Exploring the Charente River of France

Exploring the Charente River, France

The Charente River is one of the many beautiful waterways leading from the sea that nourishes the rich soils that produce France’s finest wine and cognac. Children will delight in this adventure as there are many fantastic sites, museums and open parks for them to enjoy. Scenic towns and gastronomic delights are the Charente’s main highlights to discover in these 5 towns.

 

  1. Rochefort
  2. Saintes
  3. Cognac
  4. Chateauneuf-sur-Charente
  5. Angouleme 

 

Rochefort

Rochefort is one of the oldest Maritime towns in the South of France. Once used as a defence and supply port for the navy, it was also a penal colony used for hard labour. Rochefort was also a popular tourist destination with locals for its spa offerings. Visitors can enjoy the vast Maritime Museum, the world’s largest Begonia conservatory, the exotic plants garden and the fort. Do try out the fresh shellfish dishes at the local restaurants.

 

rochefort charente france

 

Saintes

Saintes was the first capital city of the Aquitaine during the Roman-Gallo era in France. This quaint town is beautiful all year round, with its towering abbeys and historic town centre that line the riverside. There is so much to explore for the whole family during the spring, summer and autumn seasons that will leave you spellbound. Its mix of rustic and modern charm offer visitors a delight for visiting both its urban and natural sights. Visitors can explore popular sites such as the Arch of Germanicis, the Roman amphitheatre ruins, the archaeological museum and even climb up the towering cathedrals for some exceptional views of the town.

 

saintes charente france

 

Cognac

The name says it all! This town is the home of the infamous Cognac. The region is famous for its selected farms which provide just the right soil to grow specific grapes to make the right appellation to make cognac. Famous cognac brands such as Hennessy, Martell and Remy Martin grow their harvests here and they offer superb tasting tour packages for visitors. Cognac is undoubtedly a culinary stop and excels in providing amazing food and drink options, so be sure to try some of their amazing restaurants in the town.  Other notable sights include the Cognac Castle, the old town with its charming medieval streets and the History Museum.

 

cognac charente france

 

Chateauneuf-sur-Charente

Chateauneuf –sur-Charente is one of those little gems along the river that beckons to be discovered. This town is the perfect country escape with all the charms of a classic French countryside getaway with plenty of history to discover. The most notable landmark here is the Church of St. Peter which combines a rare mix of classical Gothic and Romanesque architecture. Its charms lie in its small intricate details that add to its authenticity such as the frontispiece of the Contantine the Great and the Charente snail. Other notable spots to explore is the Fontaury site which contains a cave with Stone Age relics and Roman warrior cemetery.

 

chateauneuf sure charente france

 

Angouleme

Angouleme lies above a limestone rocky outcrop in the Charente valley. It boasts the best views of the Charante and surrounding lands. Angouleme is a city filled with history that goes back to Gauls, Romans and the Franks who have all stepped along this ancient city’s cobbled pathways.  Popular attractions in Angouleme include the Roman Ramparts that are worth a exploring by foot, the 12th century Angouleme Church, the Angouleme Museum containing some interesting prehistoric artefacts from the region, a comic book museum and wonderful restaurants in the city to sample traditional dishes, desserts and cognac!

 

angouleme charente france

 

 

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