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Some of the positive attributes of the Charente Maritime, Poitou Charentes, Southwest France.

The climate.

The French climate is very variable and if you are considering a holiday in France it well worth knowing why I think the Charente Maritime has one of the best climates in France. The Charente-Maritime is blessed in being just far enough away from the Pyrenees and yet far enough south with low lying geography that combines to give it an area with the highest number of average annual sunshine hours in France except the Mediterranean. La Rochelle in the Charente Maritime, France enjoys 2331 hours of sunshine a year on average (21.3% more than Biarritz, France and 22.6% more than Nantes, France). There is obviously a link between sunshine and rainfall. La Rochelle has considerably less rain (at 685mm/year) than Cornwall, UK(Falmouth has 61.4% more) or Biarritz (77.4% more). Below you will see an average hours of annual sunshine map for France.....

 

The above facts about the weather will hopefully help prevent you making a bad investment but there are other factors to consider. Spare some thought for the effects of altitude and how much the temperature drops with height. Think about whether the violent winds such as the Mistral or traffic congestion in the summer that affect coastal areas of the Mediterranean would suit you. The sea has a tremendous moderating affect on the weather and it amazing how many people are shocked by the extremes of hot in summer and cold in winter of inland areas. Hence so many French have deserted these regions and why the coast remains desirable.




The Sea.

Coast - miles of unspoilt beaches make the Charente-Maritime a favourite holiday destination. I have already talked about how important proximity to the sea is in terms of the weather.

Access.

Access is very good with cheap flights to La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Poitiers. There are excellant motorway links to the channel ports and the TGV lines that run to La Rochelle, Niort, Angouleme and Bordeaux. For details on discount travel, low-cost airlines, cheap ferries, trains and maps click here. For internet access in the Charente-Maritime there was a convention signed by the Conseil General and France Telecom and according to that 97% of the telephone lines will be covered by ADSL by the end of 2005 (87.5% of lines eligible were covered at the end of 2004). There is a new motorway under construction linking Royan and Saintes with the East so that driving to the Alps will be a lot easier.

Additional ingredients

Oysters, melons, foie gras, wine and cognac are all produced in and around the region.

PLACES TO VISIT whilst staying in the Charente-Maritime click here for details.

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