The Poitou-Charentes province includes the coastal region of Vendee with its miles of sandy beaches, pine forests and family friendly French campsites. Due to a warm climate, clean sands and generally flat landscape that it easy to explore on foot or bike, Vendee is a popular destination for holiday makers. Not least with watersport enthusiasts who want to hone their skills on the Atlantic waves.
Also included in Vendee are the popular islands of Ile de Re and Ile d’Oleron. These havens offer a relaxing, peaceful day trip, where the best way to explore is on a bike. From open spaces filled with wildlife, to stylish ports, rock pool filled beaches and oyster restaurants, on these islands you can feel like you are in another world.
The biggest coastal town is La Rochelle, which is certainly worth visiting. As one of the west coast’s principle ports, it has a rich history and interesting character. The town is full of independent boutiques and has a thriving café culture. You can spend time watching the boats on the water or for a change fish in the water at the town’s impressive Aquarium.
Further north in Vendee is a unique fenland area known as the Marais Poitevin. The area is crisscrossed by waterways, which can be explored on boat trips. The marshes of Marais Poitevin have a history of salt production, a tradition which continues on a smaller scale today. The area is now a regional park which is known as Green Venice. Its remote rivers, canals and streams attract hundreds of bird species, along with other wildlife, so if you enjoy tranquillity and natural beauty, it makes for a delightful day out.
Inland, Poitou-Charentes is largely rural. A region used for rearing cattle and sheep, as well as growing crops. Depending on when you visit, you may see fields of sunflowers, maize and wheat blowing in the breeze. Inland you will also find towns and cities including Poitiers and Rochefort and a little further south, Cognac and Saintes. Any of these cities have points of interest that make them worth a visit either on route to your destination, or as a day trip.
Whether you are looking for a quiet retreat or a lively, active holiday, there is plenty to do and see in Poitou-Charentes. It combines rural charm with glorious beaches, traditional fishing villages with modern cities. All along the coastline are well equipped Vendee campsites, many with direct access to the beaches, their own pools and other on-site facilities. To find out more about what the Vendee region has to offer and to see Carisma’s Vendee campsites visit: //www.carisma.co.uk/vendee.html.
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