The four departments that make up the region of Poitou-Charentes may well be classified as France's best kept secret:
- Charente - famous for Cognac and the beautiful Charente valley;
- Charente-Maritime - home to the historic port of La Rochelle, and bordering the Atlantic coast;
- Deux-Sevres - renowned for the Marais Poitevin;
- Vienne - where you will find the unique Futuroscope and the historic town of Poitiers.
La Maison des Tournesols is located within the Deux-Sevres, on the edge of the Marais Poitevin. The Marais is classified as a European nature reserve. With its abundance of flora and fauna and ten miles of navigable canals, it is a haven of greenery to be discovered by punt, on foot, or via its numerous cycle paths. Just one-hour north is Futuroscope, a park where your imagination and senses will be stimulated by the cinema of tomorrow.
La Rochelle is just 45 mins away and is well worth a visit with its old harbour protected by its famous twin towers, its cobbled streets, shops and restaurants. South of La Rochelle are wonderful beaches such as Chatelaillon Plage, which is also a centre for sailing.
A visit to Cognac is a must, not just for the Brandy, but also for an even better reason - "Pineau Des Charentes". Produced from the local wine left to mature for two years in brandy barrels, it is the perfect Aperitif, which is why it is served regularly before dinner at La Maison des Tournesols.