Poitou-Charentes places to visit and attractions

Below you can explore some of the most popular highlights and places of interest in the Poitou-Charentes region. See also our Poitou-Charentes guide.

Poitou-Charentes sightseeing and tourist information

photo of Angles-sur-l'Anglin

Angles-sur-l'Anglin (Vienne)

The pretty village of Angles sur l'Anglin and the river setting make this one of our favourite Vienne villages [...]

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photo of Angouleme

Angouleme (Charente)

Angouleme is one of our favourite Charente towns, with several interesting historic monuments to see and nice views [...]

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photo of Ars-en-Re

Ars-en-Re (Charente-Maritime)

Ars-en-Ré is one of the pretty villages to explore on the Ile-de-Ré [...]

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photo of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne

Aubeterre-sur-Dronne (Charente)

The attractive village of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne is also well known for its imposing troglodyte church [...]

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Barbezieux (Charente)

Here in the small town of Barbezieux it is the castle that dominates the town, and your visit... [...]

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Bayers (Charente)

The Chateau de Bayers is the principal monument here, and thers are several other smaller sites of interest [...]

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photo of Brigueuil

Brigueuil (Charente)

Here in Brigueuil it is the roman style church that is the most interesting highlight for visitors [...]

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photo of Brouage

Brouage (Charente-Maritime)

The town of Brouage is visited for the substantial fortifications and citadel, dating from the Napoleonic era [...]

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photo of Charmant

Charmant (Charente)

Charmant is another pleasant Charente town, with a small castle and a church as well as the source of the river Boe [...]

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Chateau de Cherveux (Deux-Sevres)

The Chateau de Cherveux, one of the best preserved 15th century castles in the region, is close to Niort [...]

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photo of Chateau de la Mercerie

Chateau de la Mercerie (Charente)

The Chateau de la Mercerie is a manor house with a substantial wing added in the 20th century, and now recently res [...]

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photo of Chatelaillon-Plage

Chatelaillon-Plage (Charente-Maritime)

The seaside resort of Chatelaillon-Plage has a long sandy beach and a friendly atmosphere [...]

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photo of Chatellerault

Chatellerault (Vienne)

The quiet regional town of Chatellerault has some notable 18th century townhouses [...]

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Chauvigny (Vienne)

We especially enjoyed exploring the castles along the hilltop when visiting Chauvigny [...]

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photo of Cognac

Cognac (Charente)

Cognac has an extensive old twon and town centre, nice riverside walk and lots of Cognac distilleries. Definitely r [...]

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photo of Confolens

Confolens (Charente)

Confolens has several sites of interest including an ancient bridge and fountain and some medieval houses [...]

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photo of Coulon

Coulon (Deux-Sevres)

Established since 2000 years agio, Coulon is now a centre for exploring the Marais-Poitevin marshes [...]

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Fouras (Charente-Maritime)

While the beaches are the main highlight here in Fouras, be sure to also visit the Vauban fortifications [...]

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Futuroscope (Vienne)

Futuroscope is one of the most popular attractions in France! [...]

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Ile d'Oleron (Charente-Maritime)

It is usually the beaches that attract visitors to Ile d'Oleron, but allow time to explore the towns as well! [...]

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Ile de Re (Charente-Maritime)

The Ile-de-Ré is an island with lots of sandy beaches and some attractive villages. Much loved by cycling families [...]

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Ile-d'Aix (Charente-Maritime)

Ile d'Aix is a small island, explored on foot or by bike, known for its association with Napoleon [...]

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photo of Jarnac

Jarnac (Charente)

Visitors to Jarnac can explore the small old town, walk along the riverside, and sample the local Cognac! [...]

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photo of Jonzac

Jonzac (Charente-Maritime)

Best known as a spa town Jonzac also has a small castle and other monuments to discover [...]

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photo of La Flotte-en-Re

La Flotte-en-Re (Charente-Maritime)

The village of La Flotte-en-Ré is a pretty village on the Ile-de-Ré [...]

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photo of La Palmyre

La Palmyre (Charente-Maritime)

You will find a beach at La Palmyre but it is best known for its very popular zoo [...]

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photo of La Roche-Posay

La Roche-Posay (Vienne)

The castle donjon and the medieval gateway are the main historical monuments in the spa town of La Roche-Posay [...]

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photo of La Rochefoucauld

La Rochefoucauld (Charente)

After exploring the Chateau de Rochefoucauld be sure to stroll around the rest of the historic town centre [...]

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La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime)

The historic town and monuments and the vibrant harbour area make La Rochelle one of our favourite towns in France [...]

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photo of La Tremblade

La Tremblade (Charente-Maritime)

Visit the beach and port at La Tremblade, and explore the sand dunes [...]

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photo of Marais Poitevin

Marais Poitevin (Charente-Maritime)

The Marais-Poitevin is a region of canals and marshes, an unusual environment best explored by boat [...]

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Marans (Charente-Maritime)

Marans is a small town with a pretty section along the river in the town [...]

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Marthon (Charente)

In Marthon there is no single monument that dominates, but rather several small buildings and historic sites of int [...]

