Charente-Maritime on France’s Atlantic Coast offers a world of adventures for the entire family with more activities being improved and added year on year. Click here for a brochure My Discovery Passport with details of all the activities available in the Charente-Maritime.
The Children’s Darling – Fort Boyard
Built between 1801 and 1859 to protect the entrance to the Charente River from those pesky English ships, Fort Boyard can no longer be visited (unless a contestant on ITV’s Ultimate Challenge!) Those interested in seeing it up close and personal however can still do so by touring around it by boat. There are sailings from La Rochelle and several other departure points along the coast – including by a cutter rigged yacht – ‘La Marcelle’, once a lifeboat for the British Royal Navy, built in 1935 with lots of wood and bronze fashionably on show. The kids love it.
Not for the faint hearted …
To celebrate the 350 year anniversary of the Arsenal in 2016, a new ‘Accromâts’ experience – Vertigo Mât – has been created in Rochefort. This is similar to the aerialaccrobranches mini-assault courses found elsewhere but in a maritime setting. Some of the rigging is used as a reaches 30 metres in height. Opening at the start of the summer.
The Gypsy Experience
Try a gypsy caravan – a holiday on two wheels in the ‘Cerise’ or ‘Noisette’ – charming accommodation in the beautiful wooded garden at Matha near Saintonge Dorée. Quiet nights and (very) active days contrast – try the pool, the spa and sports area.
La Cité de l’Huître celebrates ten years of sophistication!
Love oysters? Then why not become an expert in the production and tasting of them – one of the key gastronomic delights of the Charente-Maritime. The La Cité de l’Huître is situated in the Cayenne Channel in amongst the oyster beds so you tour these first and then do a tasting, learning how to open oysters as well! The tours and tastings take place in English too.
This is the Captain of your Ship…
For the little ones the Miniature Port of l’Île de Grenouillette at Saint-Savinien is perfect. The under nines can learn to be sailors. There is a flotilla of tiny ships for them to cruise the pond and small river area – steam ships in the Mississippi style, towboats and trawlers.
The Aquarium of La Rochelle
Charente-Maritime’s most hidden gem is the vintage beach city of Royan, a seaside town without rival. There are seven fine, sandy beaches offering hours of old-style fun in the sunshine with a beautiful, architectural backdrop of nineteenth century, Art Deco and contemporary style.
Châtelaillon on the other hand is renowned for its beach activities with volleyball, gym and aquagym, plenty of bars and restaurants and kiosks that lend magazines and books free of charge to read whilst enjoying an ice cream.
Oléron has 70 km of beaches with 14 supervised bathing areas. The kiddies love the little train that ‘chugs’ between several of the favourites.
Saint-Palais-sur-Mer is the family destination on what is known as the “Beautiful Coast”. There are five fine sand beaches here and a coastal path from where there are lovely sweeping views over the Cordouan Lighthouse known of the‘King of Lighthouses.’
Saint-Martin-de-Ré has an incomparable village charm with its ramparts, its port and unforgettable family walks – there’s even a children’s playground. It offers ten places to stay, five restaurants and seven other services that have won the Family Plus* quality label.
What’s Family Plus you might ask. It’s a label awarded to places in France that go that one step further to make the holidays even more unforgettable for all the family. They have produced a special brochure listing all the various clubs for kids of all ages, different activities and sports that can be found in the summer months.
Notes to Editors: Situated in the heart of the French Atlantic coast, the Charente-Maritime destination is the premier tourist destination in France for French travellers. The Charente-Maritime offers the visitor a lovely choice of coastal destinations such as Royan or the Ile de Ré, city breaks to Saintes or La Rochelle and beautiful countryside such as the Marais Poitevin or Cognac Country. Charente-Maritime has more wellness centres (six) than any other French ‘department’ and a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is a gastronomic destination of note – oysters, mussels, sea salt, pineau des Charentes, and is easily accessible by road, rail or air from the UK. It boasts a Mediterranean climate of around 300 sunshine days a year as well as a whole host of events taking place throughout the year.
For more information visit www.france-atlantic.com.