Surgeres travel guide

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Visit Surgeres (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France)

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Surgeres is a quiet town on the banks of the Geres river and in the gentle countryside of the Poitou-Charentes region, to the east of La Rochelle in western France.

The town can trace its origins back to neolithic times and also to a roman settlement here, but it is the vestiges from the medieval period that are of interest to visitors today. These date largely from the time when Helene de Fonseque, maid of honour to Catherine de Medici, established her home here in Surgeres.

Explore Surgeres

A quiet town a little off the tourist route, Surgeres town centre has an open central square and a couple of streets with all the usual 'small town' shops such as bakers, butchers and cafes. It is the section of the town a couple of hundred metres to the south of here that is of interest to visitors.

Roman style church facade in Surgères

Enter the castle grounds through the large tower called the Porche - originally there was a drawbridge here, and was the main access to the castle. Behind the old fortified wall of the castle there is an attractive 'garden park' area, which contains several interesting historic buildings.

Highlight among these is one of the finest roman style churches in the region, dating from the 11th century and with a facade containing numerous arches and some statues. Take a look at the clocktower, an unusual design with 16 columns then pass inside the church to see the decorative capital stones and other stone engravings.

Also within the gardens you can see a monumental gateway added in the 17th century and the 18th century Chateau de Surgeres, a manor house built on the site of the original medieval castle. Of the original castle you can still see a stone tower (the Tour Helene), and parts of the original castle ramparts.

There is also a carefully planted walled garden, and a large area of more open parkland which is ideal for a picnic. Behind the castle grounds you can take a walk along the banks of the river Geres.

Castle tower in Surgères

Places to visit nearby

Although there are no major attractions close to Surgères, you will enjoy a visit to Rochefort to see the 18th century rope factory, about 25 kilometres south-west of here, and the town of Saint Jean d'Angely, a similar distance to the south-east, also has a pleasant historic centre.

You can find more travel ideas in the Charente-Maritime guide and the Poitou-Charentes guide.

See also: 

Photos of Surgeres

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Saint-Jean d'Angely

Saint-Jean d'Angely

The historic centre of Saint-Jean d'Angely has several notable monuments including the abbey church and some medieval houses

Saint-Jean d'Angely guide


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

Rochefort guide
Marais Poitevin

Marais Poitevin

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

Marais Poitevin guide


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

Saint-Savinien guide


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

Chatelaillon-Plage guide


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

Coulon guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Charente-Maritime

Address: Surgères, Rochefort, Poitou-Charentes, 17700, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 46.1, longitude -0.75

Plan your visit to Surgeres, Charente-Maritime

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Forêt de Benon: site of natural beauty (12 km)
  • Baie de l'Aiguillon: site of natural beauty (23 km)
  • Rochefort: town of art and history (24 km)
  • Saint-Jean-d'Angély, abbaye royale (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (25 km)
  • Eglise de Saint-Pierre (Dampierre-sur-Boutonne): religious monument (26 km)
  • Eglise de Saint-Savinien (Fenioux): religious monument (26 km)
  • Marais Poitevin: grand site of france (27 km)
  • Eglise de Notre-Dame de l'Assomption (Maille): religious monument (27 km)
  • Zoodyssée: zoo or wildlife park (28 km)
  • Coulon: most beautiful village (28 km)
  • Marans: ville fleurie 4* (30 km)
  • Abbaye Saint Pierre et Eglise de Saint Nicolas (Maillezais): religious monument (30 km)

Market days in Surgeres, France

Regular market(s) are held in Surgeres each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Surgeres (Francais)