Our 12 postcards from Charente-Maritime

Leading department for tourism in France, Charente-Maritime offers a wealth of things to do and see. Here's a round up of some of the places you shouldn't miss.

1 The tropical paradise of Antilles de Jonzac

Want to escape from it all? Head to the Antilles de Jonzac. Under its
10,000m2 cover the site groups several activity zones. A play space with its tropical lagoon, water slides, wave machines and waterfalls. Not forgetting dedicated spaces for wellness and fitness types. As for those who just want to laze around on sandy beaches, deckchairs are available. Change of scenery guaranteed!

www.lesantillesdejonzac.com

Our 12 postcards from Charente-Maritime

1 The tropical paradise of Antilles de Jonzac

Want to escape from it all? Head to the Antilles de Jonzac. Under its
10,000m2 cover the site groups several activity zones. A play space with its tropical lagoon, water slides, wave machines and waterfalls. Not forgetting dedicated spaces for wellness and fitness types. As for those who just want to laze around on sandy beaches, deckchairs are available. Change of scenery guaranteed!

www.lesantillesdejonzac.com

2 Fort Boyard, giant of the sea

Located half-way between the isles of Aix and Oléron, Fort-Boyard is a major landmark for the department. A television game show of the same name aired in over thirty countries has contributed to its worldwide reputation. Though not accessible to the public, day cruises from the Ile d'Oléron, Fouras-les-Bains and La Rochelle mean you can really get up close to this historical monument.

www.inter-iles.com
www.croisieres-alize.com
www.fort-boyard-croisieres.fr

3 The beautiful Crazannes quarries

Built at a motorway service station, this museum dedicated to the Crazannes quarries shows films and exhibitions on how the quarries used to be run.
Today lush vegetation creates an exotic feel. A free or guided visit will help you piece together the remarkable story of these quarries. Workshops introduce children to the different quarryman trades, stone-cutter, sculptor and so on.

www.pierre-de-crazannes.fr

Our 12 postcards from Charente-Maritime

3 The beautiful Crazannes quarries

Built at a motorway service station, this museum dedicated to the Crazannes quarries shows films and exhibitions on how the quarries used to be run.
Today lush vegetation creates an exotic feel. A free or guided visit will help you piece together the remarkable story of these quarries. Workshops introduce children to the different quarryman trades, stone-cutter, sculptor and so on.

www.pierre-de-crazannes.fr

4 The La Rochelle towers, worth going up

Landmarks of the town, the towers on the old port are an absolute must-see. Keepers of the city they bear witness to the ruins of successive attacks on the town over the centuries. Today the towers give visitors a magnificent view over La Rochelle and the ocean. If the Chain Tower and Saint-Nicholas Tower are renowned as symbols of this rebellious town, don't forget to take a look at the Lantern tower just a few metres away.

www.tours-la-rochelle.fr

5 Saint-Clement, watchman of the île de Ré

Erected at the northwest point of the île de Ré, the Phare des Baleines lighthouse is the main attraction for the commune of Saint-Clément des baleines. From the top of its 57 metres, you get a great view over the island. But before you get to see the spectacular view you have to climb 257 steps. The less brave can make do with the highly interesting museum at the foot of the lighthouse.

www.lepharedesbaleines.fr

Our 12 postcards from Charente-Maritime

5 Saint-Clement, watchman of the île de Ré

Erected at the northwest point of the île de Ré, the Phare des Baleines lighthouse is the main attraction for the commune of Saint-Clément des baleines. From the top of its 57 metres, you get a great view over the island. But before you get to see the spectacular view you have to climb 257 steps. The less brave can make do with the highly interesting museum at the foot of the lighthouse.

www.lepharedesbaleines.fr

6 The Castle of Oléron in good custody

Masterpiece of defensive architecture, the Citadel of Oléron Castle was built to protect the mouth of the Charente and the town of Rochefort. It was erected in several stages. Work began in 1630 on the initiative of Richelieu, and was finished by Vauban in 1704. With its ramparts, royal gate and moats, the fortress is an impressive place to visit. What's more, entrance is free.

