This sunny region on the western fringes of France is made up of the above departments and is popular with French people themselves as a place of retirement or the place to buy a second or holiday home. In recent years overseas investors have been turning their attentions to this lovely peaceful region of France and although property prices have increased, you can still get a good deal for your money. The French love this region, there is practically no industry and it has a wonderful rural idyllic feel to it, you can buy a substantial property for a very reasonable price and the long unspoilt Atlantic coastline is an absolute delight. There are plenty of golf courses and yachting marinas, horse riding centres, tennis clubs, you can go windsurfing or sailing there are even casinos for those who want to try their luck but the sheer beauty of this region is enough to tempt people back year after year.
Despite the fact that much of the area is given over to farming and farm activities, you will also find plenty of historic buildings with many relics left over from the hundred years war
The brits have been gradually moving in over the last few years, property prices are cheaper than further to the south and the sunshine is better. You can still snap up very cheap property as your holiday home but as per usual, the closer you get to the coast, the more expensive it becomes.
As mention above, Out door activities abound in this region and their are over 300 kilometres of sandy beaches to explore and enjoy and as the land is so flat. the area is a haven for walkers and cyclists. Here you will find marshes, bays and the wonderful the climate regularly produces in excess of 2250 hours of sunshine each year, this even rivals areas of the French Rivera (where the property prices are very expensive) and Poitou-Charentes is famed for it’s extended seasons and this has helped to make this area become quietly popular in recent years.
The sandy beaches with a number of beautiful tiny islands are popular with visitors and holiday makers, La Rochelle port is a wonderful town, cars are banned and you will have a splendid day visiting this gem of a town. it’s very lively with a large number of outside cafes where you can enjoy great French cooking and at night the town has a varied number of clubs and entertainment venues.
Charente was created in 1790 and has a population of 360,000. It’s capital is Angouleme Charente as it’s name suggests, it is located mainly in the basin of the the River Charente. Because of this the climate can best be described as temperate and moist which makes it perfect for farming from which much of the regions income is derived. Despite this reliance on agriculture, there are a number of very important vineyards and it is this area that produces the world famous cognac. The town of Cognac is very pretty and sits on the river where the double distilled liquer of the gods is made. The countryside is a little more hilly than in the other departments, thick black forests are numerous and towards the north east, the region becomes quite mountainous
Charente Maritime is a wonderfully sunny department and is ideal for those wanting to purchase a holiday home in a rural area without the rainfall associated with the British climate. this area has less than 1000 mm of rainfall per annum and the climate is temperate. As well as agriculture, tourism is a major factor in the local economy, La Rochelle is a very popular resort and is visited by many thousands of visitors each year. The islands of Ile de Re & Ile d Oleron are stunningly beautiful and both are joined to the mainland by bridges. Certainly if you bought a French holiday home in this area, you should have no problem in finding tenants form the part of the years that you did not wish to use the home yourself.
Deux Sevres is mainly an agricultural area and property prices are low in this region. You can find the odd barn or farm for conversion in this area. Wheats and Oats are the main crops grown in this area as well as large quantities of beetroot which are supplied to the local brewing industry.
Vienne is names after the river Vienna which runs through it, the hills are gently undulating in this area and it is very very peaceful although the Futuroscope located near Poitiers attracts over 2 million visitors a year. Cheese making also contributes to the local economy. This area has also been designated a growth area and the population is actually increasing. Potiers has a university and many information technology companies are moving in to the area.
As we have mentioned in other articles, good quality transport links are a must for visiting your holiday home. There are a large number of cheap flights from the UK to La Rochelle and the A10 road runs through this region giving excellent road links to Bordeaux, Tours Orleans & Paris.
Guide to Poitou-Charentes, France- Departments
79 Deux Sevres
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