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photo of Melle

Melle (Deux-Sevres)

The town of Melle is best known for its three roman style churches, built in the 12th century [...]

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photo of Meschers-sur-Gironde

Meschers-sur-Gironde (Charente-Maritime)

The beaches and rocky coast attract visitors to Meschers, and you can also see troglodyte cave dwellings [...]

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photo of Moncontour, Vienne

Moncontour, Vienne (Vienne)

As well as the castle in Moncontour, you will also enjoy the town's leisure lake [...]

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photo of Montmorillon

Montmorillon (Vienne)

Although it is quite a small town, there is a lot to discover in the pretty town of Montmorillon - and bookshops! [...]

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photo of Mornac-sur-Seudre

Mornac-sur-Seudre (Charente-Maritime)

Not far from Royan the centre of Mornac-sur-Seudre is attractive and very pleasant to stroll around [...]

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photo of Mouthiers-sur-Boeme

Mouthiers-sur-Boeme (Charente)

The 12th century church in roman style is the principal monument here in Mouthiers-sur-Boeme [...]

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photo of Nanteuil-en-Vallee

Nanteuil-en-Vallee (Charente)

Here at Nanteuil-en-Vallee it is the Nanteuil Abbey and Treasury that is of most interest to visitors [...]

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photo of Niort

Niort (Deux-Sevres)

A typical local town rather than a tourist town, Niort does have a ruined castle and churches of interst [...]

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photo of Nouaille-Maupertuis

Nouaille-Maupertuis (Vienne)

Visit Nouaille-Maupertuis to see the substantial Abbey of Saint Junien [...]

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Parthenay (Deux-Sevres)

Parthenay is a quiet town, with historic monuments that hint at its importance iver the centuries [...]

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Poitiers (Vienne)

Poitiers is a nice town with lots of interesting sights, including the 12th century cathedral [...]

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Pons (Charente-Maritime)

Pons is a quiet small town overlooked by a castle tower that is a pleasant place for a stroll [...]

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Rochefort (Charente-Maritime)

Rochefort is an attractive 18th century town with a famous corderie, where ropes and ships were made [...]

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Ronce-les-Bains (Charente-Maritime)

Ronce-les-Bains is a long established resort with several beaches nearby, and an important centre for mussel farmin [...]

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photo of Royan

Royan (Charente-Maritime)

At Royan you will enjoy the beaches and also the promenade along the seafront [...]

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photo of Ruffec

Ruffec (Charente)

The highlight in the quiet town of Ruffec is the facade of the 12th century church [...]

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photo of Saint-Germain-de-Confolens

Saint-Germain-de-Confolens (Charente)

In the village of Saint-Germain-de-Confolens you can see the substantial ruins of an ancient castle [...]

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photo of Saint-Jean d'Angely

Saint-Jean d'Angely (Charente-Maritime)

The historic centre of Saint-Jean d'Angely has several notable monuments including the abbey church and some mediev [...]

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photo of Saint-Martin-de-Re

Saint-Martin-de-Re (Charente-Maritime)

On the north coast of Ile-de-Ré, the village of Saint-Martin-de-Ré is very pretty and has an attractive port [...]

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photo of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe (Vienne)

The highlight here is of course the Abbey of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, certainly the best example of roman style ar [...]

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photo of Saint-Savinien

Saint-Savinien (Charente-Maritime)

In an attractive setting on the banks of the Charente River, Saint-Savinien also has a few historic sites of intere [...]

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photo of Saint-Simon

Saint-Simon (Charente)

In the Charente town of Saint-Simon you will enjoy a stroll along the river, and perhps then a boat trip along the [...]

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photo of Saintes

Saintes (Charente-Maritime)

The town of Saintes is very interesting, with an extensive old-town to explore and a Roman amphitheatre [...]

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photo of Surgeres

Surgeres (Charente-Maritime)

It is the cluster of monuments in the park in the centre of Surgeres that are the principal attraction in the town [...]

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photo of Talmont

Talmont (Charente-Maritime)

Talmont-sur-Gironde is one of the prettiest villages in Charente-Maritime, well known for the imposing roman style [...]

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photo of Thouars

Thouars (Deux-Sevres)

Best known for its 17th century castle, in Thouars you can also see several medieval monuments [...]

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photo of Torsac

Torsac (Charente)

Torsac is one of several small but interesting villages to stroll around in Charente [...]

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photo of Tusson

Tusson (Charente)

Tusson is a very typical town of the Charente and has several impressive Renaissance townhouses to admire [...]

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photo of Verteuil-sur-Charente

Verteuil-sur-Charente (Charente)

At Verteuil-sur-Charente you will enjoy a stroll along the banks of the Charente River and a look at the substantia [...]

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photo of Villebois-Lavalette

Villebois-Lavalette (Charente)

The village of Villebois-Lavalette is pleasant to explore, and also has a castle to see [...]

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For more information about the department see the detailed Poitou-Charentes travel guide

Classified tourist sites to visit in Poitou-Charentes

Listed below are some of the main places and destinations in Poitou-Charentes that have received 'official' tourist classifications.


