There is so much to do across the Charente Maritime area and lots you can do for FREE or for just a couple of euros… meaning you can have a fun packed holiday
whatever your budget!

So here is our selection of the best free (or almost free!) things to do in the Charente Maritime…

1. Scuba diving / Water-sports

Whether you are a lover of water sports or would like to try it out this is the place ! 

The Charente river and the lakes of the Charente are perfect at great value prices. There is something for all budgets…

Also don't forget our own Qualified scuba divers ' Geoff and Wendy' who provide scuba lessons in our very own pool every Thursday morning.

2. Take a bike ride

What could be better than to jump on your bike and enjoy exploring the beautiful Charente countryside, pretty villages and historic chateaux… 

just imagine the sun on your face and the breeze in your hair as you cycle through fields of sunflowers and vineyards!

Locally to our area are many safe bike routes for you to follow some only a few km to longer ones. 

We provide many bike route maps in your information gite folder which you will get on your arrival.

Bring your owns bikes or contact Bike Hire direct to hire bikes for all sizes age and ability for your stay. 

Just  let them know where you are staying and they will deliver bikes directly to you  ready for you to enjoy on your holiday!

For more information on renting bikes in the Charente Maritime please take a look at the  website  

or email Chris on

3. Discover Cognac vineyards

Discover how Cognac is made… many of the smaller Cognac producers offer free guided tours around their vineyards along with a small taste at the 

end of the visit!

The larger Cognac houses also offer tours starting from as little as 10 euros which includes a sample from their range.

Ask Chris when you arrive and you may be in luck as he regularly takes guests to visit some local ones and try some local Cognac and Pineau.


4. Browse a French market or brocante or / and Visit a night market

Ok we admit that normally shopping is only fun when you spend money!

However there is something so ‘French’ about spending a few hours browsing a “brocante”, spotting the weird, wonderful and fantastic things on offer!

When you arrive ask Sharon about where the local ones are while your visiting - it may be nearer than you think and we all love a bargain x

A night market is not so much about shopping – its all about food and fun!

Go to one of the areas regular night markets and choose from a wide selection of freshly cooked food from dozens of local producers… 

or simply take a seat, listen to the free music and soak up the party atmosphere.


5. Splash around on a river or lake beach

The Charente is just an hour from the stunning beaches of the Atlantic coastline so easy to head to for a day out!  

However, if you want something closer then head over to one of the many river side and lake side beaches which are dotted 

throughout the Charantaise countryside.

With golden sand or grassy banks  they are perfect to soak up the sun, build a sandcastle or take a dip and cool off!

6. Explore a traditional village or historic town

The Charente is home to hundreds of quaint old fashioned hamlets, pretty traditional French villages and larger historical towns… 

all perfect to explore by foot or by bike.

Some of our personal favourites include; 

Angouleme… a historic walled town featuring unique urban art earning it the title of Cartoon Capital AND MANY MORE !

7.  Take a treasure hunt…

Take part in a giant outdoor treasure hunt in the Charente with Geocaching!   

Hidden throughout the beautiful Charente countryside you will find containers of small prizes which can be found using your 

mobile phone and some GPS coordinates.

This website tells you more :


8. Have fun at a festival

The Charente hosts lots of festivals throughout the year… many of which are free to enjoy!

The ‘dont-miss’ line-up includes:

Fete du Cognac (July)
Festival de Confolens (August)
Circuit des Remparts (September)

9. or Just Chill and watch the world go by !

Make sure you take a break from all the activities on offer in the Charente by taking part in one of the most loved of French pastimes – 

people watching from a French cafe!

Order a Cafe, Vin Rouge or Perrier… grab a chair outside the cafe… and watch the world go by! Dont forget the famous French Creperies in the area.

10. Stay round the pool and play in the barn and end a perfect day with a BBQ !

Enjoy all we have to offer here at Les Vieilles Ombres - Pool , peaceful garden, play area and shaded barn x 

followed by dinner on your own private BBQ and terrace area.

 Our shaded kids play area The sun is still shining here in Bagnizeau and even though the sunflowers are fading the views are still magnificent

For Bookings and Enquiries, Please Contact Les Vieilles Ombres
Telephone: 05 46 32 52 60