Cheap flights to Poitou-Charentes

One of the sunniest parts of France, Poitou-Charentes makes a pleasant destination to visit in the countryside. This central part of western France, located between the Loire valley and Aquitaine, covers an expanse of the Atlantic coastal plain with a gently undulating hilly inland area to the foothills of the Massif Central. Those visiting the southern part of the region will find extensive vineyards, which provide the grapes used to produce the famous Cognac.

Tourists going here will also find some parts of the region steeped in history. Poitiers, founded by the Pictones, a Gaulish tribe, flourished to prominence in the ancient times. This part of the region rose into further glory when Charles Marter defeated the Muslim forces of Abd ar-Rahman around 732 CE, which ended attempts to conquer France. Such can be fascinating to learn more about during a trip to Poitou-Charentes, as tourists explore not only natural sceneries and cultural landscapes.

What to see & do

The natural landscape of Poitou-Charentes can be fascinating to behold. Tourists excited to see the scenic wonders here can check out Parc Naturel Interregional du Marais Poitevin. This tranquil wetland called Venise Verte (Green Venice) is called as such due to the duckweed that has made its waterways green every spring and summer. This wide expanse about 800 square kilometres in size is interspersed with villages and woods, as well as canals and cycling paths. Nature enthusiasts will also be pleased to find a number of bird species staying around in this area as they punt across the waterways on a boat. There is also the Reserve Naturelle Marais d'Yves to see, which is an easy 15-kilometre drive south of La Rochelle. It has a free nature centre where one can view through telescopes some of the reserves 250 bird species flitting across the wetlands. In some seasons, flocks of about 20,000 birds can fill the sky as they go on a migratory path. Guided walks and cycling is also available here, where one can learn more about the flora and fauna of the reserve.

The architecture of this part of the Central Atlantic Coast in France also features a number of architectural wonders. There is the Poitiers Churches, which can make one get a feel of the city's illustrious past. Self-guided walking tours allow one to behold the facade of the Romanesque Eglise Notre Dame la Grande. The oldest parts of the church date back to the 11th century, with the original frescoes echoing from the 12th or 13th century. Further ornaments were added later on, such as the three of the five choir chapels and the northern wall of the nave. The Defensive Towers of La Rochelle are also a marvel, which protects the harbour at night in times of war ages ago. This enormous chain was raised between the two 14th-century stone towers at the harbour entrance to La Rochelle. Those going up here will find superb views from the top and exhibits about the Canadian voyagers.

Those aiming to see modern sights can check out the Futuroscope, a modern theme park that will let visitors whir through space or dive down into the deep through the various rides. More treats are offered with motion-seat setups, miniature cars, and other attractions that both children and adults can enjoy. From here, tourists can then make their way to the Toy Museums or the Musee des Automates, with a theme-park-style display of various automated dolls. There are also recreations of the Montmartre, Moulin Rouge, and the funicular railway here. After looking around, tourists can turn to the Musee des Modeles Reduits nearby. Its exhibits of miniature vehicles and computer-operated naval battles, and a model railway can be viewed here.

How to get around within Poitou-Charentes

Those going around Poitou-Charentes will find a variety of options. The TGV Atlantique offers frequent service to various parts of the region. There are also connections from Paris to Austerlitz, as well as a Bordeaux line. Eurostar also transports passengers from London St to Pancras, which allows travellers to go between various cities in the region as the train goes on its way. Those who want to drive will find only little difficulty in navigating along motorways, highways, and byways. Boats making their way across the Channel and back also traverse through Poitou-Charentes. One can take the Brittany Ferries, Condor Ferries, Norfolkline, P&O Ferries, or LD Lines.

How to get there

Those venturing to Poitou-Charentes can look for connecting flights to La Rochelle-Ile de Re Airport. Airlines serving here include Air France, easyJet, easyJet Switzerland, Flybe, and Ryanair. They transport passengers between Birmingham, Bristol, Charleroi, Dublin, Geneva, London-Gatwick, London-Stansted, Lyon, Manchester, Poitiers, Porto, and Southampton.

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