This French school trip focusing on the history of the Charente region of southwest France is designed to provide students with a glimpse of the region’s history through its castles, churches, museums and local legends.
Day 1 – Arrive at La Giraudiere
Day 2 – Day Trip to Chalais
Chalais is steeped in history and around every street corner there is a new story to discover. Upon first entering the village, visitors are greeted by an impressive castle perched high on top of the hill. Castle lovers will not be disappointed, as this Chateaux-Fort, known as L’Eglise Saint-Martial, has withstood the test of time.
Day 3 – Day Trip to Angoulême
From the ancient castle where Marguerite de Valois was born, to the Romanesque Cathedral dedicated to Saint Peter, Angoulême displays its rich architectural heritage at each street corner. Today, Angoulême is the capital of the Bande Dessinée (comic strips, cartoons and illustrations).
Day 4 – Day Trip to Aubeterre
Aubeterre-sur-Dronne sits high above a bend in the river Dronne. Its charming narrow streets wind past white stone houses and ancient buildings.
Perhaps the most impressive monument in Aubeterre is the monolithic underground church dedicated to St. Jean, which is the largest underground church in Europe. Carved out of the rock by the disciples of Saint Maur in the 12th century, the structure reaches a height of 20m. In the centre of the apse stands a monolithic reliquary in the Romanesque style.
Day 5 – Day Trip to Chateaubernard and Cognac
The commune of Chateaubernard borders that of Cognac to the east. There is an excellent viewing point over the Charente and as well as the former Knights Templar Church dating from the 12th Century.
Cognac is situated on the river Charente between the towns of Angoulême and Saintes. The majority of the town has been built on the river’s left bank. The smaller right bank area is known as the Saint Jacques district. Some important heritage sites to be explored in Cognac include the Musée des Arts du Cognac, Le Château de Cognac and La Porte Saint-Jacques.
Day 6 – Day at Brossac Lake (Etang Vallier)
Covering nearly 4 hectares, Etang Vallier is a tranquil pond with excellent water quality. Here you can spend your days lounging on the sandy beach or relaxing under the pines near the water. Canoe and sailboat rentals (in season) complement the water-based activities.
Day 7 – Depart for Home
SAFETY and SECURITY NOTE: Bright illuminated vests are available for student use, and each is clearly marked to identify the child as a participant of a school group staying at La Giraudiere.
Contact us for more information about arranging a multi-day tour of the Charente region of southwest France: