Mill house in Charente Maritime - Chez Moulin

Sample the sights of the Charente Maritime

The Charente Maritime, with its own micro-climate, equals the South of France for sunshine hours.  Its sweeping vineyards produce grapes for the famous Cognac brandy and Bordeaux wines.

Here are just a few of the attractions near the mill house; there are plenty more to enjoy & discover.

The River Charente flows through the nearby historic Roman towns of Cognac and Saintes with its amphitheatre.  The brandy houses of Hennessey, Remy Martin and Martell are based at Cognac and provide guided tours of their distilleries, offering a sample of the amber liquid to taste or simply take away.

The islands of Ile de Re and Ile d'Oleron, famous for their Oyster beds and wildlife are also great for cycling and watersports with many picturesque whitewashed cottages to see along the way.

La Palmyre Zoo, just beyond Royan, is a must see for adults and children alike.  With a world renowned breeding programme, there are always lots of young animals to see and pet.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle, the La Roche Courbon Chateau is one of the many Chateaux in the area not to be missed, complete with stone age cave dwellings to explore in the grounds.  Also recommended is the 17th century Chateau du Douhet which is set in over 49 acres of beautiful gardens.

The Bordeaux wine producing areas of Blaye, St. Emillion and Medoc are also worth a visit, offering the opportunity to taste as well as buy with guided tours given at many of the local chateaux. There are also many local vineyards who offer tours too. Further information can be found in our information folder or alternatively, email us for details (chezmoulin@btinternet.com).

Futuroscope at Poitiers is a colourful state-of-the-art park with a 3D cinema and latest in visual technology.  Great for an out of season visit, or in case of inclement weather.

The area also boasts many excellent restaurants where you can enjoy the fresh produce from the sea, rivers & rich farmland of the Charente Maritime. Restaurants we have tried or which have been recommended are listed at the moulin, along with phone numbers and reviews.  We look forward to hearing about restaurants you discover too.

Beaches - the nearest beaches are about 20 minutes away by car at Meschers; these are small coves with sandy beaches. Further along the coast at St Georges de Didonne and Royan, there are huge sweeping beaches with lots of space, some watersports and full safety patrols.  North of Royan is the Grand Cote - several miles of sandy beaches with some local beach patrols and a little further is the Cote Sauvage, with good sandy beaches but where the rollers come in off the Atlantic and therefore, perfect for surfers.

Charente Maritime Cycle Routes - with over 2500 km of cycle routes in the Charente-Maritime, many quiet lanes to cycle along, as well as a great cycle track through the pine trees at the Grand Cote, there couldn't be a better way to discover the area.  To hire bikes which can be delivered straight to the millhouse contact www.bikehiredirect.com

Golf - there are 3 good golf courses - at Royan, Saintes and Cognac.  All within 20 - 30 minutes drive from the mill house.  At Royan the golf course nestles amongst the pine forest, incorporating an 18 hole main course with a separate 6 hole pitch and putt course too, while at Cognac, the golf course is surrounded by vineyards with each hole named after a different cognac! At Saintes, it is a hilly course, so make sure you're feeling fit. All the courses boast excellent restaurants too and with the glorious climate, golf is a pleasure at anytime of year.

Fishing - Opportunities for fishing are in abundance, either in the rivers or sea. Fishing permits can be purchased in Gemozac at the cycle shop. 5 minutes away from the Moulin is L'Etang des Brousses (a fishing lake) which costs about 8 Euros a day and is situated in 2 hectares of peaceful parkland.  It is an excellent way of ensuring your catch of the day for the barbeque is well and truly fresh. There is a restaurant here which is open from lunch time through to the evening.

Horse Riding - There are several horse riding stables in and around the location.

And, when you have had enough of visiting all the beautiful beaches and endless places of interest, just return to the tranquility of Chez Moulin.  Cool off in the pool, enjoy an al-fresco meal, with perhaps a glass of chilled Pineau des Charentes (a delicious local aperitif) and just relax. 

For any more information on the moulin, what to do and see in the area or for recommendations on B&Bs/Chambres d'hotes to break your journey, please contact us - we are always happy to help.


Tourist Offices in the Charente Maritime

Office de Tourisme www.bernezac.com 

La Rochelle www.larochelle-tourisme.fr

Saintes www.saintes-tourisme.fr

Royan www.royan-tourisme.com

Cognac www.tourism-cognac.com