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Aulnay - on the pilgrim trail

The little market town of Aulnay (or to give it its full title, Aulnay de Saintonge) is found in the pretty countryside of the inland Charente-Maritime, amid the sunflowers, vineyards, green pastures and forests that characterise the area. Existing since Roman times, it was also once an important point on the pilgrim trail to Santiago de Compostela.

The Church of St Peter

The Romanesque Church of St Peter is Aulnay's most famous feature, and as one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in the region, is well worth a visit. The church is richly decorated with ornate and fabulous carvings inside and out, and stands in a beautiful churchyard at the edge of the village. Other interesting sights in the village include the 75 ft high 12th century tower, and a dovecote reputed to have over 2,000 nesting boxes.

Enjoy village life in Aulnay

The village is equipped with all the usual local facilities required for everyday life, with a supermarket, café, restaurants, a post office and an outdoor heated swimming pool too! It has a weekly market held on Sundays. It's a friendly and lively village, well located and making an ideal place in which to base a holiday or to settle down. The Charente-Maritime is well used to having British holidaymakers and residents, and although not everyone will speak English, attitudes to foreigners are welcoming and helpful.

Out and about

The Charente-Maritime is a beautiful department, said to be one of the sunniest regions in France, and glorying in not only a lovely countryside but also a beautiful stretch of Atlantic coastline. Trips to the seaside offer the colour and buzz of La Rochelle, or perhaps even a trip to the utterly stunning Ile de Ré. Meanwhile beside the village itself you can find the cool, green depths of the Aulnay Forest, a treat for walkers, cyclists and nature lovers. The meadows and sunflower fields form a very picturesque scene of rural French life, and there are vineyards too, for this is the land of "Pineau", a delicious blend of wine and cognac.

How to get there

La Rochelle, Angoulême and Poitiers all have airports offering direct flights from the UK, and also TGV stops offering the choice of train or air travel. Drivers can find the village not far from the A10 auto route.

Property prices and availability in and around Aulnay

The coastal areas of the Charente-Maritime can be expensive, but if you move inland, little towns and villages such as Aulnay can offer property that represents real value for money.

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Aulnay AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Aulnay?

Aulnay is situated in the west of France. It lies in the north-east of the Charente-Maritime department, quite close to the border with the Deux-Sèvres.

Aulnay Property Map

IN THE REGION OF POITOU-CHARENTES

Poitou-Charentes Guide

Poitou-Charentes Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF CHARENTE-MARITIME

Charente-Maritime Guide

  Charente-Maritime Map


Population: 1,500


Access: By air: Fly to La Rochelle, Angoulême or Poitiers. By rail: The TGV runs to Poitiers, Angoulême and La Rochelle too. By road: The town is easily accessed from the A10 auto route.


Economy: The economy is predominantly agricultural.


Interesting fact: The village church is said to be one of the finest Romanesque churches in the west of France.

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