Aquarium de La Rochelle

Aquarium de Loudun

Grand Sites of France

Brouage Fortifications: Tourist guide

Marais Poitevin: Tourist guide

Heritage Sites

Aulnay église St Pierre (monuments on French pilgrim routes)

Melle église St Hilaire (monuments on French pilgrim routes): Tourist guide

Poitiers église Saint-Hilaire le Grand (monuments on French pilgrim routes): Tourist guide

Pons ancien hopital des pèlerins (monuments on French pilgrim routes)

Saint-Jean-d'Angély, abbaye royale (monuments on French pilgrim routes)

Saint-Martin-de-Ré citadelle (Vauban fortifications): Tourist guide

Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe Abbey: Tourist guide

Saintes basilique St Eutrope (monuments on French pilgrim routes): Tourist guide

Classified 'most beautiful villages'

Angles-sur-l'Anglin: Tourist guide

Ars-en-Re: Tourist guide

Aubeterre-sur-Dronne: Tourist guide

Coulon: Tourist guide

La Flotte-en-Re: Tourist guide

Mornac-sur-Seudre: Tourist guide

Talmont: Tourist guide

National Monuments

Abbey Saint-Sauveur de Charroux

Oiron Chateau


towns classified as Recommended Detours

Chauvigny: Tourist guide

Jonzac: Tourist guide


Religious Monuments

Abbatiale de Saint Pierre (Lesterps)

Abbaye aux Dames de Saintes (Saintes)

Abbaye Bénédictine (Charroux)

Abbaye de Fontdouce (Saint-Bris-des-Bois)

Abbaye de la Réau (Saint-Martin-l'Ars)

Abbaye de Nouaillé-Mauperthuis (Nouaille-Maupertuis)

Abbaye de Saint Savin sur Gartempe (Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe)

Abbaye Notre Dame de l'Assomption de Châtre (Saint-Brice)

Cathédrale Saint Pierre (Angouleme)

Eglise Abbatial de Saint Jouin (Saint-Jouin-de-Marnes)

Eglise abbatiale de Saint Pierre (Airvault)

Eglise d'Usson de Poitou (Usson-du-Poitou)

Eglise de Genouillé (Genouille)

Eglise de Notre Dame (Trois-Palis)

Eglise de Notre Dame (Voulgezac)

Eglise de Notre Dame (Voulgezac)

Eglise de Notre-Dame (Lusignan)

Eglise de Notre-Dame (Montmorillon)

Eglise de Saint André (Ruffec)

Eglise de Saint Cybard (Roullet-Saint-Estephe)

Eglise de Saint Estèphe (Roullet-Saint-Estephe)

Eglise de Saint Généroux (Saint-Generoux)

Eglise de Saint Germain (Varaize)

Eglise de Saint Gervais et Saint Protais (Civaux)

Eglise de Saint Jean-Baptiste (Coulgens)

Eglise de Saint Jean-Baptiste (La Couronne)

Eglise de Saint Martin (Gensac-la-Pallue)

Eglise de Saint Maurice (Saint-Maurice-la-Clouere)

Eglise de Saint Michel (Saint-Michel)

Eglise de Saint Nicolas (Civray)

Eglise de Saint Pierre (Chatain)

Eglise de Saint Pierre (Chauvigny)

Eglise de Saint Pierre (Saint-Pierre-d'Exideuil)

Eglise de Saint Pierre et eglise de Saint Hérie (Matha)

Eglise de Saint Vincent (Puymoyen)

Eglise de Saint Vivien (Bagnizeau)

Eglise de Saint-Brice (Saint-Mande-sur-Bredoire)

Eglise de Saint-Germain (Gimeux)

Eglise de Saint-Pierre (Dampierre-sur-Boutonne)

Eglise de Saint-Savinien (Fenioux)

Listed 'Remarkable Gardens'

Arboretum du chemin de la découverte

Jardin du Chaigne

Jardin du château de La Mothe

Jardin monastique médiéval

Jardins de la Boirie

Jardins du phare de Chassiron

La Guyonnière

La Roche Courbon


Logis de Forge

Parc et jardin de l’Abrègement

Parcs et jardins du château de Beaulon


Protected historical town centre

Chatillon-sur-Thouet: Tourist guide

La Rochelle: Tourist guide

Parthenay: Tourist guide

Poitiers: Tourist guide

Saintes: Tourist guide

Theme Park

Futuroscope: Tourist guide

Towns of Art and History

Angouleme: Tourist guide

Confolens: Tourist guide

Montmorillon: Tourist guide

Parthenay: Tourist guide

Poitiers: Tourist guide

Rochefort: Tourist guide

Royan: Tourist guide

Saintes: Tourist guide

Thouars: Tourist guide

Ville d'etape

La Rochefoucauld: Tourist guide


4* Towns in Bloom

Angouleme: Tourist guide

Marans: Tourist guide

Royan: Tourist guide

Saintes: Tourist guide

Thouars: Tourist guide

Zoo or wildlife park

Vallée des singes (monkeys)

Zoo de la Palmyre