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 travel guide.

Angles-sur-l'Anglin (Vienne)

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

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Angouleme (Charente)

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

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Ars-en-Re (Charente-Maritime)

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

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Aubeterre-sur-Dronne (Charente)

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

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Barbezieux (Charente)

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

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Bayers (Charente)

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

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Brigueuil (Charente)

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

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Brouage (Charente-Maritime)

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

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Charmant (Charente)

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Charmant is another pleasant Charente town, with a small castle and a church as well as the source of the river Boeme

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Chateau de Cherveux (Deux-Sevres)

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

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Chateau de la Mercerie (Charente)

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

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Chateau de La Rochefoucauld (Charente)

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The Chateau de La Rochefoucauld is the most important castle in Charente, with both medieval and renaissance parts to the castle

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Chatelaillon-Plage (Charente-Maritime)

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

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Chatellerault (Vienne)

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

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Chauvigny (Vienne)

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We especially enjoyed exploring the castles along the hilltop when visiting Chauvigny

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Cognac (Charente)

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

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Confolens (Charente)

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

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Coulon (Deux-Sevres)

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

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Fouras (Charente-Maritime)

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

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Futuroscope (Vienne)

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Futuroscope is one of the most popular attractions in France!

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Ile d'Oleron (Charente-Maritime)

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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)

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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)

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

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Jarnac (Charente)

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

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Jonzac (Charente-Maritime)

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

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La Flotte-en-Re (Charente-Maritime)

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

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La Palmyre (Charente-Maritime)

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

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La Roche-Posay (Vienne)

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

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La Rochefoucauld (Charente)

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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)

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

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La Rochelle aquarium (Charente-Maritime)

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The aquarium in La Rochelle features various parts, including a shark tank and many colourful sea creatures

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La Rochelle harbour (Charente-Maritime)

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The harbour area in La Rochelle is the liveliest part of the town, with numerous restaurants, street entertainers, artists and the aquarium

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La Rochelle Natural History Museum (Charente-Maritime)

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The Natural History Museum in La Rochelle contains an eclectic mix of items collected by 19th century explorers

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La Rochelle towers (Charente-Maritime)

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These three fortress towers protect the entrance to the harbour in La Rochelle

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La Tremblade (Charente-Maritime)

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

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Marais Poitevin (Charente-Maritime)

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

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Marans (Charente-Maritime)

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

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Marthon (Charente)

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In Marthon there is no single monument that dominates, but rather several small buildings and historic sites of interest

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Melle (Deux-Sevres)

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

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Melle Church of Saint-Hilaire (Deux-Sevres)

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The church of Saint-Hilare in Melle is a very impressive example of 12th century architecture

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Meschers-sur-Gironde (Charente-Maritime)

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

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Moncontour, Vienne (Vienne)

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

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Montmorillon (Vienne)

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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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Mornac-sur-Seudre (Charente-Maritime)

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

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Mouthiers-sur-Boeme (Charente)

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

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Nanteuil-en-Vallee (Charente)

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

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Niort (Deux-Sevres)

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

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Nouaille-Maupertuis (Vienne)

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

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Parthenay (Deux-Sevres)

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

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Poitiers (Vienne)

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Poitiers is a nice town with lots of interesting sites, including the 12th century cathedral

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Pons (Charente-Maritime)

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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)

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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)

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

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Royan (Charente-Maritime)

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

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Ruffec (Charente)

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

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Saint-Germain-de-Confolens (Charente)

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

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Saint-Jean d'Angely (Charente-Maritime)

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

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

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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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Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe (Vienne)

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The highlight here is of course the Abbey of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, certainly the best example of roman style architecture anywhere in Poitou-Charentes

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Saint-Savinien (Charente-Maritime)

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

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Saint-Simon (Charente)

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

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Saintes (Charente-Maritime)

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

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Surgeres (Charente-Maritime)

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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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Talmont (Charente-Maritime)

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

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Thouars (Deux-Sevres)

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

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Torsac (Charente)

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

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Tusson (Charente)

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

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Verteuil-sur-Charente (Charente)

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At Verteuil-sur-Charente you will enjoy a stroll along the banks of the Charente River and a look at the substantial castle

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Villebois-Lavalette (Charente)

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

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For more information see the Poitou-Charentes guide


Tourist attractions to visit in Poitou-Charentes

The following sites have received official "tourist classifications"...


Aquarium de La Rochelle: Tourist guide

Aquarium de Loudun

Grand Sites of France

Brouage Fortifications: Tourist guide

Marais Poitevin: Tourist guide

UNESCO world 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

Villages classified as "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


Secteur Sauvegardé (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