The Charentes, Atlantic Coast Cognac Country – a green destination

18 December 2019

Aqua facts – Climat Océan, an interactive exhibition in both French and English, opened on 9th November and will continue until 31st October 2021 at the Musée Maritime of La Rochelle. The first major exhibition in France dedicated to climate and the oceans, Climat Océan is both immersive and interactive. Built on a solid scientific foundation by renowned experts, the exhibition aims to alert, inform and engage the public on climate issues and the preservation of our oceans. After all, the oceans cover 71% of the earth’s surface and contain 97% of the Earth’s water.

Photo credit: La Fabuleuse Cantine

A “zero-waste” restaurantLa Fabuleuse Cantinelocated close to the Musée Maritime in La Rochelle, offers a new form of living space combining sustainable food and creative cuisine with cultural and social events. A different menu is created every day according to the deliveries and unsold food from local producers and organic stores. There are musical events every week.

Photo credit: Oléron – OT Ile d’Oléron Bassin de Marennes

Oléron Island – sustainable tourism in action– Nature reigns supreme on the island of Oléron and the Marennes Basin: numerous varieties of beaches, a huge forest, significant marshlands as well as several natural reserves. These areas committed some time back to a system of sustainable development and have encouraged campsites to obtain the EU eco-label, creating the concept of Nature Parks for protected natural spaces. The best way to appreciate Oléron? It’s by bike with more than 160 kms of cycling paths with new routes coming online ever year.

Photo credits: Les Ecologites de La Rochelle Bord de Mer by Sylvie Curty (left) and Les Ecologites de La Rochelle Cabine du Capitaine Studio by Sylvie Curty

Four accommodation suggestions to stay green in The Charentes!

Stay sustainable with a unique stay in one of three “ecologîtes” close to the city centre of La Rochelle. With a zero-waste approach, natural, locally sourced materials, renewable energy and upcycled decoration – the young owners, Lucille and Jean-Alain are committed to expanding their offering and will open two new renovated ecolodges in 2020 to provide a low tech experience.

Recharge your batteries by going eco-camping at La Frênaie: located over a vast meadow, bordered by canals and in the shade of ash trees – there are tents and yurts available. With an ecological approach, this eco-camping site has developed a management method and equipment that respects the environment with innovations such as a solar oven, a participatory garden and a biodiversity area.

Photo credit: Phare des Baleines Le Photomaker

Alternatively head for Camping Les Baleineson the idyllic Ile de Ré. Located close to the sea with wide open spaces, this is unspoilt nature with a green attitude,  Situated at the far end of the island, with its feet in the sand of a wild beach, a stone’s throw from the celebrated Phare des Baleines lighthouse and the picturesque village of Saint-Clement, it offers several types of accommodation to suit most tastes: wood cabins, cosy mobile-homes, chic lodge tents or many spacious areas for tents, caravan or camper vans.

Photo credits: Paus’Ethique Home

Slow down, relax and unwind with Paus’Ethique Home, a new guest house offering three stunningly designed guest suites in a newly renovated 17th century farmhouse, surrounded by four hectares of garden, just outside of Saintes. Owners Christelle and Christophe have been inspired by their life experiences and their ethical values to create accommodation and so much more – activities designed to enhance self-expression, creativity and wellness, introductory workshops to design and environmental issues, yoga, outdoor activities, etc. In the evening, enjoy the savoury organic meals or the small baskets of local products, carefully prepared by Christophe or local caterers. Alternatively, home-made meals can be delivered by a new eco-responsible and gourmet restaurant in Saintes – Le Comptoir des Utopies.

Photo credits: From left: the Marais Poitevin “Green Venice” – all by A Birard

Come visit the Echappées Nature– To discover more about the area, why not plan a visit to one of the network of 14 preserved natural sites certified “Pôles Nature”by the Charente-Maritime Department? These include the canals of the Marais Poitevin, the stone quarries of Crazannes, the salt marches museum or natural reserves, sites and landscapes, raising awareness about nature, the environment and traditional pursuits through activities, exhibitions and guided tours.

Photo credit: Baudets du Poitou by E Beck

The Donkeys of The Charentes– If you love these gorgeous animals, then visit the Asinerie du Baudet du Poitouin Dampierre-sur-Boutonne, a 55 hectare nature sanctuary dedicated to protecting the area’s local breeds of donkeys. Meet the donkeys in their meadows, try the carriage ride or go for a walk with one of them to learn all about their preservation with a guided visit.

There’s something for everyone on the Atlantic Coast Cognac Country – There are a myriad of festivals of music or cinema, major sporting events such as the Tour de France, exhibitions dedicated to the art of the cartoon or the Ninth Art (2020 Year of the Comics) – in fact, there are over 3,000 eventsyear long.  So there’s always an excuse to visit … as if one was needed.


Notes to editors: Situated at the heart of the French Atlantic coast, the Charentes destination is the premier tourist destination in France for French travellers. Charentes offers the visitor a lovely choice of coastal destinations such as Royan or the Ile de Ré, city breaks to Angoulême or La Rochelle and beautiful countryside such as the Marais Poitevin or Cognac Country.  Charentes has several important wellness centres (six) and a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites.  It is a gastronomic destination of note – oysters, mussels, sea salt, cognac, pineau des Charentes; and is easily accessible by road, rail or air from the UK. It boasts a temperate climate softened by the closeness of the ocean, with a quality of light that is beyond compare, as well as a whole host of events taking place throughout the year. 

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