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 Area & Activities

This part of France benefits from a wonderful warm climate extending from March right through to October due to the effect of the Gulf Stream – in fact it is the second sunniest area in France after the Riviera.

The beautiful blue flag sandy beaches and coves of Meschers, Saint-Georges-de-Didonne and Royan are 25 - 30 minutes drive away. The historic towns of Saintes or Pons are under 30 minutes away. Within an hour you can be in the beautiful ancient port of La Rochelle, cross over to the Ile de Re, or in the vineyards of Bordeaux or the lovely mediaeval town of Saint Emilion.

St Fort is a delightful village 3km inland (and a lovely cycle ride) from the tiny estuary fishing village of Port Maubert.  It has all the local amenities you need – including bakers, bank, post office, chemist, tourist office and bar/restaurant – plus a famous 12th century church. It is surrounded by vineyards that produce the local Pineau des Charentes as well as Cognac. This is great countryside for walking, cycling and birdwatching. Tennis, fishing, horseriding and canoeing are also available locally. There are fifteen Michelin featured restaurants within a fifteen mile drive with seafood, salt-marsh lamb, foie gras and duck the specialities of the area. And, if you want to eat in, there are also many local markets, including those at Cozes, Mirambeau and Gemozac (not to mention the twice weekly one outside the front door in Saint Fort), where you will find fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, meat and plenty of the local seafood.

Click here to view more images of the area.

Sandy Beaches
Within 25 minutes drive of Saint Fort you will find some of the best sandy beaches in Europe including the 3 star Michelin rated 2km long fine sandy beach at Royan, Saint-Georges-de-Didonne, Meschers and La Plage des Vergnes where you will also find caves and rock pools. The beaches of the Cote Sauvage (north of Royan) have the best waves for water sports and fabulous sand dunes. Similarly the islands of Ile de Re and Ile d’Oleron have some wonderful stretches of sand.
Watersports
As well as bathing and basking in the sun, Royan and the Ile d’Oleron are centres for water sports such as windsurfing and sailing. Boat trips and rentals are also available.
Cycling & Walking
There is a network of quiet lanes winding amongst the vineyards around Saint Fort, with some lovely views of the estuary beyond the vineyards. There are numerous cycle tracks in the area. Either bring your own bikes or hire them locally (this can be arranged in advance). From St Palais-sur-Mer near Royan there is 60 km of cycle track through the forest and along the coast. There are also marked routes for mountain bikes.
Golf, Tennis & Horse Riding
Golfers are well catered for with excellent courses at Royan, Saintes, Cognac and Bordeaux. Two tennis courts are available for public use at Saint Fort. There are several good horse riding facilities locally - we can arrange lessons or days out on request.
Bird Watching
There are always birds of prey circling the vineyards and you are likely to see black redstarts, cuckoos, black kites, hen harriers, buzzards, goshawks, herons, pied flycatchers and hoopoes, amongst others. The area as a whole is excellent for spotting migratory birds (particularly spring and autumn). At Rochefort, about 50 minutes north of Saint Fort, 74 hectares of ecological lagoons welcome thousands of birds each year.
Fishing
Trout, pike, perch, big carp and whitefish are among the first class catches that the fishing enthusiast can pull out of the waters of the River Charente and other rivers and lakes in the area. The local tourist office in Saint Fort has details of where permits can be purchased. Deep sea fishing is also available at Royan.
Go Karting, Flying and Parachuting
If you are an adrenalin junkie there is plenty more to offer locally. At Royan there is an excellent outdoor go-karting track, which caters for children (over 1.3m tall) as well as adults. Also at Royan is a flying school which also offers helicopter flights, parachuting and paragliding.
Wine Tasting
You can taste (and buy) Cognac, chardonnay, sauvignon or pineau at a number of vineyards around Saint Fort. Within an hour is Cognac itself, where you can visit the famous producers and then, of course, there is the famous wine growing region of Bordeaux. St Emilion is a charming place to spend a day - wander round its cobbled streets, lunch in one of its many restaurants, sample the wine and take the little train around the best-known vineyards and their chateaux. Or you could take a tour of the Medoc, just across the estuary by ferry and home to some of the most famous Bordeaux vineyards.
The Zoo at La Palmyre
In the heart of one of the most beautiful pine forests in the area just north of Royan lies La Palmyre zoo (45 minutes’ drive). The most famous zoological park in France and recently voted European Zoo of the Year, it is the most visited tourist attraction in the department of Charente-Maritime. As a breeding zoo it is different from most people’s idea of a zoo with many animals free to roam – there are more than 1600 in all!
Visit the Official Website
History and Culture
There are many places of historic interest within an hour’s drive of Saint Fort: Saintes, full of Roman history, in particular its impressive amphitheatre; Rochefort with its Corderie Royale and the reconstruction of Lafayette’s ship Hermione; the old fortified port of La Rochelle with its hidden streets lined with arcades and boutiques (a great place for shopping) plus its fabulous new aquarium; Cognac, the birthplace of Francois 1 and home to the fine brandy which bears its name, made in cellars many of which are open to visitors; elegant Bordeaux, the regional capital of Aquitaine and the charming walled village of Talmont with its Romanesque church, to name just a few.
Shopping
For keen shoppers, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Saintes and Royan all have a great range of designer boutiques, fantastic food shops and department stores.
Places to Visit
Click here to find out more about the area around Chateau de la Place.
 
