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Mediaeval market town

Surgères, in the Charente-Maritime department of western France, lies just half an hour inland from the beautiful Atlantic coast and the islands of Île d'Aix and Île d'Oléron. It is a lovely example of a mediaeval walled town, and with its thrice weekly markets, river, chateau, excellent shops and restaurants, it makes a truly great place to live or to visit. Surgères also benefits from the "Gulf Stream Effect", which creates a micro climate of exceptional weather, said to be second only to the Côte d'Azur for its sunshine record!

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays… beaucoup des marchés!

The town of Surgères has one feature that will delight lovers of all things French… not one, but three weekly markets! On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays the town wakes to a throbbing hum of activity, as stall holders set up their wares at the crack of dawn, and Surgères comes to vibrant, and very French, life. The early bird catches the fattest worm in these markets, so do as the locals do and get there early to make sure of the best bargains, the freshest produce and the moist authentic atmosphere.

Points of interest

When you have visited the points of historic interest and natural beauty in Surgères, most notably the Romanesque Church of Our Lady, the lovely chateau, and the truly delightful Charente River, you may feel justified in indulging in a little retail therapy. Surgères is well equipped to satisfy on this account, as the town offers an excellent range of shops, with everything from large supermarkets through to tiny boutiques and local speciality shops. Speaking of local specialities, do make sure you buy the locally produced butter for which Surgères is famed, it really is superb!

Surgères's restaurants

Surgères is also blessed with a good selection of high quality restaurants. Take your pick from traditional French cuisine or lighter fare from the café bars, and if fine dining is your thing, then there is a Michelin starred restaurant in the town which should satisfy even the most discerning of diners!

Sports and leisure

If you are considering the sporting options open to you in Surgères, remember that the town is just half an hour away from the Atlantic coast, so all the possibilities of the seaside are open to you. Resorts such as Royan offer exciting sports such as windsurfing and kite flying (nothing like the way it's done in Mary Poppins… think more of an adventure sport!) as well as the traditional seaside pleasures of swimming, sunbathing and ice cream eating. Back inland, around the town you will find golf within easy reach, horse-riding, cycling, walking, tennis, and Surgères has a great outdoor swimming pool too.

How to get there

Reaching Surgères by rail is a very realistic option. The town has a TGV station, and this means that you can travel from London to Paris by Eurostar, change to TGV and be in Surgères with no hassle and great haste! Flying is also quite simple, as budget airlines Ryanair, flybe and easy Jet all have direct flights from the UK to nearby La Rochelle.

Property prices and availability in and around Surgères

Property in the area is increasing in value due to the steadily growing interest shown by foreign buyers. Surgères, being situated inland, is more realistically priced than coastal towns such as La Rochelle, but offers many of the same benefits. Types of property vary here, but perhaps the most desirable purchase would be a Charantaise longhouse, with white walls and painted shutters… the epitome of the French dream house. These are available here, but they don't stay on the market long!

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Surgères AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Surgères?

Surgères is located in western France, in the north-east of the Charente-Maritime department, still not far from the Atlantic coast.

Surgères 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: 6,314


Access: By air: Fly to La Rochelle with Ryanair, flybe and easyJet. By rail: The town has a TGV station, so rail travel is an excellent option.


Economy: The economy is varied, but there is an important dairy industry here.


Interesting fact: The town of Surgères has no less than three markets each week! These are held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, so there is no excuse for not having fresh fruit and veg any day of the week!

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