Talmont, Poitou-Charentes: tourism & sightseeing
Visit Talmont (Poitou-Charentes, France)
Talmont is a village about 15 kilometres south-east of Royan on a promontory on the northern side of the Gironde estuary in Poitou Charentes. The village is officially listed as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'.
Note: this article describes Talmont-sur-Gironde in Gironde, not Talmont-Saint-Hilaire in the Vendee department.
Surprisingly perhaps given its position, Talmont was founded as an English bastide town in the 13th century and the layout of the streets now is more or less the same as it has been for the last 700 years.
Leave your car in the large car park just outside the village: the streets of the village are narrow and to be explored on foot. You can start by following the ramparts around the outside of the village.
A small village, Talmont is best known for the lovely 11th century church of St Radegonde, built in the Roman style and surrounded by a small cemetery, that stands at the head of the promontory right on the edge of the cliffs.The facade of the church was rebuilt in the 15th century after the original facade fell in the sea.
Apart from its location, the church also has some highlights to discover such as the ornately carved entrance, and some fascinating carvings of animal heads just below roof level. You can learn more about the history of the church and of the fishing industry in Talmont-sur-Gironde in the small local museum (small entry charge payable).
The views along the coast from the cemetery are very impressive, with white cliffs in both directions. If possible try and see the church at sunset when its colours are most attractive.
After completing the tour of the ramparts be sure to also take a stroll through the narrow streets of Talmont-sur-Gironde to see the low attractive whitewashed houses, reminiscent perhaps of small villages in Greece. You can also take a stroll around the ramparts that once surrounded the town.
This exploring is especially pleasant from the end of spring to well into the summer, when self-seeded hollyhocks seem to push from every crack and space possible - both in the village and the cemetery - which is a very unusual sight for which Talmont-sur-Gironde is renowned, and which brings a lovely splash of colour to the town.
You can finish your visit with a stroll around the small harbour and a look at the traditional boats.
Much of the interest nearby follows the coastline, with beaches and small villages and towns such as Meschers-sur-Gironde to explore.
From Royan you can also get a ferry across the Gironde estuary to start exploring the Medoc peninsula.
Map of Talmont and places to visit
Visit near Talmont with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Charente-Maritime
Talmont is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Talmont-sur-Gironde, Cozes, Saintes, Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes, 17120, France || GPS: latitude 45.534, longitude -0.908
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Forêt de Suzac: site of natural beauty (8km)
- Pointe de Suzac: site of natural beauty (11km)
- Pointe de Grave: site of natural beauty (11km)
- Royan: town of art and history (13km)
- Soulac-su-Mer basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-fin-des-Terres (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (17km)
- Parcs et jardins du château de Beaulon: remarkable garden (20km)
- Mornac-sur-Seudre: most beautiful village (22km)
- Forêt de la Lande: site of natural beauty (23km)
- Zoo de la Palmyre: zoo or wildlife park (26km)
- Pons ancien hopital des pèlerins (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (28km)
The French version of this page is at Talmont (Francais)