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Lifestyle & heritage

Many visitors return regularly to Poitou-Charentes, not only to explore the stunning coastline and countryside, but to enjoy a French lifestyle that includes gastronomy and heritage sites, festivals and special events.

Away from the main towns, dozens of historic small communities such as Chauvigny, Montmorillon and Parthenay offer an authentic slice of local life and culture. Six enchanting villages have also been ranked amongst Les Plus Beaux Villages de France – four on the mainland and two on Ile-de-Ré.

Poitou-Charentes boasts some of the finest examples of French Romanesque art and UNESCO has classified six buildings along the pilgrims’ route to Santiago de Compostela on their World Heritage Site list. Also on the UNESCO list are the breathtaking murals of the abbey church at Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe.

You’ll find plenty of grand chateaux to explore with lavish interiors and glorious gardens - you can even stay in a chateau hotel. But Poitou-Charentes offers accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets including charming small hotels, friendly guest houses, and self-catering properties.

And if you like a good party, take in one of the region’s many special events and festivals such as Francofolies in La Rochelle, the Circuit des Remparts in Angoulême, and the four-day Fête du Cognac.

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