Fancy a romantic weekend winter getaway?
Why not make the most of Charente’s mild maritime climate and cosy up as a couple? From sea-side breaks to a trip to the Charentes countryside, take a look at our ideas for a romantic winter weekend break for just the two of you.
An opulent feast for the senses in Cognac
Winter is the key time of year for the cognac distillation process! Enjoy a ‘discovery weekend’ in the Cognac grape-growing region, complete with a night in a luxury hotel.
Visit a cognac distillery
During the winter, life in the Charentes revolves around the distillation process and the low hum of copper stills. Take the opportunity to visit one of the major Cognac makers and discover the secrets behind how this famous spirit from the Charentes is made. Until the end of February, distillers welcome the public into their establishments as part of the ‘Distilleries en fête’ festival.
Sleep in a luxury hotel in Cognac
To really immerse yourself in the whole Cognac experience, treat yourself to a night at the hôtel L’Yeuse or the hôtel Chais Monnet. These two high-end Cognac hotels both have a fine dining restaurant, a bar lounge and a well-being centre. What better way to enjoy a romantic weekend getaway?
Chillaxing on the island of Oléron
The island of Oléron, lapped by the waves of the Atlantic, is guaranteed to win you over as a destination for a romantic mid-winter getaway. Try a relaxing weekend at the Saint-Trojan-les-Bains thalassotherapy centre, nestled amidst pine forest at the southern tip of the island of Oléron.
A thalassotherapy weekend at Saint-Trojan-les-Bains
The completely-refurbished Novotel Thalassa Ile d’Oléron offers wide open views over the ocean, creating an illusion that the sea begins where the spa ends. The panoramic views over the pertuis de Maumusson strait are absolutely stunning and are perfect for getting some rest and relaxation.
Private spa treatments for two are a great way of reconnecting with your partner. On the menu are hammam sessions, a private jacuzzi, Californian massage and salt-water baths in the indoor pool overlooking the ocean. The restaurant serves up sophisticated seasonal cuisine with an emphasis on sea food and farm produce from the island itself.
Country walks, from beaches to forests
A weekend at the thalassotherapy centre wouldn’t be complete without gentle strolls in the coastal forest and along the gorgeous sandy beach at the cape of the pointe de Gatseau. Winter is a great time to get away from the crowds and out into the natural world. Drink in the morning still in the forêt domaniale de Saint-Trojan forest and breathe in the ozone-laden air on Gatseau beach. Don’t forget to enjoy the view of the pertuis de Maumusson from the vantage point of the digue Pacaud embankment.
Lose yourself in the natural world in an off-grid cabin
How would you enjoy getting away from it all for two nights in a cabin located in a forest clearing on the border of the Charente region? This cosy hideaway is heated by wood-burning stove and is the ideal place for a romantic weekend.
Saint Alfonso’s cabin
Built by the owners of Saint Alfonso’s guesthouse, the cabin is called ‘La glacière’ and is found in the small village of Feuillade, where the Charente meets the Dordogne region. Constructed out of planks of cedar-wood and local stone, this quirky lodging was inspired by the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi. Its large double-glazed picture windows and stylish furnishings help you to feel as one with nature.
Journey through the countryside along the Flow Vélo cycle route
A winter break is the ideal opportunity to take a gentle trip along the route of the Flow Vélo cycle path. In fact, the section from Nontron to Marthon actually passes through the village of Feuillade. Now’s your chance to explore some of this charming cycle route that runs from Thiviers in the Dordogne to the île d’Aix in Charente-Maritime.
Discover the best of fine dining in the Charentes
Although breakfast is served at Saint Alfonso’s guesthouse, for other meals you’ll have to look elsewhere (cooking is not allowed in the cabin!) That’s not a problem – there are two fine dining establishments within easy reach, namely the Moulin de la Tardoire,10 km distant, and the Sources de Fontbelle in Angoulême, 28 km away.
In the footsteps of Pierre Loti in Rochefort
The writer and naval officer Pierre Loti was born in Rochefort in 1850. Explore the town by following in the footsteps of this great traveller and member of the Académie Française.
3D virtual tour of Pierre Loti’s childhood home
Although the author’s childhood home is closed for renovation work, you can still explore the artistic influences and world of this great traveller thanks to the 3D virtual tour of Pierre Loti’s House. Just head to the musée Hèbre to try this cutting-edge cultural experience and see more of Pierre Loti’s fascinating personal collection (open from February to December).
The ‘in the footsteps of Pierre Loti’ walking trail
A 6 km-long walking trail will lead you in the footsteps of Pierre Loti, following a section of the canal Charente-Seudre, also called the canal de la Bridoire. Several stops along the route are described in his books ‘Roman d’un enfant’ (the Story of a Child) and ‘Prime Jeunesse’. One notable stop along the way is the ‘domaine de La Limoise’ farm, where the writer used to stay with close friends of his family as a child.
An art-lovers’ guesthouse with plenty of old-world charm
Housed in a 19th century mansion in Rochefort’s town centre, L’esprit du 8 exudes a simply delightful atmosphere. The owners’ love of interior design and stylish objets d’art have combined to create a very special ambience characterized by impeccable taste and elegance.
The entrance foyer features a mosaic floor and the reception area, with its wooden parquet flooring and old stained glass windows, would surely have delighted Pierre Loti. Pascal can also offer you a spin in his 1960 Austin Healey 3000 – a not-to-be-missed opportunity to explore the writer and traveller’s hometown in a convertible sports car!