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The start of South Western France, Poitou-Charentes enjoys both a wonderful coastline, varied countryside, pretty villages and interesting towns. The climate of the region is one of the mildest in France, and the coastal area of Charente-Maritime is the sunniest part of France after the Mediterranean coastal areas.
Poitou-Charente now forms part of the large new region known as Nouvelle Aquitaine.Charente-Maritime is the most westerly department of the region and offers wonderful stretches of coastline, with long sandy beaches and fishing ports. La Rochelle is a vibrant port resort and has lots of top quality shops and lovely restaurants. The island of Ile de Ré is simply wonderful, with long sandy beaches, vineyards, little harbours and bustling markets it just oozes charm. Not surprisingly it's more expensive to buy property in Charente-Maritime than in other parts of the department but if you can afford it, it is a wonderful part of France.
Inland from the Charente-Maritime is the department of Charente which gains its name from the river that winds it way through the area bordered by lovely villages and market towns. The area offers a more rural lifestyle than its neighbour. The countryside is undulating, scattered with pasture land, sunflowers and offers wide panoramas. Cognac is probably the best known town in Charente, sitting astride the river Charente it is a really interesting place to visit, to enjoy the distilleries, the river and the wonderful restaurants. Buying property in Charente is better value in the north and east of the department.
To the east of Charente is the department of Vienne which is slightly more rural than its neighbour. The river Vienne, along which there are lovely beaches, flows through the department and adds charm to many of the pretty villages along its banks. Poitiers with its theme park of Futuroscope, is the best known town in Vienne but Montmorillon is really charming and well worth visiting. Finally Deux Sevres is the most northern department and also the one with the best value properties. For anyone looking for a bargain property it is definitely worth starting your search in Deux Sevres.