• Blue Note Croisière

    For anyone who has visited Ile de Ré, this idyllic island will always be synonymous  with beauty, sensuality and culinary delights. So if you’ve never set foot on its sandy shores, treat yourself to a weekend and discover the many different facets of island life.

    If you like the idea of being pampered, you can’t do better than book into Les Bois Flottais hotel. Here Nathalie and Frédéric will lay on every little comfort to make you feel relaxed and special, from tastefully decorated bedrooms to hammam and beauty treatments.

    Spend the day enjoying an unexpected view of the Atlantic coast, whilst sipping champagne from the deck of a catamaran. The captain will help you discover the delights of Ile de Ré, Fort Boyard and Ile d’Aix – an unmissable experience! 

    Confiture Ars

    Back on dry land, visit the Ecomusée du Marais Salant – the salt marsh discovery centre – at Loix;  enjoy a glass of delicious Pineau des Charentes aperitif or a wine from Ile de Ré at the winemakers’ co-operative; discover the wonderful range of home-made jams at the bell tower at Ars-en-Ré; and toast your weekend at the Bières de Ré micro-brewery where you’ll find beers to rival any more famous names. 

    After a relaxed afternoon sampling the island’s produce, there’s no better way to end the day than over a plate of traditional local fare.

    Hôtel Bois Flottais

    At the top end of the scale, the restaurant of the Hôtel Océan at Bois-Plage-en- Ré is a real gourmet treat, whilst Serghi at Saint-Martin-de-Ré will please anyone who loves an authentic local atmosphere.

    [+] How to get to Ile de Ré

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  • short breaks Aquarium

    Like to escape for a romantic weekend by the sea?  Then try La Rochelle and Ile de Ré, the pearls of Poitou-Charentes Atlantic coast.

    Start your short break with a walk through La Rochelle’s picturesque Old Town to explore its commercial and maritime heritage. Stroll along historic streets lined with stone arcades, wander along the quaysides of the Vieux Port, and enjoy food with a view over lunch on a café terrace. La Rochelle is packed with things to see and do, but no-one should miss the Aquarium, one of the largest in Europe. Discover the marine life of the local Atlantic waters, as well as species from the oceans of the world, all in one unforgettable visit.

    short breaks St Martin

    Leave your bags at ‘Un hotel en ville’, a delightful boutique hotel with relaxing, modern décor, right next to the twin medieval towers which guard the entrance to the Vieux Port. Then set off to explore the Ile de Ré. Start off at pretty Saint-Martin-de-Ré, with its lovely harbour. And don’t miss the little factory at Loix where soap is made from the milk of local donkeys! 

    After lunch in the open air with a view of the boats, nothing could be nicer than a gentle bike ride to explore the coastline and salt marshes.

    [+] How to get to La Rochelle & Ile de Ré

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  • Experience the calm and elegance of a riverside country mansion just five minutes’ walk from the centre of Poitiers, regional capital of Poitou-Charentes.

    Built in 1830 beside the river Clain, Le Cours du Clain was once a busy farm, tucked beneath the city’s ancient ramparts. Today this enchanting B&B offers five period rooms with every contemporary comfort, a warm welcome, and the chance to relax in 4 hectares of private grounds.

    Relax by the pool, stroll through the kitchen garden, and sip an aperitif beneath a 400-year-old cedar tree.  If you can tear yourself away, the heart of historic Poitiers is just a stroll away.  

    Follow one of three colour-coded trails from the Romanesque church of Notre-Dame-la-Grande to take in the historic monuments and retail temptations, quiet parks and pretty squares.

    Poitiers boasts over 2000 years of history and more than 80 classified monuments, but it has a vibrant contemporary feel as well.

    One of the first university towns in Europe, Poitiers is now home to more than 25,700 students, and its lively cultural scene includes dance festivals and theatre, concerts and street arts.

    Relax at a pavement café and just watch the world go by, then for a different perspective, see the town from water level by hiring a canoe or kayak from the base in Saint-Benoit.

    [+] How to get to Poitiers

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  • Combine a stay with the thrills of Futuroscope and the magic of the Green Venice.

    Architecture in Futuroscope amusement park

    Conveniently located on the outskirts of Poitiers, Futuroscope is a theme park with a difference, internationally renowned for its moving image technology since it opened in 1987. Since then it has welcomed more than 40 000 000 visitors, making it France’s second largest leisure park.

    New attractions include 3D and Imax films, enhanced rides. There is also Lady O, a evening show featuring water, fireworks and lasers.

    [+] Book your stay to Futuroscope amusement park

    But why stop only at Futuroscope? Poitou-Charentes has all kinds of temptations to offer.

    West of Futuroscope, for instance, the marshland of the Marais Poitevin stretches inland from the Atlantic Coast as far as the pretty town of Niort. Second largest wetland in France, this tranquil area is made up of three very different landscapes, the Baie of Aiguillon, the ‘Dry Marsh’, and the ‘Wet Marsh’.

    And at the heart of the ‘Wet Marsh’ – often referred to as Green Venice – is the village of Coulon. Take a short break here and you can glide quietly through shady waterways in a traditional flat-bottomed boat; explore the towpaths by bicycle to discover other marshland villages; and find out about the unique local lifestyle at the Maison du Marais Poitevin. Perfect for couples or families.

    Hotel Au Marais room, Green Venice

    And on the banks of the Sèvre-Niortaise river in Coulon, the delightful Hôtel Au Marais offers light, airy bedrooms in neutral colours dotted with flashes of rich pink and lime green. All the rooms have private facilities, desk and WiFi connection, and the breakfast buffet includes scrumptious home-made pastries. Tempted …?

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