Poitou Charentes - Perfect for a Second Home?

Five reasons why Poitou Charentes is the best place to have a second home abroad

Poitou Charentes - where is it?

Poitou Charentes is a region that lies in western France. It's got four departments which are, in alphabetical order: Charente; Charente-Maritime; Deux-Sèvres and Vienne. Although three of the four departments lie inland, the Charente-Maritime department is coastal and offers up 400 kilometres of lovely sandy beaches. The region is bordered by the Pays de la Loire to the north, the Centre Val de Loire to the east, the Limousin to the south-east and Aquitaine to the south. Its final border is formed by the Atlantic Ocean.

Why buy a second home in Poitou Charentes?

The region is very popular with British second home buyers. The countryside comprises rivers, lakes and canals, pine forests, vineyards and sunflower fields. Picturesque old villages dot the landscape, epitomising the rural French idyll. What's more, it's simple to get to the region thanks to the airports of Poitiers and La Rochelle and the TGV rail service that also runs through Poitou Charentes. Even driving to the region from Calais takes less than six and a half hours, while it takes just over four from St Malo. If you need more reasons to make Poitou Charentes the place for your second home search in 2012, here are five good ones:

1. Poitou Charentes weather

Poitou Charentes has a climate that many British find appealing. It's warm and sunny (an average of 2,400 sunshine hours per year), with short, mild winters and long, mellow summers. There's enough rainfall to keep the countryside green and fresh, yet warm enough to support the agriculture that relies so much on vines and sunflowers. Summer temperatures are delightful. While not as hot as down on the Med, it's more than warm enough to live an outdoor life for a lot of the year. So you can escape the grey skies of Britain and head for your second home in the sun, anytime you like!

2. Poitou Charentes has a wonderful food

If the countryside, seaside and weather aren't enough in themselves to tempt you to buy a second home in the region, the gastronomy just might! It's a mix of goodies from land and sea. Oysters, mussels, fresh fish and sea salt from the coastal regions are complemented deliciously by rich butter and creamy sauces, duck, cheesecake and goats' cheeses. And then there are the acclaimed liquors of Cognac brandy and the unique Pineau, a blend of cognac and wine. Irresistible!

3. Poitou Charentes has a multitude of sports and leisure activities on offer

When it comes to leisure activities and entertainment, the region really comes in ahead of the pack. Whatever your age and preferences, Poitou Charentes has more than enough to keep you busy 365 days of the year. The attractions for families include the superb theme park of Futuroscope at Poitiers, where the kids (and you!) can learn as you enjoy the rides and exhibitions. Then there is the charming Monkey Park of the Vallée des Singes, leisure lakes for swimming, boating and sunbathing, and all the fun of the seaside. There are some fourteen golf courses too, as well as wonderful trails for walking, horse-riding and cycling, boat trips along the waterways of the Marais Poitevin and the beautiful islands of Oleron and Ré.

4. Poitou Charentes has great towns and villages

Anyone buying a second home in France looks for a special place. And Poitou Charentes is simply packed with special places! Seven of the region's villages have been awarded the title of "most beautiful villages of France". These are Angles sur l'Anglin, Aubterre sur Dronne, Ars en Ré, Coulon, La Flotte en Ré, Mornac sur Seudre and Talmont sur Gironde. However, these are just the officially recognised ones. Many of the tiny villages and hamlets are equally charming. If you prefer to live in a bigger town with access to larger scale amenities, you might try historic Angoulême, bustling Bressuire or the lovely market town of Parthenay. Whether you choose the town, the country or the coast, Poitou Charentes can't fail to hit the spot.

5. Poitou Charentes has got cheap property!

If you want a definitive reason to look for a second home in Poitou Charentes, however, here it is. The region offers some of the best value for money property in all of France. And in today's economic climate, that counts for something! Property prices vary around the region, of course, with popular seaside resorts, "most beautiful villages" and major cities being more expensive then the lesser known towns and villages, but there are bargains a plenty in all price brackets. In fact, as property can currently be found for as little as 7,500 Euros, you'd be mad not to investigate!

How to find your property in Poitou Charentes

French Property Links (English language) and its sister site in French can lead you straight to the best properties and bargains in Poitou Charentes. With a deep knowledge of the region and links to estate agents and private sellers, they are well equipped to guide you around the area to help you find that special second home. You can search for your second home throughout the whole region of Poitou Charentes, or search more specifically within departments or even towns.The site is user friendly and allows you to see prices in Euros or Pounds so you know exactly what you're getting for your money. And, if you're selling a property in Poitou Charentes, this is the place to advertise for maximum response.

French Property Links - English version

Agent Immobilier France - French version

Have Your Say