tasted just one drop on this port city you may never want to leave. We have now entered the 'former' Aquitaine region at the base of the Garonne River with an ever growing city and suburbs it’s one of the largest areas of France. With a range of properties available in Bordeaux you may also still find that some specific streets have échoppes. An échoppe is a workshop however in Bordeaux they have also serve as houses, this type of property is widespread all over the city and usually have a garden and a well. Obviously Bordeaux is also home to large historic chateaux and fabulously renovated homes all located close to the center of Bordeaux.
Has our tour influenced you to choose a favourite town or city for yourself? Then why not visit them all! At My-French-House you are able to find properties across this popular region of south west France, choose from over 100 country houses, farmhouses or even your own French chateau. You have discovered the history and culture that oozes from each town and our properties are no different, authentic or newly renovated, the style of your French home is limitless.