Best time to visit Poitou-charentes

They love their gardens at chateaux and parks, and they are at their finest around May and early June. As are the wild flowers of course.
The best time to go on a Poitou-Charentes holiday is between May and September as this is when the warm temperatures start to kick in. April is still lovely for walking or cycling, however, as wild flowers are starting to emerge. For birdlife you will get most sightings in May and June as they start to nest, with young birds appearing in July. La Rochelle and Poitiers will be packed around the 14 July Bastille Day celebrations, and start to quieten down from end August crowds-wise. The rural parts of Poitou-Charentes are peaceful all year round.

Poitou-Charentes Weather Chart

RAIN (mm)

Poitou-Charentes travel advice

Centre based walking holidays

Peter Roche, co-founder of our supplier, shares his top Poitou-Charentes travel tips with us:

“There are a number of compelling reasons to opt for a centre based walking holiday, although caution should be exercised in selecting which holiday. Be sure that a good selection of varied and interesting walking routes is proposed for you to choose from. For walking holidays, meandering and undulating paths and lanes are more interesting than straight, flat paths, and France has several hilly regions where such paths can be found. Use Google Maps and Google Earth to get an idea of the terrain.”

French Food

“A walking holiday in Poitou-Charentes is not just about walking in gorgeous countryside with lovely weather and meeting members of the good natured local population. It is also very much about the wonderful things there are to eat and drink in France. France is the home of gastronomy, where chefs have always paid great heed to the provenance and quality of ingredients. Vegetarian food in France is no longer a contradiction in terms. Today it is possible to choose walking holiday destinations here with fine vegetarian cuisine, based on wholesome, locally sourced and organic ingredients.”

Know your bread

“Artisanal bakers thrive here and are different from usinal bakers (automated bread factories with huge outputs to meet the requirements of supermarkets) in that artisanal bread is free of flavour enhancers and additives to increase shelf life. Artisanal loaves are baked to different sizes to allow for when the bread will be eaten – in general baguettes will stay fresh until lunch time, pain (loaves) will stay fresh until night and very large loaves (which are today made to order for special celebrations), stay fresh for up to a week. Choose the appropriate bread according to when you are going to eat it.”

Flora tips

“These days, wild flowers fare better on relatively steep, undulating countryside. A possible reason for this incidence is that steeply undulating countryside does not lend itself to large scale industrial agriculture. Since this leans towards liberal use of herbicides, wild flower diversity is seen to suffer on plains favoured by industrial agriculture. Steeply undulating countryside can be found in the famous mountainous parts of France – not so well-known is the bocage in the Pays de Gâtine in Poitou-Charentes. This region is particularly interesting because it is relatively steeply undulating in many places, with a low elevation, and consequently it supports many colourful wild flowers species not found at higher altitudes.”

Our top trip

Self guided walking holiday in France

Self guided walking holiday in France

Idyllic walking in France with great food and wine included

From €1550 7 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Poitou-Charentes or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Poitou-Charentes tips from our holiday reviews

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.
We have selected some of the most useful Poitou-Charentes travel advice that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your holiday – and the space inside your suitcase.
If you want to get away from it all and have the best of French food and wine you can't go wrong.
– Mairead Ryan on a walking holiday
“Leave your laptop at home and just enjoy the experience!... Our hosts Carolyn and Peter were great fun, interesting conversationalists and they run a lovely home. I walked my legs off and swam in the pool every day. If you want to get away from it all and have the best food of French food and wine you can't go wrong.” – Mairead Ryan on a walking holiday

“Be prepared to put on weight as the food and wine is abundant and hard to resist! Le Moulin [guesthouse] and the surrounding area are very quiet so this holiday is best suited to people who are happy making their own entertainment be it cycling, walking, relaxing by the pool or just enjoying the tranquility of somewhere in the middle of nowhere. The breakfasts and dinners are all communal with a different seating plan every night so you need to be ready to be sociable. This wouldn't suit couples who just want to shut out the rest of the world.” – Carol Gray on a cycling holiday

The walks are pretty with a mix of wooded valleys and higher arable fields. Don't expect to meet any locals even in the few villages, (at least in late April)!
– Elaine Overnell on a walking holiday
“The walking is easy, 14 to 20km. If it’s trekking you are after, this is not for you.” – Bernard Gogarty on a walking holiday

“Most people stayed local and just walked from the accommodation. I took my car which enabled me to see the wider area. I covered the Marais Poitevin, the Baie d'Aiguillon and the Mervent Forest with ease. Very varied scenery for not a lot of extra effort.” – Nigel Scott on a bird watching holiday
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Webzooloo] [Best time to go: dynamosquito] [centre based walks: Patrick Janicek] [cake surimi-epinards: Olivier Gendrin] [Know your bread: Martin Laine] [Lesser stitchwort flower: William Warby] [Niort bridge: Not4rthur] [L'anguienne viaduct: Patrick Janicek] [Le marais Poitevin: Webzooloo]