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We have beautiful rivers running through mediaeval towns and villages and a wealth of ancient churches and magnificent chateaux.

Life is still spent at a gentle pace in the small towns, villages and countryside and even in the larger towns you will be hard put to find any business that doesn’t shut for at least a two hour lunch break except of course the auberges, brasseries, and bistros where you can still find a quality meal for a reasonable price especially on the menu du jour.


Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel
Top 10 regions for 2012 includes Poitou-Charentes, France

With quiet country roads wending through vine-striped hills and wild stretches of coastal sands interspersed with misty islands, the Atlantic coast is where the French get back to nature. Much more laid-back than the Med (but with almost as much sunshine) and ideally suited to family holidays, this is a place where you can slow the pace right down. And there are numerous ways in which to do this. You could spend a morning quietly greeting curious ducks as you kayak down the glowing green canals, rivers and streams of the Marais Poitevin. You could cycle over the lazy landscapes of the dreamy Île de Ré or raise a glass in the pretty town of Cognac. Or soak up the salty air of the white city, La Rochelle, after exploring its fascinating museums and breathtaking aquarium.

Poitou-Charentes is far from undiscovered – French tourists have been flocking here for years – but aside from the city of La Rochelle (an increasingly popular weekend break destination thanks to arrival of budget airlines), the area is woefully under-visited by foreigners. – Stuart Butler



Self Catering Gites in Villeret France

The small village of Villeret sits in the tranquil and gently undulating Charentaise countryside.

This is the very best of unspoiled rural France basking in a micro-climate with the sunniest weather in France after the Cote d’Azur.
Forests of oak, chestnut & walnut, acres of sunflower and maize fields and vineyards that provide the grapes for the regional specialities of Cognac and Pineau de Charente cover the land.
We have our own local producer, GAEC Cognac who make the fine XO Cognac Athanor and Pineau. Tours of the production facilities can be arranged with the opportunity to buy direct from the vineyard.
There is a daily boulangerie van and the boucherie charcuterie van visits 3 times a week.

Ruffec – 15 minutes

Ruffec is a historic market town and the centre of agriculture in the region.
It has over 100 shops and a thrice weekly market with a special fair on the 13th and 28th of the month so lots of fresh local produce as well as other French specialities.
In the ancient quarter beside the Lien River sits a mediaeval chateau, a Romanesque church and narrow streets of ancient houses. Just to the East lies the Charente River which is a focal point for outdoor activities such as angling, kayaking and walking trails. At the Aire de Rejallant, you can enjoy all three as well as have a dip in the shallow waters and a hearty meal in the restaurant which has been converted from the old water mill. In the town itself and the villages nearby are a large number of other friendly bars, bistros and restaurants all providing the perfect place to rest, relax and enjoy the local cuisine.
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Verteuil sur Charente – 20 minutes
Verteuil sur Charente

3 miles (5kms) from Ruffec is this beautiful village straddling the Charente River.

With its imposing Chateau originating in the 12th Century overlooking the village and the church with a famous tableau of Christ’s Tomb (the other is in The Louvre).
There is also a working watermill which mills the flour for the boulangerie, a couple of very decent restaurants, a great walking circuit and even a small park for the kids, this is a great place to wander or just chill and paddle in the shallow waters of the river.
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Villefagnan – 5 minutes
A small town with twice weekly market, 2 grocery shops, 2 boulangeries, a boucherie-charcuterie, 3 small bars, 2 serving food, take away Pizza and Kebab stall, Chemist, Tabac and Post Office.
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Les Trois Fontaines lake and park – 5 minutes
Les Trios Fontaines lake and park

A short drive or a slightly longer cycle away is this delightful, safe, clean swimming and fishing lake with a sandy beach, children’s playground, picnic areas and food bar.
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Tusson – 5 minutes

A protected village (think Grade 1 listed), Tusson has a mediaeval monastery and gardens, a museum of rural life, the renowned Restaurant Le Compostelle, a tea room and a shop selling local produce as well as a wealth of old buildings. It was previously a centre for the trading of donkeys. Marguerite of Angouleme also built an abbey in the village.
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St Fraigne – 10 minutes
St Fraigne

A nearby small village but with boulangerie and grocers and a beautiful park and wildlife gardens created on marshland and exhibiting local history and crafts in stilted traditional buildings.

Aigre – 12 to 15 minutes

Home to Gautier Cognac one of the oldest producers in France, Aigre is a delightful small town with shops of all varieties, including a speciality chocolate supplier, market, bars, restaurants and the local Tourist Information Office. A great place for a refreshment stop or lunch on a local cycle tour.
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Gautier Cognac >


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Diane & Steve Puddephatt, La Maison Hibiscus, Villeret, 16240 Souvigne, France
0033 545 71 28 51  |