Where to visit

Pons and the Donjon

Modern day Pons has some beautiful streets to visit, shops and a market. The Donjon is a must. It is 30 meters high, this Dungeon of Pons is undoubtedly the most imposing of the region. Discover a medieval universe and climb the 136 steps to enjoy a breathtaking view of the Medieval City, the Valley of the Seugne and the beautiful region. After all that effort enjoy refreshments or lunch in the nearby restaurants.


La Rochelle

La Rochelle is a coastal city and has been a center for fishing and trade since the 12 century. This maritime tradition is reflected in the Vieux Port (old harbour) and the huge modern Les Minimes marina. 

The old town has half-timbered medieval houses and renaissance architecture.

The Vieux Port has seafood restaurants, the Aquarium, with sharks and sea turtles, and three medieval towers.

A bridge links the city to the Île de Ré a beautiful island to visit.

Rochefort

Rochefort is a port on the Charente Estuary. The town is home to a unique style of bridge (built in 1900) named Pont transbordeur de Rochefort.

The town is also famous as the home to L’Hermione, a replica of a 1779 frigate, which was completed in 2014.The original Hermione carried General La Fayette to the United States in 1780, to rejoin the American side in the American Revolutionary War. Well worth a visit.

Saintes

Because of its noteworthy Gallo-Roman, medieval and classical heritage, Saintes is well worth a visit, and is a personal favourite. It has several museums, a theater, cinemas, and organizes numerous festivals. The European center of musical research and practice is in its Abbaye aux Dames. 

Cross the bridge in the centre of Saintes to exlore the 'old town' centre which has an extensive pedestrian area with houses in the local white stone dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries. It is in this area of Saintes that you will find the most shops and restaurants, and the one half-timbered house that remains in the town (at Place du Synod).

The southern edge of this historic centre follows the Charente river. Walk along the Quai de Verdun for attractive views across the river to the Arch de Germanicus and to the island and park. Merlot our ‘ Epanual Francaise’ often has a walk here. 

Cognac

Cognac is situated on the river Charente between the towns of Angoulême and Saintes. The majority of the town has been built on the river's left bank, the smaller right bank area is known as the Saint Jacques district. The town is on one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela.

The town famously gives its name to one of the world's best-known types of brandy or eau de vie. Drinks must be made in certain areas around the town of Cognac and must be made according to strictly-defined regulations to be granted the name Cognac.

Cognac is a unique spirit in that it is double-distilled. This process can be viewed in one of the many "Grande Marque" Cognac houses which all have visitor centres. Most central in the town are Hennessy, Martell, Otard, Camus and Remy Martin. About 15 km (9.32 mi) East of Cognac is Jarnac, home to Courvoisier.

Jonzac

Jonzac is best known for being a spa town, and although the spa waters were first discovered only 30 years ago, several thousand visitors a year now visit to receive the therapeutic benefits of the water from the thermal springs.

It also has a water-based leisure complex known as the 'Antilles de Jonzac' and features lagoon, indoor beach, waterfalls and a relaxation area. 

The most notable building in the town is the Chateau de Jonzac. The chateau was built in the 15th century on the site of an earlier castle that had been destroyed during the Hundred Years War. Significant parts of the medieval castle remain today including the two main round towers and several other interesting architectural details.

Still in active use, the chateau now houses the town hall and also an archaeology museum (in the cloisters).