...Maison Maurice was simply perfect
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The Charente-Maritime Region has many heritage sites, beautiful countryside, family attractions and great beaches.
We've done our best to ensure Maison Maurice is a peaceful place for you to relax while you explore the region.
There is plenty to do, whatever pace you prefer to take things. We'll always be happy to discuss the local attractions when you arrive but we've listed some of our favourite spots here so you can start planning your break right away.
Maison Maurice is well positioned in the heart of the Cognac wine growing area, and there are several local vineyards where you can sample cognac and pineau (a delightful local aperitif) and buy direct from the producer. We are happy to arrange a 'tasting' visit for you.
This charming city on the pilgrims' route of St Jacques de Compostelle is well worth a visit. Take a stroll around the Hospital De Pelerins, built for pilgrims in 1160 and one of the first of its type.
It has a beautiful small garden of flowers and herbs originally used to provide medicines and healing ointments for the pilgrims.
In the centre of Pons stands the Donjon (large Keep). The original Keep was completely destroyed in 1179 by Richard the Lionheart who came to Pons to put down a revolt, but rebuilt by Geofrey the 3rd, Lord of Pons, and finished in 1187.
Today you can visit the Donjon and climb to the top for a magnificent view over Pons and the Seugne Valley or take a pedestrian tour of the city (www.pons-ville.org) before relaxing in one of the local cafes or restaurants.
For lovers of history and architecture some 20 kms northwest lies Saintes; a former Roman City with several magnifcent churches, a vast roman amphitheatre and many pleasant walks around its narrow streets and shops.
To the north east is the home of Cognac, and the famous houses of Hennessy, Martell, Courvoisier and Remy Martin - to name but a few!
For those with a love of this five star tipple, tasting tours (on land or boat) make a pleasant way to spend a few hours. Please let us know if you would like us to book a tour on your behalf.
The coastline has beautiful beaches and coastal walks, together with a host of activities including surfing or bicycling on one of the many dedicated cycle paths.
Just 35 minutes away at Royan is a wide sandy beach which runs for miles - ideal for paddling and beach games, or just strolling through the surf.
Although this is a quiet beach, there are good clean amenities and some excellent local restaurants to keep you going.
It's a great beach for a bit of kite flying too! If smaller beaches are your preference there are plenty of these to be found too!
An hour to the south is Bordeaux. With its exquisite architecture and monuments, Bordeaux is a very attractive city.
Visit Bordeaux's famous theatres, museums, art galleries and a fantastic array of shops, restaurants and malls.
An hour to the north is La Rochelle, a stunning historic city with plenty to see.
At the heart of the city are the famous Harbour Towers, looming over the harbour where you can take boat trips to Île d'Aix and Fort Boyard.
Les Antilles de Jonzac is a huge tropical water park. Complete with slides, wave machines and sandy beaches, this aquatic centre will keep you entertained for hours.
Not far from the beach, La Palmyre Zoo offers visitors the opportunity to observe more than 1600 animals from all the continents - Asian Elephants, polar bears, orang-utans from Borneo, lemurs from Madagascar and flamingos from the Caribbean are housed close to small Nepalese pandas and African zebras.
Open from April to September, La Palmyre is one of the largest zoological parks in Europe!
Half an hour away, the Saint Cesaire Prehistoric Centre offers a great journey back in time.
Located on the very spot where the last Neanderthal girl (dating back 35,000 years) was discovered, the centre is equipped with the latest technology for image processing, scenography and special effects.
The La Rochelle Aquarium is a huge glass vessel housing more than 12,000 marine animals in 3 million litres of seawater.
From marine turtles to sharks, the aquarium in La Rochelle is one of the largest private aquariums in Europe.