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, while the sea, rivers and rich farmland of the Charente Maritime provide fresh produce for the many excellent restaurants. 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 Saintes and Cognac. Saintes offers a range of cultural activities, including river trips, historic buildings and Roman ruins, with restaurants, shopping and Wednesday and Saturday morning food markets too. 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. For music lovers, during the month of July, you can enjoy the renowned the Cognac Blues Passions Festival.
La Rochelle's historic old port with its magnificent entrance of the three towers, interesting harbour and fantastic fish restaurants is a great day out. La Rochelle's impressive aquarium is well worth a visit and offers a unique view of the old port from the brasserie on the top floor.
The islands of Ile de Re and Ile d'Oleron, famous for their oyster beds and wildlife, are also great for cycling, watersports and superb beaches, 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.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bordeaux is the gateway to the vineyards with its wine producing areas of Blaye, St. Emillion and Medoc offering the opportunity of degustation with guided tours given at many of the local chateaux. There are many vineyards in the Charente Maritime area and local to Le Moulin de Beaumont that offer tours as well. Further information can be found in our information folder.
Sleeping Beauty's Castle, 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.
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.
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 mill house 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. It is an excellent way of ensuring your catch of the day for the barbeque is well and truly fresh.
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 Le Moulin de Beaumont. 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, please contact us - we are always happy to help.