Places To Visit

Poitiers

Sitting on a hilltop overlooking two rivers, Poitiers is a country town with a unique charm that comes from a long and sometimes influential history, as the seat of the dukes of Aquitaine for instance, discernible in the winding lines of the streets and the breadth of civic, domestic and ecclesiastical architectural fashions represented in its buildings. Its pedestrian precincts, restaurants and pavement cafés, and some wonderful central gardens, make for comfortable sightseeing.

The Marais Poitevin

The Marais Poitevin (Poitevin Marsh), also known as Venise Verte (Green Venice) is a marsh region in Western France, a remnant of the former Gulf of Poitou. With a surface area of 970 km², it is the largest marsh on the Atlantic coast and the second largest of the whole country. It is situated north of La Rochelle and south of the Vendée region. Although the area was declared a parc interrégional (interregional park) in 1979, the unique region is still endangered. Tourism includes boating in traditional barques, which is a form of punting. There are several 'embarcadères', from which boats can be hired. The myriad canals are covered in green 'weed' (hence the nickname 'Venise Verte') and the drained marsh land is home to a varied fauna, best seen from the boats.

Il De Ré

A half-hour drive west from La Rochelle, the Île de Ré is a low, narrow island some 30km long, fringed by sandy beaches to the southwest and salt marshes and oyster beds to the northeast, with the interior a motley mix of small-scale vine, asparagus and wheat cultivation. All the buildings on Ré are restricted to two storeys and are required to incorporate the typical local features of whitewashed walls, curly orange tiles and green-painted shutters, which give the island villages a southern holiday atmosphere.

Futoroscope

The Parc du Futuroscope is a French theme park based upon multimedia, cinematographic and audio-visual techniques of the future. It has several 3D cinemas along with other attractions and shows, some of which are the only examples in the world.

Vallee Des Singes

This animal park is unique in France. Walk amongst more than 350 monkeys roaming free in the vast grounds. There are plenty of activities for children and even a mini animal farm.

La Rochelle

La Rochelle is one of the most beautiful places in France. There is an old port which still has the towers which used to protect it. The center is particularly beautiful, with pale stone used for the majority of the buildings and many of the walkways. There are 2 basins in the old port which now have a large number of pleasure boats moored there.