www.ile-oleron-marennes.com

7 Arvert, exquisite peninsula

Blessed with a rich natural environment, the Arvert peninsula offers a wealth of landscapes. To the north, maritime activity remains predominant thanks to Marennes-Oléron oyster farms. To the west, the wild coast with its vast beaches remains a favourite spot for surfers. To the south, the “Côte de Beauté” groups several seaside towns. Also very woody, the region is home to the National “La Coubre” Forest, perfect for a walk through the trees.

www.royanatlantique.fr

Our 12 postcards from Charente-Maritime

7 Arvert, exquisite peninsula

Blessed with a rich natural environment, the Arvert peninsula offers a wealth of landscapes. To the north, maritime activity remains predominant thanks to Marennes-Oléron oyster farms. To the west, the wild coast with its vast beaches remains a favourite spot for surfers. To the south, the “Côte de Beauté” groups several seaside towns. Also very woody, the region is home to the National “La Coubre” Forest, perfect for a walk through the trees.

www.royanatlantique.fr

8 Golf courses, it's time to swing

The department counts no fewer than ten golf courses. 18, 9 and 6-hole courses are dotted across the region from La Rochelle to Royan, by way of Saintes. Open to all levels, most of them are in beautiful ocean view or rural settings. They also have good restaurants where you can fuel up after the effort.

www.infiniment-charentes.com

9 Prehistory goes life-size at the Paleosite

Built on the real site of an archaeological dig, a visit to the Saint-Césaire Paleosite will transport you back to the daily life of Neanderthal man. After the indoor and outdoor circuits plus the numerous activities (fire lighting, flint sharpening, catapult making, cave art...) the life of our first ancestors will hold no more secrets for you.

www.paleosite.fr

Our 12 postcards from Charente-Maritime

9 Prehistory goes life-size at the Paleosite

Built on the real site of an archaeological dig, a visit to the Saint-Césaire Paleosite will transport you back to the daily life of Neanderthal man. After the indoor and outdoor circuits plus the numerous activities (fire lighting, flint sharpening, catapult making, cave art...) the life of our first ancestors will hold no more secrets for you.

www.paleosite.fr

10 Off to the zoo, the number one attraction for families

Imagine: 1600 animals from the five continents in the heart of an 18-hectare pine forest. That's what you'll find at the Palmyre zoo on the Côte Sauvage. The site groups 115 different animal species: birds, primates, carnivores, hoofed mammals, marine mammals and reptiles. Not forgetting their young who never fail to soften even the most hard-hearted. Every year the zoo welcomes 200 to 250 new births.

www.zoo-palmyre.fr

11 L’Hermione, the latest wonder of Rochefort

The pride of Rochefort, the Hermione is the exact replica of the frigate used by the Marquis de La Fayette to go and support the American independents in 1780. Built over a 17-year period, the three master - who made her first Atlantic crossing with great fanfare in 2015 - can be visited in Rochefort, her home port. Exhibitions retrace the adventure of the reconstruction and the frigate's navigating history.

www.hermione.com

Our 12 postcards from Charente-Maritime

11 L’Hermione, the latest wonder of Rochefort

The pride of Rochefort, the Hermione is the exact replica of the frigate used by the Marquis de La Fayette to go and support the American independents in 1780. Built over a 17-year period, the three master - who made her first Atlantic crossing with great fanfare in 2015 - can be visited in Rochefort, her home port. Exhibitions retrace the adventure of the reconstruction and the frigate's navigating history.

www.hermione.com

12 An ocean that's always on hand

Top of the must-do's in La Rochelle is the Aquarium, home to 12,000 marine animals. Here the rich biodiversity of the sea is sure to fascinate both young and old. Sea tortoises, jellyfish and fascinating sharks, visitors are sure to find all the heroes of the ocean.

www.aquarium-larochelle.com

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