French region of Poitou-Charente

Learn about the Poitou Charente region

Photo: CRT Poitou-Charentes

Located in Western France between the north of Bordeaux and the south of Paris, Poitou-Charentes is a rich and varied region full of contrasts. It is made up of the four departments of Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sevres and Vienne. Its astonishing diversity is expressed in terms of a genuine art of living, harmonizing conviviality and authenticity. From country green to ocean blue, the region showers nature lovers with a multitude of colours. Canoe trip amateurs or season hikers, the new "explorers" of Poitou-Charentes will venture from one surprise to the next.


Over 350 kilometers of coastline, chalky cliffs and wild sites alternating with smooth sandy beaches wind their way down the Charente seashore lined with pine trees. The Atlantic seaboard is protected by four islands. Oléron and Ré the two largest, are linked to the continent by bridges. Take advantage of the quietness in the Marais Poitevin aptly named 'Green Venice', a mysterious labyrinth of waterways.

Discover the secrets of the world famous Cognac by visiting cellars and distilleries. Take a cruise on the Charente river or enjoy unique sensations in the futuristic universe of Futuroscope, the European Park of the Moving Image near Poitiers. And don’t forget to taste the regional flavours such as oysters, goat’s cheeses, melons ...

More than a simple tourist destination, Poitou-Charentes is a land of traditions in which history holds a place of choice in the heart of its people. In the town centres or near the fortifications, each monument bears the indelible trace of Roman art and architecture. This can be seen in Saintes, Poitiers or in the churches at Saint-Savin, Talmont and Chauvigny.

Photo: CRT Poitou-Charentes

For countless generations, the women and men of Poitou-Charentes have kept a discreet and inexhaustible treasure of myths and legends. Warm, rather modest and quiet, the locals enjoy the sweetness of life, to take their time, and welcome guests with 'savoir-faire'. Take up this true invitation to discover the pleasures of this mild and sunny region.

By plane, Poitou-Charentes is easily accessible from London Stansted (La Rochelle and Poitiers) and Paris airports. By sea, the nearest ferry ports are Caen, Calais, Le Havre and Saint-Malo. By rail, it is only a couple of hours away from Paris by TGV train (Futuroscope 1.20 hr, Poitiers 1.30 hrs and La Rochelle 2.50 hrs).

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