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.

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
See guide

photo of Angouleme

Angouleme (Charente)

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

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
See guide

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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photo of Barbezieux

Barbezieux (Charente)

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

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 Chalais

Chalais (Charente)

Chalais has an ancient castle and a roman church among its attractions
See guide

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 Boeme
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photo of Chateau de Cherveux

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 restored
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photo of Chateau de La Rochefoucauld

Chateau de La Rochefoucauld (Charente)

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

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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photo of Chauvigny

Chauvigny (Vienne)

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

photo of Church Sainte-Radegonde of Talmont

Church Sainte-Radegonde of Talmont ()

The Church Sainte-Radegonde is a roman style church of the 12th century on the coast at Talmont-sur-Gironde
See guide

photo of Cognac

Cognac (Charente)

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

photo of Confolens

Confolens (Charente)

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

photo of Coulon

Coulon (Deux-Sevres)

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

photo of Fouras

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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photo of Futuroscope

Futuroscope (Vienne)

Futuroscope is one of the most popular attractions in France!
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photo of Ile d'Oleron

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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photo of Ile de Re

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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photo of Ile-d'Aix

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!
See guide

photo of Jonzac

Jonzac (Charente-Maritime)

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

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
See guide

photo of La Rochelle

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 Rochelle aquarium

La Rochelle aquarium (Charente-Maritime)

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

La Rochelle harbour (Charente-Maritime)

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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photo of La Rochelle Natural History Museum

La Rochelle Natural History Museum (Charente-Maritime)

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

La Rochelle towers (Charente-Maritime)

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

Marans (Charente-Maritime)

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

Marthon (Charente)

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

Melle Church of Saint-Hilaire (Deux-Sevres)

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

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)

Niort is a picturesque large town with a donjon, a market hall and a large historic centre to explore
See guide

photo of Nouaille-Maupertuis

Nouaille-Maupertuis (Vienne)

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

photo of Parthenay

Parthenay (Deux-Sevres)

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

photo of Poitiers

Poitiers (Vienne)

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

photo of Pons

Pons (Charente-Maritime)

Pons is a quiet small town overlooked by a castle tower that is a pleasant place for a stroll
See guide

photo of Rochefort

Rochefort (Charente-Maritime)

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

photo of Ronce-les-Bains

Ronce-les-Bains (Charente-Maritime)

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

photo of Royan

Royan (Charente-Maritime)

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

photo of Ruffec

Ruffec (Charente)

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

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
See guide

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 medieval houses
See guide

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
See guide

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 architecture anywhere in Poitou-Charentes
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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 interest
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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 river
See guide

photo of Saintes

Saintes (Charente-Maritime)

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

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
See guide

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 church
See guide

photo of Thouars

Thouars (Deux-Sevres)

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

photo of Torsac

Torsac (Charente)

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

photo of Tusson

Tusson (Charente)

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

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 substantial castle
See guide

photo of Villebois-Lavalette

Villebois-Lavalette (Charente)

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

For more information see the Poitou-Charentes guide

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Tourist attractions to visit in Poitou-Charentes

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


Aquarium de La Rochelle: See tourist guide

Aquarium de Loudun

Grand Sites of France

Brouage Fortifications: See tourist guide

Marais Poitevin: See tourist guide

UNESCO world heritage sites

Aulnay église St Pierre (monuments on French pilgrim routes)

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

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

Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe Abbey: See tourist guide

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

Villages classified as "most beautiful villages"

Angles-sur-l'Anglin: See tourist guide

Ars-en-Re: See tourist guide

Aubeterre-sur-Dronne: See tourist guide

Coulon: See tourist guide

La Flotte-en-Re: See tourist guide

Mornac-sur-Seudre: See tourist guide

Talmont: See tourist guide

National Monuments

Abbey Saint-Sauveur de Charroux

Oiron Chateau


Towns classified as Recommended Detours

Chauvigny: See tourist guide

Jonzac: See tourist guide


Secteur Sauvegardé (protected historical town centre)

Chatillon-sur-Thouet: See tourist guide

La Rochelle: See tourist guide

Parthenay: See tourist guide

Poitiers: See tourist guide

Saintes: See tourist guide

Theme Park

Futuroscope: See tourist guide

Towns of Art and History

Angouleme: See tourist guide

Confolens: See tourist guide

Montmorillon: See tourist guide

Parthenay: See tourist guide

Poitiers: See tourist guide

Rochefort: See tourist guide

Royan: See tourist guide

Saintes: See tourist guide

Thouars: See tourist guide

Ville d'etape

La Rochefoucauld: See tourist guide


4* Towns in Bloom

Angouleme: See tourist guide

Marans: See tourist guide

Royan: See tourist guide

Saintes: See tourist guide

Thouars: See tourist guide

Zoo or wildlife park

Vallée des singes (monkeys)

Zoo de la Palmyre