Must See Attractions – Charente Maritime


Charente Maritime attractions include Palmyre ZooLa Palmyre Zoo

La Palmyre Zoo (Zoo de La Palmyre) is located on the stretch of coastline known as the ‘Côte de Beauté’, only a few kilometres away from the seaside resort of Royan. It was originally created in 1966 in the forest of Les Mathes by Claude Caillé. The zoo extends over 44 acres and is probably the foremost zoo in France. The visitor Is given the opportunity of observing more than 1600 animals of all kinds as well as countless species of birds. More about La Palmyre Zoo

Corderie Royale RochefortMaritime Rochefort

Rochefort was founded by Colbert in 1666 as a new city. Colbert wanted to make it the biggest maritime arsenal and in the process develop the sea power of France. The whole complex was fortified only 4 years later. The Corderie Royale (photo left) is the Royal rope works built by Colbert in 1666 and completed in 1669 by royal decree of Louis XIV.
More about Rochefort

St Nicholas Tower La RochelleThe Towers of La Rochelle

One of the most famous sights in the Charente Maritime is the two towers known as The Saint Nicolas Tower and the Chain Tower. Together they constitute the majestic gateway to the Old Port of La Rochelle. It was the duty of the slightly leaning and 42 m high Saint Nicolas Tower (named after the patron saint of sailors) to protect the entrance to the port and was connected to the Chain Tower by a huge chain stretched across at night to effectively close the port. More about the medieval towers

Fort Boyard Charente MaritimeFort Boyard

Fort Boyard  is located between the Île-d’Aix and the Île d’Oléron on the western coast of France. It is here that the famous TV gameshow of the same name was filmed. The idea to build a fort on the Boyard bank was suggested as early as the 17th century but it was not until the 1800s under Napoleon Bonaparte that work began. The fort has also been the backdrop for other media endeavours – the final scene of the French film Les Aventuriers starring Alain Delon was filmed at the fort. More about Fort Boyard

Abbaye aux Dames in SaintesThe Abbaye aux Dames

Possibly the most notable church in the Charente Maritime, the 12th century Abbaye aux Dames church was once part of a monastic collective for women founded 100 years or so earlier. It was the first Benedictine abbey in the Saintes area and was founded in 1047 by Geoffrey II, Count of Anjou and his wife Agnes. Today, the Abbaye aux Dames is a venue dedicated to music featuring events and festivals such as the Saintes Music Festival and the “Jeune Orchestre de l’Abbaye aux Dames”, season of concerts.
More about the Abbaye aux Dames

Attraction in La Rochelle: The AquariumLa Rochelle Aquarium

This ultramodern aquarium, founded by René Coutant  is one of the most impressive in the whole of Europe. Several rooms are devoted either to  a particular ocean or to a specific area such as tropical seas or the Mediterranean.  There are more than 12,000 marine animals ranging from fragile jellyfish to mesmerising sharks in 3,000,000 Litres of seawater. This is a great opportunity to learn so much more about the sea and the creatures that live therein. More about the Aquarium

Musée des Commerces d'AutrefoisMusée des Commerces d’Autrefois

The Museum of Businesses in bygone days. Prepare yourself for a journey back in time to an era of small shopkeepers and tradesmen! Lovingly created an old warehouse in meticulous detail you will find a series of workshops and stores dating from the years between 1900 and 1940. The exhibition features an impressive collection of everyday objects which bring back so many nostalgic memories yet are missing in our lives today. More about the Museum