A Whistle stop guide to the Poitou Charente

poitou charenteThe Poitou Charente is located in South West France and is made up of four departments: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres and Vienne. It is one of the sunniest regions in France making it popular for families looking for a holiday any time of the year. If you want a warm sunny child-friendly holiday without the crowds then a visit to the Poitou Charente is a must during the shoulder months of the year.

It is ideal for families with young children any time of year and especially those not yet of school age as September and October are lovely months to visit and the prices drop considerably. There are lots of private family friendly villas and gite complexes to choose from, if you do want to have a family holiday during the summer school holidays it is advisable to book early to get the pick of the crop as they get booked up early.

charenteThe four departments offer something for any type of family holiday: to the South is the Charente which shares its border with the Dordogne. Here there is beautiful countryside, historic towns and lakes and rivers to explore.


To the west is the Charente-Maritime, the only department with a sea coast in the region offering sandy white beaches, and is the most populated with the highest number of hours of sunshine a year.

The Deux-Sèvres can be found to the north offering beautiful rivers, and wooded valleys and it borders the Loire Valley, so not surprisingly some good wine on offer.

Finally Vienne, to the east of the Poitou Charente, where you can soak up the beautiful scenery and lots of family friendly activities and days out to choose from without the seaside crowds.

Accessible by air there are plenty of options for airports in the region and neighbouring regions such as La Rochelle and Poitiers, Limoges  and Bordeaux all offering low cost airline flights from the UK such as Easy Jet, Ryanair and British Airways.

map of airports in poitou charente google

  1. La Rochelle, France
  2. Poitiers – Biard Airport
  3. AngoulêmeCognac Airport
  4. Aéroport de Rochefort-Saint-Agnant
  5. Parvaud Airport
  6. Limoges-Bellegarde Airport



Ports are between 4 and 6 hours depending what part of the Poitou Charente you stay and which port you use.

Coming soon: Family guide offering ideas for days out for the family in each region in the Charente.

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