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A town in the pine trees

Montendre, a small market town situated in the Charente-Maritime department of western France, is fortunate in at least two respects. Firstly, it lies in a lovely gentle landscape of vineyards, sunflowers and pine trees, which give welcome shelter from the hot summer sunshine. Secondly, the area in which Montendre lies is blessed with a sunny micro climate stemming from the warm air from the Gulf Stream, and this makes it one of France's most pleasant places to be, with long hot summers and mild, short winters.

A lively atmosphere

Montendre is not particularly large, having just over 3,000 regular inhabitants, but it is quite a lively place to spend time. It is also an excellent place to put down roots, especially for families. The town has good schools, health services and all other requirements, and added to this is its lively social scene and good access to leisure facilities. There is plenty to do in Montendre for all age groups, bars and restaurants, a leisure lake with fishing, swimming and children's play area, and easy access to the larger town of Jonzac for even more activities.

Shops or market?

Montendre has good shopping facilities, with supermarkets and smaller shops offering local goods, fashion and fresh produce. If, however, like many of us, you are an aficionado of the French market, Montendre will not disappoint you on that score either. There is a weekly market in the town come rain, come shine, and you can buy almost anything that has ever been grown, raised or invented!

Montendre's night market

Montendre also has night markets from time to time, and if you haven't been to one before you really should take this opportunity to go along. Pineaus, cognacs, arts and crafts are all proudly displayed on attractive stalls, and the delicious aromas of freshly cooked paella and couscous will tempt you to stay and eat. People gather around the stalls and tables to chat as well as to buy, the night market at Montendre becoming a truly social occasion!

Out and about

If you leave Montendre to explore the rest of the region, there are several places of interest you may like to see. Remember that the Charente-Maritime, true to its name, is all reasonably close to the coast, so a day at the beach isn't at all out of the question. The seaside resort of Royan is a great place to visit, with a lively buzz and exciting activities such as windsurfing and paragliding in season! La Rochelle, Île d'Oloron and the lovely Île de Ré are all within reach of Montendre. The countryside too has many pleasures to offer, so try a walk or cycle ride through the pine forests which are all around the region, or perhaps you might enjoy a horse-ride through the vineyards.

How to get there

To reach Montendre from the UK by air is very easy and economical. The region is served by the airports of La Rochelle and Bordeaux, both of whom have flights with budget airlines making travel to Montendre easy on your pocket! La Rochelle is served by Ryanair, flybe and easyJet, and Bordeaux by British Airways, flybe, bmibaby, Aer Lingus and easyJet. It is also possible to travel by train, taking Eurostar to Paris, then catching a TGV to Angoulême. Finally a local connection will take you all the way to your destination at Montendre station.

Property prices and availability in and around Montendre

Property in the area has risen in recent times due to a sharp increase in interest in the area, particularly from foreign buyers. Property in Montendre is not the cheapest in France, but it can still prove good value for money, and there is plenty of choice in styles, ranging from old Charentaise longhouses to modern villas and bungalows.

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Montendre AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Montendre?

Montendre is located in the west of France, in the south-west of the Charente-Maritime department. It lies very close to its region's border with Aquitaine.

Montendre Property Map


Poitou-Charentes Guide

Poitou-Charentes Property Map


Charente-Maritime Guide

  Charente-Maritime Map

Population: 3,240

Access: By air: To fly to Montendre you can choose an arrival point of La Rochelle or Bordeaux. By rail: To travel by rail you will need to take a TGV from Paris to Angoulême, and then a local train to Montendre.

Economy: The economy is mainly agricultural, but tourism is assuming greater importance.

Interesting fact: Montendre is in an area which has many vineyards, but these are used to make pineau, not wine as in most of France. Pineau is a local drink, a blend of wine and cognac, also locally produced.


Sextant France
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