Sometimes geographical situations agglutinate the interests of communities that later become prosperous towns and cities. That is what has happened on the west coast of France, in Charente-Maritime, where sheltered from the sea, disparate peoples have found their common ground and identity.
7 wonderful villages of Charente-Maritime
Charente-Maritime is located on the west coast of France, in the Poitou-Charentes region. It has almost 7,000 km² of extension planted with towns born by and for the sea. It has approximately 465 kilometers of coastline, where several important islands are found.
Charente-Maritime has nine natural regions and stands out for its beaches, ports, coastal fortifications and vineyards, among other aspects. All this makes it the first tourist department on the west coast of France.
1. La Rochelle and its old town
La Rochelle is the capital of the department of Charente-Maritime and is known as the port of the emblematic towers, one of the most beautiful in France. Its cobbled streets, its architectural heritage and its quays full of history will undoubtedly enchant you.
Its old town is worth visiting, you can see the old facades, houses with wooden trusses, its beautiful portals and the white stone of its palaces that is reflected in the Atlantic.
2. The Flotte-en-Ré
Located east of the island of Ré, it is one of the oldest villages, small, quiet and with a fishing tradition . One of its main activities is navigation, both for sport and pleasure. Its narrow streets are charming with their white houses, blue doors and colorful geraniums at their entrances.
The port offers a magnificent view, where the horizon of blue waters mixes with fishing boats, boats and catamarans. If you want to go to the beach, you cannot miss the beach of l’Arnérault.
When you visit Brouage you will feel that you have stepped back several centuries in time. This town is a fortified city that houses many buildings that speak of a glorious past. Among them is its old fortress, which is in perfect condition.
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Its port stands out as one of the most beautiful in all of France. It has a channel around it that gives it a military and defensive character. Their booths, of Spanish colonial style, tell how important the place was in the past.
Ars en Ré is a beautiful village that stands out for its harmony between the Romanesque art of the twelfth century and the Gothic of the fifteenth century. The black and white bell tower of its church, which ends at a point, is one of the most touristic sites. In the midst of the tranquility that characterizes the place, it is worth getting lost in its streets painted white with houses with colorful doors and windows.
It is one of the capitals of oyster production in the region, which has managed to maintain its identity through modest traditional architecture, but with strong character. Its white houses with green and blue windows paint its streets that are worth exploring.
An unmissable climb to the top of the belfry to have beautiful views of the entire environment. You can also visit the oyster fields that are at the mouth of the Seudre River.
It is one of the most emblematic towns of Charente-Maritime, located in the north of the Gironde. It is famous for its Romanesque church dedicated to Santa Radegunda . It is a pleasure to visit its narrow streets that have the sea as a background.
It is perfect for exploring its coast plagued by caves, such as those found in the nearby Meschers-sur-Gironde, as well as archaeological sites such as the ancient Roman city of Fâ.
It is the most important town on the island of Ré. It is a town of quiet streets where you can breathe the sea in all its corners. Its port is full of shops and the dock surrounds the old sailors’ neighborhood.
From the citadel, the view expands towards Pertuis Breton and the mainland. As points of interest we find the Bardette park, a garden of beautiful pine, acacia and holm oak trees. By taking a path that goes towards the coast you can admire the most beautiful panorama of the south coast of Vendée.
These beautiful villages of Charente-Maritime were born and live by the sea. It is worth knowing its charming streets with its picturesque houses, its beautiful ports and coasts.
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