Upon our arrival to this region, we assigned ourselves the arduous task of trying out as many beaches as possible. We can therefore say, with some authority, that beach-lovers will have come to the right place.
We are as close as an hour and fifteen minutes' drive from some of the most spectacular stretches of Atlantic coastline, from the sandy, family-friendly resorts of Châtelaillon, and Royan, to the quieter beaches on the Île de Ré and the Île d'Oléron in Charente-Maritime.
Sand dune and surf-lovers shouldn't miss the fabulous, unspoilt beaches along the Vendée coast, south of Les Sables d'Olonne.
Eating & Drinking
The region boasts exquisite gastronomic delights such as goat's cheese, seafood (fresh oysters in particular), foie gras, farmhouse butter, chocolate and of course the wine. The region is also famous for its cognac and for Pineau des Charentes, a fortified wine.
Festivals & special events
There are many festivals and cultural events throughout the year and, depending on when you visit, there may be a festival taking place nearby
The region is rich in history and boasts beautiful Romanesque churches, stately châteaux and gallo-roman sites and amphitheatres. Nearby, you can visit the 12th - 17th century Royal Abbey and Abbey church in Celles-sur-Belle, the 16th century Château de Javarzay in Chef Boutonne or the church of Saint-Hilaire in Melle. In Niort, you will find the second largest Romanesque-style dungeon in France. Built at the end of the 12th century, the Donjon offers panoramic views over the city.
Don't miss the picturesque village of Verteuil-sur-Charente with its views of the Château overlooking the weir on the Charente river.
If your historical interests lie in earlier civilisations, visit the pre-historic Tumulus de Bougon in St Maixent L'Ecole, which were built 2000 years before the pyramids of Egypt.
But you don't have to venture far to enjoy the region's historical architecture. Simply step outside your gite and admire the beauty of Le Logis du Breuil Coiffaud, a recently restored 15th century château with French style garden, rose garden and maze.
If you're wondering how to entertain the children during your holiday and avoid cries of "Are we there yet?", this section will give you lots of ideas and provides the approximate distances from Les Cygnes.
However, it is by no means exhaustive and is merely a 'taster'. We suggest that you also check-out the sections on Beaches and Sports and Outdoor Activities for more fun-filled ideas.
Within a 10 minutes' walk from Les Cygnes, in the village of Le Breuil Coiffaud, you will find Les Ecuries du Breuil, a well-established and reputable riding school and pony-trekking centre that caters for horseriding activities at all levels.
Within 45 minutes' drive
The Lambon Leisure Lake at Prailles (42 km)
Offers supervised swimming, windsurfing, canoeing, pedalos, picnic and games area and tourist train, all in a peaceful and picturesque woodland setting.
Named after the pear tree that grows on the wall outside, this converted stone barn has all the space needed for a large holiday party It has 4 bedrooms, 2 shower rooms with toilets, fully-equipped kitchen, living room and dining area.
French doors lead to the sunken terrace with patio table, chairs and barbeque and Les Cygnes' gardens. We allow all guests to offset their holiday carbon footprint by planting trees here at Les Cygnes.
Les Cygnes is situated in the heart of Poitou-Charentes on the west coast of France, in easy traveling distance from Limoges, Poitiers and La Rochelle.
This picturesque region averages 2,250 hours of sunshine per year, making it the second sunniest region in France and, therefore, ideal for visiting from early spring to late autumn. We also have availability during the winter months - perfect for house hunters.
What you can expect:
Competitively priced luxury accommodation with no surcharges for Easter, October half-term and Christmas/New Year.
3 luxurious gites in the heart of the second sunniest area of France - Poitou-Charentes.
2, 3 & 4 bedroomed self-catering gites sleeping between 1 and 10.
Combined accommodations for up to 24 people.
A beautiful 10 x 5 metre salt water terraced pool with sunloungers, parasols and cabana.
Professionally converted, architect designed barn and maison -renovated to a very high standard, with panoramic picture windows and doors.
Over 5 acres of gardens and pasture.
Overlooking a beautiful village and 15th century castle.
Peaceful setting, within 5 minutes drive of many amenities, shops, and leisure activities.
Limited ability friendly with many rooms having direct access to the gardens and terrace.
Fully equipped gamesroom with professional table tennis table, table football, darts board, pool table and numerous board games.
The region offers many attractions and the landscape is rich in beauty and colour, from the dazzling, yellow sunflower fields against an endless blue sky to the wild Atlantic coastline bordered by sand dunes and pine forests.
The lounge dining room is fully equipped and has UK/Irish satellite tv and radio, dvd player/cd player. The kitchen is a newly fitted Hygena kitchen with dishwasher, fridge/freezer, stainless steel hob and oven and all the modern comforts of home.
Facilities in Le Poirier stunning 4 bed carbon neutral barn conversion with pool
* CD player
* Dish washer
* DVD player
* Washing machine
Whether travelling by land, sea or air, we are quick and easy to reach.
Ryanair fly from:
* London Stansted to Poitiers, La Rochelle or Limoges,
* Bournemouth to Nantes
* Liverpool to Limoges
* East Midlands to Nantes and Limoges
* Dublin to La Rochelle and Nantes
* Shannon to Nantes
British Airways fly from:
* London Gatwick to Bordeaux
Flybe fly from:
* La Rochelle to Birmingham, Manchester and Southampton
* Limoges to Manchester, Newcastle and Southampton.
* Bordeaux to Southampton
Easyjet fly from:
* Bordeaux to London Luton and Bristol
* La Rochelle to Bristol and London Gatwick
BMIBaby fly from:
* Bordeaux to Manchester and Birmingham
Eurostar goes from London Waterloo to Paris Gare du Nord. The TGV leaves from Paris Montparnasse for Poitiers and the journey takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Channel crossings via Eurotunnel go from Folkestone to Calais. Ferry crossings go from Dover or Folkestone to Calais, and from Portsmouth to Cherbourg, Le Havre, Caen or St Malo (ferry offers).
We are a 6.5 hour drive from Calais, 5.5 - 6 hours from Cherbourg, 4.5 hours from Caen, 4 hours from St Malo and 6.5 hours from Le Havre.
Nearest Travel Links
* Airport: Poitiers (70 km)
* Ferry: Caen (420 km km)
* Railway: Ruffec (27 km)