What to see and do from La Pignade
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La Pignade is just next to Les Charmettes, so do have a look at the other activities available on the dedicated page.
Distance to beaches:
- Ronce-les-Bains (less than 1 mile / 1.5km away)
- Plage de la Cèpe (1 mile / 1.5 km)
- Plage de l’Embellie (3 miles/ 5km)
- Plage du Galon D’or (3 miles / 5km)
Activites and places not to miss
Don’t miss the fantastic zoo at La Palmyre with its 1,600 furry, feathered and scaly creatures. It’s a great day out for all the family and your kids will be enchanted by the animals who love to happily munch popcorn out of their hands - the elephants and giraffes seem particularly keen on the stuff! Don’t forget to buy a bag on arrival!
The zoo runs breeding programmes for endangered species but something makes me suspect that your children are going to be more interested in the parrot and sealion shows, the baby monkeys and zebras, and the extrovert meercats who love to play up to an audience.
Royan & Violon sur le Sable Concert
The seaside town of Royan is the capital of the Côte de Beauté (Beautiful Coast) region around the vast Gironde Estuary. As well as its bustling marina and fishing port, Royan is the setting for the Violon sur le Sable classical music festival, held each year in late July when the beach becomes a free open-air concert hall. Visitors can enjoy a picnic as well as the wonderful music and in the evening there are firework displays.
The capital of Charente Maritime is La Rochelle, also known as La Ville Blanche (the White City), a stunning coastal city of about 75,000 people. At its heart is the Vieux Port, or Old Harbour, with its historic sea walls and towers. There’s also the Old Town, studded with artisan shops and traditional markets.
La Rochelle has one of the largest and best aquariums in France. Transparent tunnels allow you to walk along surrounded by 12,000 species of sea life – a perfect day of education and spectacle for children.
Another must-see in La Rochelle is the remarkable Tour de la Lanterne, the only remaining medieval lighthouse on the Atlantic coast, which offers views over the entire city. Converted into a jail in the 17th century, the lighthouse features graffiti, scratched into the walls by rogues and pirates.
No holiday to the Charente Maritime would be complete with a visit to Cognac, so if you're after a day out to keep dad happy then this will work a treat. The town gives its name to one of the world’s most well-known types of brandy. Spend the day exploring the town’s medieval quarter ‘Vieux Cognac’, and take in the unusual architecture and narrow cobbled streets. Make sure you fit in a visit to one of the Cognac making houses and sample the iconic brand. The Martell house keeps its visitors well occupied, with sound and light shows as well as taste testings.
This ancient town is dotted with jewels of ancient roman remains and classical facades, which makes it so charming and interesting. There’s the amphitheatre that dates back to around the 1st century, which is almost as big as the Coliseum in Rome the grand arches of Germanicus, the Abbaye aux Dames... It’s also a fantastic place to taste the regional delicacies – there are many cognac and pineau taste testings in many of the chateau in the area.
Phare des Baleines
In English, it is known as the Lighthouse of the Whales, and is named thus because many whales used to get washed ashore here. Named a Historical Monument, it is considered one of the tallest lighthouses in France, with 257 steps which will lead you to see exceptional views over the Ile de Ré, Ile d’Oléron and the ocean!
Château de la Gataudière
Situated 1 mile /1.5km away from the sea, this magnificent castle combines history and plenty of activity for every single member of the family. The castle sits in the middle of around 50 hectares of land, where you can take a look inside at the grand stone staircase, and jaw-dropping French regency decoration, colourful furnishings and gilt mirrors and decorations. Outside, kids can zip around on the zip lines, cross wobbly walkways in the trees, jump on quad bikes or get messy playing paintball.
This is a children’s wonderland of fun, as it’s almost packed with inflatable castles, slides, ball pools, small trains, swings, inflatable climbing walls! While the children play, adults can relax and have a refreshing drink, ice cream or sweets on the terrace. Everything’s equipped here for the family, with a picnic and baby area.
You can also go island-hopping. A three-kilometre bridge connects the city of La Rochelle to the chic Île de Ré, where the whole family can cycle up an appetite before visiting one of its fine restaurants. Or challenge everybody, old and young, to a surfing contest on the Ile d’Oléron, before exploring its ruined windmills and sand dunes. Then jump on a boat to get a closer look at the nearby 19th-century fortification Fort Boyard.