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France, Charente-Maritime (17), La Rochelle, le bassin à flot du Vieux-Port ©P. Escudero/hemis.fr

France, Charente-Maritime (17), La Rochelle, le bassin à flot du Vieux-Port

France, Charente-Maritime (17), Rochefort, depuis 1997, dans l'ancien Arsenal maritime, une équipe de passionnés reconstruit la frégate Hermione, qui en 1780 permit à La Fayette de traverser l'Atlantique pour rejoindre l'Amérique ©F. Guiziou/hemis.fr

France, Charente-Maritime (17), le Paléosite à Saint-Césaire, salle des ateliers interactifs ©Ph. Renault/hemis.fr

France, Charente-Maritime (17), Crazannes, le château du XIVe siècle se targue d'avoir eu pour propriétaire, le marquis de Carabas, qui inspira Charles Perrault pour son conte du Chat Botté (vue aérienne) ©F. Leroy/hemis.fr

Old Church in Saintes Poitou-Charente, France ©AleksandarGeorgiev/iStock

Church in Saintes Poitou-Charente, France

Vieux port de La Rochelle ©PictureReflex/iStock

Vieux port de La Rochelle, France

France, Poitou Charentes, Charente-Maritime, La Roche Courbon Castle ©H. Higuchi/age fotostock

YH6-1255948 - © - Hiroshi Higuchi

Charente Maritime

Discovering the historical treasures of Charente-Maritime

From Saintes to La Rochelle

  • Culture & Heritage
  • Roadtrip

This 4-day driving tour offers you immersion into historic Charente Maritime.

You set off from Saintes where you will have the chance to visit the prehistoric and Gallo-Roman sites of the surrounding area before leaping into 17th century Rochefort and then finishing in La Rochelle where you will have time to discover the town, stroll along the old port, shop and find a good restaurant.

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Saintes La Rochelle

Day 1 - Saintes

Lanes lined with plane trees, arenas, the scene is set: the South, welcome to Saintes where your tour begins!
Begin with a guided tour of the Abbeye aux Dames, the first women’s monastery in Saintonge, before heading for a stroll through the old town where you can admire Cathedrale Saint-Pierre, the Belvedere of the Logis du Gouverneur and the Archaeological Museum.
After lunch, go and explore the Gallo-Roman amphitheatre and the thermal baths of Saint-Saloine before returning to the centre of town to dine in one of the restaurants that the town is renowned for. this is where you spend the night.

MyTripTailor Advice: The immense Pierre-Mendès-France Park, free of charge, is just 5minutes walk from the centre of town.

  • Distance : 30 km
  • Duration : 0h44

Day 2 - Saintes - Rochefort

Depart today for Rochefort, the second stage of your trip.
On the way, stop off in Crazannes, a village famous for its white stone. Put on some good walking shoes and set off to tackle the old quarries. The pleasant and safe 650m course of some 280 steps reveals the charms of this unusual landscape of canyons. An exuberant vegetation of stag tongue ferns, orchids and other plants add a touch of exoticism to the troglodyte forms shaped by the work of the quarry men.
Afterwards, allow a good 2 hours to discover the castle and grounds of La Roche-Courbon before heading on to Rochefort where you can enjoy a long evening before turning in for the night.

 MyTripTailor Advice: Dont miss the Cabinet of Paintings and the curious bathtub at La Roche-Courbon; The lawns and ponds of the French gardens.

  • Distance : 56 km
  • Duration : 1h2

Day 3 - Rochefort - La Rochelle

You wake up in Rochefort.
Early morning head for a walk through the Arsenal district, taking the time to visit the Marine Museum followed by the Corderie Royale and the Museum of Art and History.
After a picnic break, go and admire the Martrou Transporter Bridge, listed as a historic monument, and then stop at the Marais d’Yves Nature Reserve (5km south of Châtelaillon-Plage) before taking the road to La Rochelle.

MyTripTailor Advice: Things to do with the children: L’Hermione, the Museum of the Shops of the Past, the château de St-Jean-d’Angle and the storks at La Cabane de Moins.

  • Distance : 33 km
  • Duration : 0h31

Day 4 - La Rochelle

The flagship city of sailing, La Rochelle continues to revolve largely around the sea, with the expansion of its marina in recent years. Back on land, the bike is king. The city has pioneered the development of car-free days and cycle share schemes. Sail unhurriedly between its old fortified Port, its secret arcaded streets, its churches, numerous museums, its aristocratic hotels and its parks that make up the riches of its architectural heritage.
Take a stroll around the Gabut district, visiting Saint-Nicolas Tower, the Chaîne Tower and the Lanterne Tower before heading to the old town where you can find something to eat.

MyTripTailor tip: Leave your car in one of the city’s parking lots to ride a bike and travel freely.

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