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Places to visit
There are many beautiful and historic towns and cities within easy reach of Font Remy: for example, the magnificent ancient Roman town of Saintes, with its 1st Century amphitheatre, one of the oldest discovered; the historic ports of La Rochelle and Rochefort; the magnificent restored 12th Century church at Talmont, not to mention Pons, Bordeaux, Jonzac, Cognac and Angouleme. These are some of the highlights - please see here for lots more photos of the area.
The historic port, from which pioneers sailed to explore a brave new world, now has a marina which beckons weekend sailors back to shore. The busiest yachting centre on the French Atlantic coast, the old harbour is overseen by twin fortress towers. Climb the 15th century tower and former prison, the Tour de la Lanterne, for a view over the town. See the ornate facade of the 16th century Hotel de Ville. Perhaps spend some time at the fantastic modern Aquarium (the largest in Europe) read more, or the New World Museum.
Then relax in one of the countless cafés and restaurants which cluster around the waterfront or explore the busy boutiques which line the cobbled and arcaded streets of the old town.
The first capital of Aquitaine during the Gallo-Roman age, Saintes is a town rich in monuments from medieval times. Famous monuments include the Roman Amphitheatre, constructed in about 40 AD, the Arch of Germanicus, erected in 18-19 AD, the Archeological Museum which houses the rich collections of architectural elements and sculptures from the 1st to 3rd centuries.
The Abbaye aux Dames, Saint Peter's Cathedral and the Saint Eutrope Basilica give remarkable testimony of the renewal of the importance of Saintes during the Middle Ages.
Saintes is one of our favourite places - stroll the ancient pedestrian streets, take a boat on the river or relax in one of the many cafés, bars and restaurants. If you are lucky enough to be around on the first Monday of the month make sure you visit the fantastic market You will not be disappointed.
The birthplace of François I and a first rate tourist centre, with the church of Saint Léger offering an outstanding example of Roman and Gothic architecture.
The fame and prosperity of this town is due to the centuries old production of the brandy that bears its name. Numerous prestigious cognac "Maisons" open their doors to the public for guided tours and a visit to the spirit warehouses (or "chais"), where the cognac is aged in casks.
A visit to Cognac should include the splendours of the Parc du François I and a boat trip along the River Charente.
Between 1670 and 1800 hundreds of ships were built at Rochefort including the Hermione, aboard which La Fayette embarked for America. An exact replica of The Hermione is now being rebuilt using traditional tools and techniques.
The beautiful Chateau de la Roche Courbon nearby is well worth a visit. Called "Sleeping Beauty's Castle" by Pierre Loti, it was built in the 15th Century and embellished in the 17th Century.
Bordeaux is the most famous wine region in the world. Most visitors come to the city and its surrounds to tour the chateaux, imbibe the world-class wines and indulge in the regional cuisine, but Bordeaux offers much more.
Bordeaux is also known for its excellent museums, cafes and restaurants and vibrant nightlife. Wide avenues, neoclassical architecture and well-tended parks all give the city a certain 18th-century grandeur. It's also fantastic for shopping!
Bordeaux's wine-growing region stretches for 1000 sq km (390 sq mi) around the city, and is divided into 57 appellations (unique production areas), with around 500 chateaux, or vineyards. There are two key areas of attraction, the Medoc and St Emilion.
Firstly the Médoc, a large wine-growing area which lies northwest of Bordeaux, along the western shore of the Gironde Estuary. This is easily accessible by car ferry from Blaye, south of Font Remy or from Royan to the north. In fact the round trip makes a great day out - both crossings are around 25 minutes.
The village and vineyards of St-Emilion, to the east of Bordeaux are well worth a visit (about 75 mins drive from Font Remy).
St-Emilion is a medieval town with steep hilly cobbled streets running through ancient limestone buildings. The cobbled streets link picturesque squares, and the distinctive honey-coloured stone makes St Emilion a beautiful town, but also a magnet for visitors.
In the 8th century a hermit from Brittany, Emilion, settled in a cave that contained a natural spring. Over the next 500 years this cave was hollowed and enlarged and is now the largest monolithic church in France (hollowed from a single rock). This amazing chapel overlooks the main square and culminates in a spire that soars more than 200 feet.
We do not recommend that you take pushchairs to St Emilion due to the steep and cobbled streets.