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A Charentaise market town in a pretty setting

Chalais is a town typical of the Charente region. Set in pretty, green countryside, and rural in outlook, it comes to life on Mondays when the market sets up its myriad of stalls to sell local goods and produce in the time honoured way. Traffic is diverted, and modern life seems suspended as inhabitants seek out the freshest fruit and vegetables, the crustiest bread and the best beef or veal from the colourful stalls. Apart from the market, the town has a thriving commercial life, with most of the usual goods and services represented.

A gourmet's paradise

Chalais really is the place to go if you are a lover of the finest food and wine that France can provide. La Maison de Talleyrand-Périgord is housed within a mediaeval castle and is known as one of France's best restaurants, presided over by top chef Albert Verschoor. Albert is not only the chef but also the owner of the restaurant, and his food is so widely acclaimed that if you want to eat at the restaurant you need to book your table several weeks in advance! It is also interesting to note that only one hour away from Chalais is the famous town of Cognac, home of the finest brandy in the world.

History hand in hand with modern life

Chalais is a place where history is ever evident; in architecture, in the lovely old streets, in the traditions of the townspeople, yet at the same time there is plenty to entertain modern inhabitants. There are various fêtes, art exhibitions and an international show jumping competition every August. The town also has a music café which hosts live bands all summer long, catering for all tastes with a mixture of jazz, folk, rock and reggae to name but a few!

How to get there

By air: Chalais is served by Bordeaux airport at less than one hour away, and Bergerac and La Rochelle at just half an hour further. You can fly to any of the three from the UK with Flybe, and Ryanair serves Bergerac and La Rochelle. By Rail: Chalais has a train station in the town, so if you prefer to travel by rail you can begin your journey in London or Kent with Eurostar, and then take the TGV from Paris to Bordeaux. From here you can catch a train direct to Chalais.

Property and prices in and around Chalais

The Charente is considered to be one of the less expensive areas of France in which to buy property, although local agents report considerable price rises due to increased activity over recent years. It is a good place to look for rural property, farms and barns to convert, as there are still some of these desirable properties available near to Chalais.

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WHERE IS Chalais?

Chalais is located in the west of France, in the south east of the Poitou Charentes region.

Chalais Property Map


Poitou-Charentes Guide

Poitou-Charentes Property Map


Charente Guide

  Charente Map

Population: 2,100

Access: Fly to Bordeaux (50 minutes drive), La Rochelle or Bergerac airports (one and a half hours away), or take the Eurostar to Paris, followed by a TGV to Bordeaux or Anglouleme, where you can get a train to Chalais itself.

Economy: Agriculture (particularly beef and veal cattle) is the biggest source of revenue in this area, as it is predominantly rural. Chalais is, however, also very famous for its biscuits!

Interesting fact: Despite being situated in the heart of France, Chalais once belonged to England! It was retaken by the French in the form of the Talleyrand family, whose descendants are the current owners of the town's castle.


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