Location & Accomodation > Poitiers Guide
Many information about the city of Poitiers and its surroundings can be found on the website of the Visitor Information Center. Here is just a glimpse of what the city and its surroundings have to offer.
Poitiers, more than 2,000 years of History
Aptly called the “City of a hundred bell towers”, the town centre of Poitiers includes 78 monuments protected by Historic Heritage legislation. Imposing monuments and Romanesque churches, picturesque medieval streets and half-timbered houses, 19th century boulevards and contemporary architecture: each period of history has left its mark upon the town.
Poitiers is also the city of the Futuroscope Amusement Park. With more than 43 million visitors since it openned in 1987 and 22 atractions focused on imaging and new numeric technologies, it is on one of the major leisure parks in Europe.
Poitou Marshes (Marais Poitevin)
One hour drive from Poitiers is located the Marais poitevin also called the Green Venice. The Marais poitevin is a veritable treasure of beauty encased in greenery. It lives in accordance with its dozens of kilometres of canals used by the marshland dwellers on their “flats”, the raft-like contraptions they easily steer with their “pigouilles” (oars).
The Atlantic coast is just a 1.5 hour drive from Poitiers. Among the most beautiful cities to visit are Rochefort and its renowned Royal rope factory together with the construction site of the “Hermione” (The boat of La Fayette), and La Rochelle the home of one of the most beautiful aquarium in Europe. Ride the friendly waves! No less than 450 kilometers of coastline wend their way down the Charente seashore. Between high and low tides, the long sandy beaches bordered by pine trees alternate with chalky cliffs and wild sites. The Atlantic seaboard of the Poitou-Charentes region is protected by four islands, of which the two largest, Oléron (175 km2) and Ré (85 km2) are connected to the continent by bridges.
The world's best-known brandy comes from the peaceful countryside surrounding the Charente River one hour south of Poitiers. This slow moving river, which King François Ist called the loveliest river in his kingdom, passes through a placid landscape of vineyards bathed by a clear and radiant light. A twenty-mile area called the “golden circle” of cognac production encompasses Cognac and the second distilling town of Jarnac.
In the North of Poitiers, the Loire Valley (Vallée de la Loire) is known as the Garden of France and the Cradle of the French Language. It is also noteworthy for the quality of its architectural heritage, in its historic towns such as Amboise, Angers, Blois, Chinon, Orléans, Saumur, and Tours, but in particular for its world-famous castles, such as the Châteaux d'Amboise, Château de Villandry and Chenonceau.
The landscape of the Loire Valley, and more particularly its many cultural monuments, illustrate to an exceptional degree the ideals of the Renaissance and the Age of the Enlightenment on western European thought and design.
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