 

This part of France benefits from a wonderful warm climate extending from March right through to October due to the effect of the Gulf Stream – in fact it is the second sunniest area in France after the Riviera.

The beautiful blue flag sandy beaches and coves of Meschers, Saint-Georges-de-Didonne and Royan are 25 - 30 minutes drive away. The historic towns of Saintes or Pons are under 30 minutes away. Within an hour you can be in the beautiful ancient port of La Rochelle, cross over to the Ile de Re, or in the vineyards of Bordeaux or the lovely mediaeval town of Saint Emilion.

St Fort is a delightful village 3km inland (and a lovely cycle ride) from the tiny estuary fishing village of Port Maubert.  It has all the local amenities you need – including bakers, bank, post office, chemist, tourist office and bar/restaurant – plus a famous 12th century church. It is surrounded by vineyards that produce the local Pineau des Charentes as well as Cognac. This is great countryside for walking, cycling and birdwatching. Tennis, fishing, horseriding and canoeing are also available locally. There are fifteen Michelin featured restaurants within a fifteen mile drive with seafood, salt-marsh lamb, foie gras and duck the specialities of the area. And, if you want to eat in, there are also many local markets, including those at Cozes, Mirambeau and Gemozac (not to mention the twice weekly one outside the front door in Saint Fort), where you will find fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, meat and plenty of the local seafood.

Click here to view more images of the area.

Sandy Beaches
Within 25 minutes drive of Saint Fort you will find some of the best sandy beaches in Europe including the 3 star Michelin rated 2km long fine sandy beach at Royan, Saint-Georges-de-Didonne, Meschers and La Plage des Vergnes where you will also find caves and rock pools. The beaches of the Cote Sauvage (north of Royan) have the best waves for water sports and fabulous sand dunes. Similarly the islands of Ile de Re and Ile d’Oleron have some wonderful stretches of sand.
Watersports
As well as bathing and basking in the sun, Royan and the Ile d’Oleron are centres for water sports such as windsurfing and sailing. Boat trips and rentals are also available.
Cycling & Walking
There is a network of quiet lanes winding amongst the vineyards around Saint Fort, with some lovely views of the estuary beyond the vineyards. There are numerous cycle tracks in the area. Either bring your own bikes or hire them locally (this can be arranged in advance). From St Palais-sur-Mer near Royan there is 60 km of cycle track through the forest and along the coast. There are also marked routes for mountain bikes.
Golf, Tennis & Horse Riding
Golfers are well catered for with excellent courses at Royan, Saintes, Cognac and Bordeaux. Two tennis courts are available for public use at Saint Fort. There are several good horse riding facilities locally - we can arrange lessons or days out on request.
Bird Watching
There are always birds of prey circling the vineyards and you are likely to see black redstarts, cuckoos, black kites, hen harriers, buzzards, goshawks, herons, pied flycatchers and hoopoes, amongst others. The area as a whole is excellent for spotting migratory birds (particularly spring and autumn). At Rochefort, about 50 minutes north of Saint Fort, 74 hectares of ecological lagoons welcome thousands of birds each year.
Fishing
Trout, pike, perch, big carp and whitefish are among the first class catches that the fishing enthusiast can pull out of the waters of the River Charente and other rivers and lakes in the area. The local tourist office in Saint Fort has details of where permits can be purchased. Deep sea fishing is also available at Royan.
Go Karting, Flying and Parachuting
If you are an adrenalin junkie there is plenty more to offer locally. At Royan there is an excellent outdoor go-karting track, which caters for children (over 1.3m tall) as well as adults. Also at Royan is a flying school which also offers helicopter flights, parachuting and paragliding.
Wine Tasting
You can taste (and buy) Cognac, chardonnay, sauvignon or pineau at a number of vineyards around Saint Fort. Within an hour is Cognac itself, where you can visit the famous producers and then, of course, there is the famous wine growing region of Bordeaux. St Emilion is a charming place to spend a day - wander round its cobbled streets, lunch in one of its many restaurants, sample the wine and take the little train around the best-known vineyards and their chateaux. Or you could take a tour of the Medoc, just across the estuary by ferry and home to some of the most famous Bordeaux vineyards.
The Zoo at La Palmyre
In the heart of one of the most beautiful pine forests in the area just north of Royan lies La Palmyre zoo (45 minutes’ drive). The most famous zoological park in France and recently voted European Zoo of the Year, it is the most visited tourist attraction in the department of Charente-Maritime. As a breeding zoo it is different from most people’s idea of a zoo with many animals free to roam – there are more than 1600 in all!
Visit the Official Website
History and Culture
There are many places of historic interest within an hour’s drive of Saint Fort: Saintes, full of Roman history, in particular its impressive amphitheatre; Rochefort with its Corderie Royale and the reconstruction of Lafayette’s ship Hermione; the old fortified port of La Rochelle with its hidden streets lined with arcades and boutiques (a great place for shopping) plus its fabulous new aquarium; Cognac, the birthplace of Francois 1 and home to the fine brandy which bears its name, made in cellars many of which are open to visitors; elegant Bordeaux, the regional capital of Aquitaine and the charming walled village of Talmont with its Romanesque church, to name just a few.
Shopping
For keen shoppers, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Saintes and Royan all have a great range of designer boutiques, fantastic food shops and department stores.
Places to Visit
Click here to find out more about the area around Chateau de la Place.
 
 

For further information please contact Huw and Cathy Thomas on 01707 896555 or e-mail

For further information please contact Huw and Cathy Thomas on 01707 896555 or e-mail