he only part of the Poitou Charente region to enjoy a coastline, the Charente Martime benefits from the resulting mild winters. This micro-climate (officially sub-mediterranean!) means that olives, mimosa, palms and oleander flourish, and those buying a property here will appreciate the effect, too.
The coastal landscape varies widely, from open grassy plains where the local cattle graze to wild salt marshes and tall limestone cliffs.
This is where the mighty Gironde river makes its way into the Atlantic and the mouth of the river is dotted with charming little ports and harbours which retain a truly French feel. This is a popular place with the french looking to buy a second home.
Local produce including the aperitif Pineau (a blend of cognac and grape juice) is a must-try along with the locally produced caviar. Worth a look are Mortagne-sur-Gironde, Saintes for its Roman architecture and Royan - a lovely, busy harbour town with a great zoo neaby at La Palmyre.
Attractive and spacious stone built property garden and double garage, in a great location under half an hour from La Rochelle and only 16km to the beach. Situated in a small hamlet this renovated property comprises a main house and a loft recently converted to provide independent guest accommodation.