Brief Guide to Poitou-Charentes

Poitou-Charentes is located in South West France and is one of 22 regions that are known as metropolitan France, or parts of France that is comprised of people from all over Europe. The 22 regions are divided into four departments: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sevres, and Vienne.

Much of Poitou-Charentes lies within the department of Vienne.

Tourism, together with livestock and dairy farming are very important to Piotou-Charentes, and as a result there are plenty of attractions for travellers and tourists to visit. Much of the surrounding regions are also good places to visit, and thanks to the excellent service and reliability of the French transport system, visiting a neighbouring region is not a problem.

Le Château de Septème

The Chateau Septéme in the Poitou-Charentes
The Chateau Septéme in the Poitou-Charentes

Le Château de Septème translates to “The Castle of Septème” and was originally the site of a Roman camp, which was built at the “Seventh Point”, which is where the name Septème originates. In all probability, the camp was established as a stop off point for Roman troops while travelling along the Roman road that ran from Vienna to Milan.

The castle was built in AD 900, but was restored in the 15th and 16th centuries. Situated at a top of a hill it overlooks local villages. Originally it was designed and built to protect the old village. The castle’s architecture is one that continues to astonish visitors due its beauty.

The ramparts, the battlements, and remains from the old city it used to protect have been classified as a historical monument of France.

The history of the castle is rich, and no visit to the region is complete without a visit to this historical beauty.

Futuroscope Amusement Park

Futuroscope in the Poitou-Charentes
Futuroscope in the Poitou-Charentes

Futuroscope is an amusement park which has the future as a central theme. IMAX theatres and robotic rides where you sit in the seat attached to a robot arm are just two of the attractions on offer at this exciting place.

Futuroscope utilises IMAX technology to simulate flying over mountains, being catapulted into space, and being submerged in the ocean. One of the Futroscope attractions has been designed by legendary film maker, Luc Besson.

Futuroscope makes a great day trip for families, especially as many of the attractions are interactive.

Abbey Church of Saint-Savin Sur Gartempe

Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe in the Poitou-Charentes
Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe in the Poitou-Charentes

The abbey Church of Saint-Savin Sur Gartempe is a Roman Esq. building which was started in the 11th century and completed in the 14th. What makes this abbey so remarkable is the condition of the 11th and 12th century murals contained within it. Some of the building was restored in the 19th century, and this wondrous piece of history has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Cycling is a very popular pastime all over the world, and arguably its spiritual home is in France. Base D’Activites Ville Nature organises cycling and hiking tours as well as hiring out equipment for doing activities. Organised tours include a guide to provide information about where you’re going and what you are seeing.


Just outside of Poiters lies the Boivre Valley, home to the NORÉE caves. They date back to the Jurassic period, and contain colourful and interesting rock formations and stalactites. Local artists have illuminated the caves to make them more dramatic, and guided tours of the cave are available. Currently there is an exhibition of the caves which explains their history and a history of the bats who have made the caves their home.

There is a range Poitou-Charentes holiday and vacation rentals available that can be booked directly with the owner, and can be booked using a variety of websites.