Sport & Leisure

Wind surfing Charente MaritimeWatersports

All the coastal resorts in the Charente Maritime have watersports clubs mostly with activities and lessons for various age groups. If sailing or windsurfing is your sporting passion then La Rochelle and Royan in the Charente Maritime may well be places you will want to visit.

The numerous canals, rivers and lakes in this region offer wonderful opportunities to enjoy the sports of canoeing, kayaking and rafting. If you need any kind of general information about these particular watersports then you can contact the Fédération Française de Canoë-Kayak. Still on the subject, sea kayaks are popular both at the Bassin d’Arcachon and at Fouras.

Charente Maritime surfingSurfing Charente Maritime

Around the islands of Ré and, Oléron you will find over 15 km of beach break that has consistent surf so surfing is possible just about any time of the year. The best wind direction for surfing is usually from the east. Waves can be just as likely from local wind swells as from distant ground swells with the best swell direction being from the west. The beach breaks offer both ‘lefts’ and ‘rights’ and are surfable at all stages of the tide. Watch out for rips!

General information is available from the Fédération Française de Surf

Cycling in the Charente Maritime regionCycling

The Atlantic coast of France is a great place to come for a cycling holiday. Look out particularly for the voie vertes (green routes). these are dedicated cycling routes often along former railway lines or canal towpaths which are to be found right along the coast. These are only for pedestrians, cyclists and people on horseback and cars are prohibited.

The coastal island of Île de Ré is also perfect for a one day cycling tour and this can be reached by car over the stylish curving bridge which connects it to the mainland . In the summer, it often seems as if more people are using bikes and cars. It’s easy to hire a bicycle if you don’t want to bring your own. Near to Saintes in the haut-saintonge area there are 32 mixed use trails and 18 mountain bike tours marked out. Maps are available for these in the tourist offices. The SNCF train stations at la Rochelle and Royan actually rent out touring and mountain bikes.

Fishing in the Charente MaritimeFishing

Enthusiastic fishermen will revel in the abundance of river streams canals Lakes in the Charente Maritime. However do be aware that fishing regulations are enforced and anglers must be affiliated with an association and obtain a permit. These permits are easily obtained locally and are often sold in cafes where you might also pick up a few tips from the locals.

Then of course there is the enormous coastline along with the bays which offer almost limitless potential for fishermen. Once again however you need to remember to adhere to local and national regulations and make sure you don’t get in the way of professional fishermen. If you like the idea of a serious fishing trip out to sea on a fully equipped boat then ask at the tourist offices. For general information apply to the Fédération Française des Pecheurs en Mer.


The Charente Maritime area has many many golf courses both of the nine and the 18-hole variety. More specifically, there are 3 large (18 hole) golf courses at: Saintes , Royan, and La Rochelle to be enjoyed. For more information contact the Fédération Française de Golf