An array of different landscapes by the waterside
Welcome to an area of both fresh and salt water, which you can explore to your heart’s content during your holiday. For nature lovers, Charente offers diverse landscapes, including marshland, salt marshes, streams, canals and rivers.
When staying on Île d’Oléron or Île de Ré, you’ll also be able to find out how the salt marshes worked and ensured the region’s economic prosperity from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. In the Marais de Brouage (Moëze nature reserve) and Aiguillon Bay, you can use the observation areas to gain an insight into these havens for migratory birds. In the Poitevin marshlands – beautiful and mysterious in equal measure – you can embrace life at a slower pace and enjoy the infinite variety of landscapes, the flora and the fauna by bike or by boat.
More taken by larger rivers? From its valley top, who could fail to appreciate Charente, "the most beautiful stream in the Kingdom" according to François I. Bathed in pearly light and lined with poplar trees, the Charente meanders through the very same meadows it floods in winter. Spanning 361km in total, the river is navigable from Angoulême to Rochefort by canoe, paddle board, gabarre or houseboat – the choice is yours. Hand-operated locks in charming villages let you appreciate the slower pace of life back when the gabarres were loaded with salt and cognac. After some final detours downstream of Rochefort, the Charente finally ends up in the Atlantic Ocean, between Port des Barques and Fouras, Île Madame and Île Aix, just across from Fort Boyard. There, another maritime adventure awaits!