Les Deux Chataigniers

Les Deux Chataigniers in the Charente Maritime

Les Deux Châtaigniers is situated in the small rural hamlet of Rançannes, in the heart of the Charente Maritime. Halfway between the busy towns of Pons and Gemozac, it is a short 30 minute drive from the intimate coves of the Gironde estuary and on to the dramatic beaches of the Côte Sauvage.

There are many spectacular sights and places to visit within close proximity of Les Deux Chataigniers, including the historic village of Talmont, the town of Saintes with its beautiful cathedral, the zoo at La Palmyre - a great family attraction, the busy shopping centre of Royan, the port of La Rochelle - a mecca for watching people as well as boats, the city of Bordeaux - a world heritage site, and the many famous vineyards and distilleries of the Cognac and Bordeaux regions.

The Charente-Maritime is known for its vines that produce primarily cognac and the local speciality Pineau de Charentes. If you are here when our own grapes are ripe you are very welcome to try them yourself - they are very good indeed.

The area is also world famous for oysters, which can be found in abundance at every market, supermarket and road-side stall. We can recommend the no.3 demi-grasse which usually can be found for 6€ a dozen!

The nearby towns of Gemozac (10 mins), Pons (10 mins), Cognac (40 mins), Cozes (15 mins), Saintes (30 mins), Saint George de Didonne and Royan (30 mins) offer all necessary infrastructure, including supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies, newsagents and shopping. The nearest boulangerie and general small shop are in Champagnolles - about 3 minutes away by car.

All these towns also hold fantastic markets where locally produced food can be purchased. The market at Gemozac is held on Friday mornings; head to Cozes every Wednesday for great cheese from Regis, and during the summer months the Marche Centrale at Royan runs every morning and the best seafood, fish and meat from the region can be found here.


Local Info

Surfing is a popular activity the length of the Atlantic coast and surf schools are situated at Pontaillac, Royan.

Talmont (20 mins)
The village of Talmont is a must for a visit. It is quite a tourist attraction with its small lanes and hollyhocks blooming on the verges. It has many small interesting shops and a very old church high on the headland with spectacular sea views.

Pons (10 mins)
Pons is just 10 minutes drive from Les Deux Chataigniers. It has wonderful Donjon [Keep] located in the centre of the town which allows for fabulous view across the countryside. It also has many chic shops, a theatre and several Michelin starred restaurants.

Mortagne-sur-Gironde
A unique site, with its yachting marina and fishing port backed by high white cliffs, with bolders protected by a sea wall. A few kilometres from Mortagne, you will drive through Saint-Seurin-d'Uzet, with its port practically in the centre of the village. This village was once famous for the fishing of sturgeon and the production of caviar from eggs of the female sturgeon. The caviar can still be purchased at the Cave in Royan.

Royan (30 mins)
The Central Market (Marché Central) was built in 1955 and houses a daily market.  Royan also has a number of cafes, restaurants and chic shopping. The Jardins du Monde (Gardens of the World) is a popular visitor attraction, with 7.5 hectares of gardens to visit. There is an excellent golf course 10 minutes from the centre of Royan.

Saintes (30 mins)
Saintes is the nearest large town. It was the first capital of Aquitaine during the Gallo-Roman age. Saintes is a town rich in monuments from medieval times. The Archeological Museum houses a rich collection from the 1st to 3rd centuries. Saintes is a particularly lovely town with plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes.

Cognac (40 mins)
The town of Cognac is obviously best known for its ‘digestif'. The town's medieval quarter "Vieux Cognac" runs from the Tours Saint-Jacques, alongside the river, up to the Saint-Léger church. There is another excellent golf course 10 minutes from the centre of Cognac.

The town gives its name to one of the world's best-known types of brandy or eau de vie. Drinks that bear this name must be made in certain areas around the town of Cognac and must be made according to strictly-defined regulations in order to be granted the name Cognac. All the large distilleries offer guided tours and tastings.