Charentes, a very spoiled region
Here, you can discover and appreciate many natural riches, such as farm products, game, fish, shellfish and of course cognac, Pineau des Charentes and local Charente wines. All these specialties have given rise to an authentic, original and tasty gastronomy with, for example, petit gris Charentaise style (snails), oysters accompanied by a vinegar and shallot sauce, eclade of mussels, goat cheese, strewn, millas without forgetting the bavarois or the soufflé with cognac and pineau…
The cognac region is a group of towns to be discovered by passionately reading a book on the history or architecture of France: in Charente, the cathedral of St-Pierre d’Angoulême, in Charente-Maritime the thermal baths of St-Saloine and the Gallo-Roman Arch of Germanicus in Saintes, the old port of La Rochelle, the legendary Arsenals of Rochefort behind which Colbert and Lafayette stand out and many other marvels of French heritage.
The Charente river
370 km long, the Charente originates in Châronnac, in Haute Vienne, and flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Rochefort. This slow river, with melodious curves, was already in the 15th century a natural link between France and the Nordic countries. You can discover it thanks to cruises between March and November. Magnificent walks and rides allow you to catch a glimpse of the many Romanesque churches in the region and to appreciate the variety of landscapes, made up of both small plains and low hills.
From the year one thousand, many sanctuaries were built in Angoumois, Aunis, Poitou and Saintonge on the occasion of the passage of pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. This is the birth of Romanesque Art: a mixture of finesse and elegance with bold attempts, spectacular technical experiments, such as the vaulting of stones. The interior of the churches is characterized by great simplicity, striking sculptures, capitals and admirable frescoes, sumptuous chiseled decorations, thanks to the use of limestone native to the region. To see in particular: the churches of Aulnay de Saintonge, Talmont, Saint-Preuil, Bourg-Charente, Bouteville or the abbey of Bassac, the abbey of Fontdouce.
ActivitiesThe cognac region is rich and varied enough to offer all those looking for stays off the beaten track, places for seminars or incentives, leisure activities, activities as diverse as horse riding, biking, golf, rowing, hiking and of course all water sports, thanks to the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean, its wild beaches and its seaside resorts around Royan and the islands of Ré, Oléron and ‘Aix.
Text: Copyright © BNIC (Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac): www.cognac.fr