The Charente Maritime has many lovely places to visit, and within 30 minutes of the gites you will find several historic towns. Saintes (left) has a Roman amphitheatre and Jonzac a 15th century chateau and world famous spa to name only 2. Just 45 minutes away Cognac, on the River Charente, is the home of the distillieries of all brands of Cognac and tours are available to discover how the brew is made. Royan (pictured below) is a lovely seaside town with great beaches. You can walk along the vast expanse of sand or just sit in a street cafe and watch the activity. Many boats are moored here and tours are available along the Gironde Estuary or you can take a ferry across to the Medoc area with all the wonderful chateaux. There are many other places within an easy 1 hour drive, Bordeaux, Arcachon, St Emilion, Rochfort, La Rochelle and its surrounding islands, to name but a few. A location with something for everyone.
La Maison Bleue is situated 1.5km from the village of Soubran and is surrounded by grapevines, sunflower fields and woodland. There are many great walks and cycle rides in the area. Soubran itself has a baker, bar/tabac/restaurant, post office, library, school and a small nature reserve. The market town of Mirambeau is 7 km away and has a supermarket, several shops, a couple of bars and restaurants and a lovely chateau which is a 5 star hotel and restaurant. Within a 30 minute drive from the gites are several other pretty towns well worth a visit including JONZAC with its beautiful chateau and famous thermal spa, the old roman town of SAINTES with many historical sites, PONS with its medieval donjon and MONTENDRE and MONTGUYON with their castles. Another must is the pretty port at Mortagne sur Gironde where you can either sit and have a drink on the waters edge or have lunch/dinner in one of the lovely restaurants. And not forgetting Talmont (below) which is well worth a visit if you love pretty cobbled streets displaying an array of colourful shutters and flowers amongst delightful boutique shops and creperies (the icecreams here are a must)!
If you love the beach there is plenty of choice. The nearest is Meschers (40 minutes away) with plenty of secluded sandy coves and calm waters for children to play in. Our personal favourites are Plage Des Nonnes (pictured) and St Palais sur Mer but it’s fun exploring and trying them all! Most have restaurants and cafes or you can take a picnic (in the coolie bags provided in your gite).