Visit Charente, France
Charente is a 'quiet' department, best known for the peaceful contryside and the towns of Cognac and Angouleme. a personal favurite is the troglodyte church at Aubeterre-sur-Dronne (near the border with the dordogne department)
Selected places to visit in Charente
Charente: an introduction
The Charente department is broadly the south-east part of the Poitou-Charentes region, situated in west-central France (north-west of the Dordogne department).
Among the scenic highlights in Charente, the river Charente itself is popular and has ample opportunities for boat trips and chances to quietly enjoy the countryside. Upstream from Angouleme it is much smaller and calmer, splitting into smaller meandering rivulets and areas of ponds and small lakes, while towards the sea from Angouleme the river can be navigated by larger boats.
Heading towards the north-east Charente the countryside changes in character - there are more areas of woodland and the number of lakes increases, and quiet enjoyment of the countryside is the goal for visitors to this region known as the Charente-Limousin.
There are some interesting sights here, including the abbey at Nanteuil-en-Vallee; also Tusson (with a medieval monastic garden); Ruffec; and Verteuil, best known for its picturesque castle on the banks of the Charente River, each towards the north-west.
The Chateau de Bayers and associated gardens (12th-17th century) is at the village of Bayers, while the Chateau de Rochebrune is to the north-east of the Charente.
The town of Cognac is of course best known for the drink of the same name, and enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to learn about the history and production of cognac, as well as ample opportunities to try it.
Also in the central part of the department and the most important town in the Charente department is the centrally placed Angouleme best known for its cathedral, and for the international Comic Festival held in Angouleme each year.
The village of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne (near the south-east border of the Charente department) is especially well known for its substantial troglodyte church and is also the only village in the Charente department to be classified as one of the 'most beautiful villages in France'.
Also in the south-west of the Charente, visit the town at Jarnac.
Other Charente attractions
There are four gardens in the department that have been officially designated as 'remarkable gardens', at Bioussac; the Logis de Forge at Mouthiers-sur-Boeme; Chaigne Garden at Touzac and the medieval garden at Tusson.
See a list of all Charente communes
Map of Charente
French version: Charente (Francais)