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Charente-Maritime Property Listings and Info

For buying and selling property in Charente-Maritime

The sunny shores

The Charente-Maritime is Poitou-Charentes' coastal department. Here, 420 km of sandy beaches are lapped by the Atlantic under some of the sunniest skies in the whole of France. There are also three islands, each with its own unique atmosphere. Inland, you won't struggle to find some incredible cultural and historical gems. Romanesque architecture features heavily throughout the department.

Chic and cultured

La Rochelle is the departmental capital and is home to around 120,000 people, a great number of whom are students from the local university. This extremely chic town has an active cultural scene throughout the year. You can stroll amongst the boats in the pedestrianised marina and admire the two impressive 14th century towers. In the past, a large chain was hung between them to protect the town from night time raids.

Across the bridge

If you want to escape the mainland, take the 18 mile road bridge across to Re, a large island completely encircled by fine and mostly sandy beaches. In August the population increases dramatically, partly thanks to the students from La Rochelle's university but mainly due to holidaying families. The sea is relatively safe as it is shallow and not subject to strong currents.

Leave your car behind

The smallest inhabited island off the Charente-Maritime coast is Ile d'Aix. There are no roads on this island resulting in a peaceful atmosphere where you can relax away from the stresses of normal life. It's hard to imagine that the island was once home to a prison. Between this island and the much larger Ile d'Oleron is Fort Boyard, an island fortress from the early 19th century. More recently, it has been used by TV adventure game shows.

Fortress town

You can tell which towns were once fortresses by the strict layout of their streets. For example, the streets in the former fortress town of Rochefort, now home to 25,000 people, form a grid like pattern. The town has a large number of museums all of which are eager to tell its story. Close by, you will discover the Corderie Royale where plays with a maritime theme are often acted out.

How to get there

There are a number of airports offering flights to and from the UK in the vicinity. La Rochelle airport is within the department, then the next closest would be Bordeaux or Poitiers, depending on where in Charente-Maritime you want to be. It is also possible to fly to Angoulême by changing in Paris. If you'd rather travel by land then the TGV train service will take you to Poitiers, La Rochelle or Angoulême.

Charente-Maritime property prices

La Rochelle and Ile de Re are extremely popular holiday destinations and so have an active rental market. This means that the prices are going to be higher, yet still represent real value for money. Many people are now seeing this as a much more valuable alternative than buying in the Dordogne. There are a large number of properties needing renovation on the market. The British buyers do not appear to be choosing any particular area, although their presence alone is already driving prices up.

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