Charente maritime – the land

Cognac, Pineau des Charentes and wine

Come and visit the great Cognac houses, follow wine tourist trails, to explore this region and its world famous product.

You will find out how cognac is produced and have the chance to taste this “divine liqueur”.
Pineau des Charentes is a sweet fortified wine, made from grape juice, a centuries old tradition.
Come for a visit and the cellar-masters will show you how wines and liqueurs are produced.

Villages of stone and water

Where water, earth and stone have lived in harmony for centuries…

These old strongholds, ports of call, riverside towns and traditional villages all enjoy an outstanding built heritage. There are 13 Villages of stone and water, symbolic of the Charente Maritime: Ile d'Aix, etc… The Association des Villages de Pierres et d’Eau was created to promote them, organise activities in them and foster their heritage and environment.
 

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Jonzac and its cave dwelling thermal baths

Unique in Europe, the waters at 62° are used to treat rhumatological, respiratory and vascular problems. In addition to medical treatments, the spa also offers well-being and relaxation therapy.

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La Double Saintongeaise forest

40,000 hectares of forest in the south of the department, covering half of the cantons of Montendre, Montlieu-la-Garde, Montguyon. This vast forest also covers part of three other departments: Gironde, Charente and Dordogne.

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The Haute Saintonge 'voie verte'

14 km of cycle track along a disused railway line between Chevanceaux and Clérac. The 14 km track is totally secure and open to cyclists (mountain bikes, track bikes, etc.), rollerbladers, walkers and horse riders (no horse-drawn carriages).

The gentle gradient of this “voie verte” makes it ideal for family outings as people of all ages can enjoy a trip beneath its shady trees. Its smooth surface is suited to both rollerblades and skateboards. This old railway line transported passengers up to 1946, after which it was just used for goods trains, mainly carrying kaolin (china clay) in the final years up to 1989. In the 1990s the SNCF closed the line between Clérac and St Médard-de-Barbezieux, removing the rails and sleepers. Neighbouring villages were given the chance to purchase the land, thanks to which the track was able to remain open and be used in a different way. Today, the track runs on for a further 34 km beyond Chevanceaux into the Charente department.

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