The Charente is known as the Tuscany of France for good reason. Beautiful rolling hills, winding majestic rivers, fields of swaying sunflowers and lush green forests await.

We genuinely care about you having an unforgettable holiday experience and so would love to help you discover this charming part of the world.

By sampling the authentic French way of life through the delicious food, excellent wine and fascinating culture, and visiting some interesting places nearby and perhaps a little further afield if you’re so inclined, we are sure you will create precious memories of treasured quality times or celebrations with your loved ones.

So we have put together a list of suggested places, with links to further information, on the 'Discover the area' page which includes something for everyone. Here you can explore the Charente and neighbouring Dordogne area (just three minutes away). There is also a comprehensive guide by Sud Charente Tourisme to all the wonderful outdoors activities that you can enjoy; from hiking (including route maps) and canoeing to fishing and cycling.

Les Chauvins is a fantastic base from which you can discover the local fresh produce markets, quaint villages, medieval towns, exciting historic cities and even beaches that we recommend you visit… if you can tear yourself away from all the activities and past times available for you to enjoy at the property.

From nature to architecture, history to sport and all sorts of other fun pastimes and stimulating activities in between, there is something here for everyone.

There's so much to see and do...

Browsing the quintessentially French markets with their wonderful array of fresh local produce is always a pleasant way to spend the morning. These are all within a 15 to 40 minute drive from Les Chauvins:

Saturday - Villebois Lavalette & Montmoreau, Sunday - Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, Monday -Chalais (please note that traditionally in France, some shops and restaurants are closed on Mondays), Wednesday - Piégut-Pluviers, Friday - Salles Lavalette (July & Aug only) Brantome & Riberac. Riberac is the largest local market ideal for gifts and food produce.

Paragliding in Magnac-Lavalette-Villars (20 minutes away).

Canoeing is a very popular activity to explore the region on the beautiful waterways. Riberac Canoe the closest canoe base (15 mins away), Canoe-Kayak in Aubeterre-sur-Dronne (20 mins away), Brantôme Canoe cross the border into Dordogne (40 mins away).

There are Golf courses at; Manoir de Longeveau 9 hole (20 minutes away), Golf de l'Hirondelle Angoulême 18 hole (35 minutes away), Cognac Golf de Cognac 18 hole (1 hour away), Montbron La Preze 9 hole (1 hour away).

Swimming at; Nautilus in Angouleme, with flumes and wave machines indoors and a large lake for fishing, sailing & water sports (30 mins), Les Antilles de Jonzac, a swimming complex with wave machines, beaches, saunas, shops, restaurants and much more (40 minutes).

Horse Riding at; The riding school in Bors de Montmoreau, Ecuries Des Chenes. It comes highly recommend by our Property Managers and is approximately 20 minutes by car from Les Chauvins. I've spoken to Martha and she is very helpful. There are a range of different options depending on the children’s riding experience. They have family Horse Riding Workshops, they offer lessons and hacks for riders who are experienced enough to ride alone with a guide. If less experienced, an in-hand hack for a child can also be arranged. Please call (or email if they can’t get to the phone as they are a hands-on team) to discuss your requirements and book. Usually they can fit in a 1 hour lesson during the week without advance booking, but for other activities we recommend you make arrangements in advance.

Why not consult the Sud Charente Tourist Board for an agenda of events at the time of your stay.

Last but not least there’s cycling… With many routes and marked mountain bike trails for all skill level, the roads around Les Chauvins are best described as quiet country lanes and are excellent for cycling. Unfortunately, for health and safety and insurance reasons, we are not able to provide you with any bicycles, however, you can hire them from Bikes for Gites who will deliver them to Les Chauvins, free of charge. They will set the bikes up to suit each rider and provide helmets as well as a toolkit and puncture repair kit for each hire. Bikes for Gîtes have children's bikes, tagalongs, trailers and child seats and also offer electric bike packages. You are strongly advised to make a booking as soon as you can to avoid disappointment, especially in the peak summer season (July and August). Please note, there is 3 day minimum booking period. Call them on +33 7 82 35 59 36 or send an email here.

Wine Tours at; Chateau de Plassons, Bors de Montmoreau (30 mins drive), Le Maine Giraud a unique destination where Cognac, Pineau and wine meet with 15th century architecture and literary heritage, to offer you an intriguing insight to the beverages and the poet Alfred de Vigny. You may visit for a tour and tasting and exploration of their museum. (30 mins drive), Saint-Émilion a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the fortified medieval village has been the epicentre of the wine growing area since the monks arrived in the 8th century and there are many vineyards on different terrains and soils which produce their own distinct qualities. You have a lot of choice when deciding which chateau to visit so it would be best for you to choose which suits your interests and tastes and this website has lots of detailed information. (1 hour 15 minutes drive).