Historic Pen Duick yachts come to Rochefort and La Rochelle

Pen Duick yachts La Rochelle Rochefort

The third of the fleet, Pen Duick III, which won the Sydney to Hobart race in 1967. Photo: Pline/Wiki

Here’s a great chance to see the famous Pen Duick yachts which have such a great name in French and international sailing.

These ocean-going racers were built in the 1960s and 1970s for French yachtsman and naval officer Éric Tabarly, who also contributed to their design. Continue Reading →


What’s on in July around La Rochelle, Niort, Poitiers & Angoulême

What’s going on this month? A lot! Check out our Summer Festival guide to discover which big festivals are going on in July. But then there’s also…

Fireworks July 14
July 14 fireworks
There are fireworks brightening up the sky all over the region for the Fête Nationale – some start over the weekend before. See our links below to find one close to you – or ask at your local tourist office. The following, though, come recommended:

La Rochelle (dept 17): at about 11pm, after the Francofolies. Recommended vantage point is La Concurrence beach and at the level of the Bout Blanc breakwater

Saint Jean d’Angely (dept 17): at the  plan d’eau de Bernouet. Celebrations start at 2pm with the fireworks starting at nightfall.

Jarnac (dept 16): at Place du Château. Set to music and starting at 11pm.

Niort (dept 79): at  the Jardins de la Breche, starting at 11pm.

Poitiers (dept 87): at parc de Blossac, starting at 11pm.

Fireworks around La Rochelle, Rochefort and the coast

Fireworks around Angoulême, Cognac and Aubeterre

Fireworks around Poitiers
Other events we like…

Chamber music concert, Nanteuil en Vallee, July 11
In this very pretty village, head to the abbey to hear performers doing a week-long workshop, with a concert on the 11th. Tel 05 45 31 05 42 for more information.

Medieval festival at Lusignan, July 19/20
Market with crafts and local products., exhibition, equestrian displays, horse-drawn carriage rides, an ‘attack’ on a straw castle, workshops and more. From Saturday at 4pm; Sunday 10am – 6pm.

Fete de Pont Transbordeur at Rochefort, July 27
The last bridge of its type in France celebrates 114 years with a day-long festival on both banks of the river. From 9.30am – 11pm, the day includes a market, an exhibition of old vehicles, music and fireworks at 11pm.

One for the diary – Mad Hatters Music & Food Festival
A great family run festival with classic cars, classic bikes, a BBQ, bar with  real ale and cider, trade stalls, cream teas, bouncy castle and bungee trampoline, plus live music.
Live music each evening starts at 6pm, with a huge feast  served at 8.30pm (strictly tickets for food and music). For feast tickets, entrance only and camping tickets and all details see www.madhattersfrance.eu



Explore the world of dinosaurs at Angeac near Cognac

Tens of millions of years ago giant dinosaurs roamed the land near where today stand Angoulême, Cognac, and other towns in the Charente here in south-west France.

Dinosaurs Cognac AngoulemeSome of these beasts were truly massive; in 2010 the thigh bone of a plant-eating sauropod was found at a quarry at Angeac-Charente between Angoulême and Cognac.

The bone is 2.4 metres long, making it the largest of its kind ever found in Europe. Continue Reading →