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Charente-Maritime is a French department of Nouvelle Aquitaine region that is positioned on the west coast of France and is named after the Charente River. It is one of the four ones that form the Nouvelle Aquitaine region along with Charente, Deux-Sevres and Vienne.

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The climate in this area is mild and sunny and the annual precipitation is less than 900 mm. The temperatures average from 20°C in the summer and 5 °C in the winter.

As a whole the climate in France is quite variable and if you want to live in this country this area offers you the best climate. It is enough away from the Pyrenees and not quite far from south and has the highest number of annual sunshine hours in France except the Mediterranean. In La Rochelle there are 2331 hours of sunshine annually that is with almost 20 percent more than the ones in Biarritz and Nantes. But actually there is a link between the sunshine and the rainfall. There is obviously less rain than Cornwell in England or Biarritz.

The climate is mild and has a maritime influence close to the coast with early spring sunshine with a lot of hot sunny days that last in the autumn.


This area covers 6864 sq km. The neighboring departments are Gironde, Dordogne, Charente, Deux-Sevres, and Vendee.

Parts of this department are also the islands Ile de Ré, Ile d’Aix, and Ile d’Oléron.

The important rivers that run through the territory are Charente and its affluents the Boutonne and the Seugne, the Sèvre Niortaise, the Seudre, and the Garonne.

The economy of the region is based on three major sectors like tourism, maritime industry and manufacturing. There are people coming from all parts of the world to enjoy the sunshine and the seafood. It is the major oyster producer. These oysters are shipped across Europe. There is ship building in Rochefort and also a French naval base. La Rochelle represents a major French industry site. Outside the city there is a factory for the French engineering giant Alstom.

Some famous beaches in this area are the ones in Royan. In the region are positioned few farmlands, vineyards, traditional water and wind mills. There are also natural reserves like bird watching, wildlife attractions and guided tours.

There are also corn and sunflower fields, vines and pine forests.


Charente-Maritime is also well known for its rich maritime history and some places of interest are the naval museum at Rochefort, an Oyster centre at Oleron, the lighthouse at Re, the aquarium and Lantern Tower at La Rochelle harbor.

There are a lot of historical places like the Saint Peter’s Church at Aulnay, the turrets along the town walls at Brouage harbor, the Stone Age tombs at Bougon and the oldest metal mines in Europe at Melle.

One of the most beautiful villages is Talmont that has a 21at century church that overlooks the Gironde estuary.


Charente-Inférieure was one of the 83 departments that were created during the French revolution on March 4, 1790. Later on September 4, 1941 it was renamed to Charente-Maritime.
This area is known for the best seafood in France especially oysters and mussels.


Regional cuisine consists of magret de canard and confit de canard that is a duck and recipes with veal and saucisson.
You can also taste cognac in Charente.

On the markets you can find cheese and wine.

There is another special aperitif called Pineau des Charentes that is a red or white wine that is served always chilled and is made from a blending of cognac and grape juice.

In towns and villages you can find special places to eat no matter if it is a fresh fish from the sea or a fine cuisine.

Useful information

Tourism office in Charente-Maritime

Maps of Charente-Maritime

Flights from the UK
By air: The region has three international airports: Poitiers, Limoges and La Rochelle.

Ryanair and Air France fly to La Rochelle, Limoges and Poitiers.

Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Charente-Maritime. We have a large network of estate agents in Charente-Maritime. All of them are registered French estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Charente-Maritime matching your requirements. To find out more about our properties for sale in Charente-Maritime do not hesitate to contact us.

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