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Village of Saint Martin de Ré Copyright Region Poitou-Charentes Pacal Baudry

If you’re after a holiday that offers some of the best beaches in Europe, glorious countryside, great gastronomy and a whole lot more, Poitou-Charentes, now part of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, may well be your dream destination.

Why holiday in Poitou Charentes?

A few years back, Dordogne was where everyone wanted to go. And quite right, it’s a beautiful area and there’s a ton to fall in love with, it’s still massively popular. For a while though, for many it felt as if Poitou-Charentes was just a region to drive through in the rush to reach the delights of Dordogne. The area lies on the west coast of France between the rivers Loire and Gironde, spreading inland from the Atlantic at La Rochelle to just north of Poitiers.

Then savvy travellers started to stop off, they lingered, and they discovered that Poitou-Charentes has drop dead gorgeous sandy beaches, islands where you can get away from it all in style or in tranquillity. They found a landscape of rolling hills, lush forests and lakes, mouth-watering markets and artisan boulangeries in picturesque towns. There’s also some of the country’s top attractions like award-winning Futuroscope multimedia theme park and the Valley of the Monkeys. Word got out. But, in spite of its growing popularity, it never seems to get overcrowded, making it a top-notch place to take a holiday.

Marais Poitevin: The Green Venice of France

Marais Poitevin

If you’re a nature and sporty activities lover, the Marais Poitevin, the “green Venice”” of France with its cycling and hiking paths and waterways that criss cross the landscape will really float your boat.

Drop dead gorgeous beaches

Well-known and historic seaside towns like Île de Ré, Île d'Oléron, La Rochelle and Rochefort are all popular with visitors. But there’s plenty of choice in the area for getting off the beaten track and discovering your own bit of coastal paradise.

Picturesque and historic towns

Cognac, famous for its production of Cognac, Angoulême a beautiful town famous for its wall murals and annual comic festival are great for days out. La Rochelle, Royan Saintes are also terrific choices for days out as well as holidays in the area.

Island hopping in Charente-Maritime

Ile de Ré copyright: Ile de Ré Tourism

Boasting the same number of hours of sunshine as St Tropez on the French Riviera but not so far to get to, Ile De Ré is chic, charming, elegant and authentic. This lovely island is a firm favourite with Parisians and those who go there always long to return. Think pastel coloured shutters, white villas, superb markets, beautiful beaches, cafés along the waterside, watching the sun set…

Ile d’Aix is tranquil and has a bit of an air of the Caribbean to it with its lush vegetation growing right up to the beach. This car free paradise makes for a great day trip by ferry, just leave your car at the ferry car park at Fouras.

Ile d’Oléron is the second largest island in France after Corsica and it’s perfect for cyclists - with more than 100km of cycling routes. With its beautiful coast line, oyster farms and scenic countryside, prepare to be bewitched by the charms of Oléron.

At French Connections we have hundreds of fabulous rentals in the Poitou-Charentes, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, area, just click here to see them all – we love to help you make your holiday dreams come true…