School Tour – Religious Charente

This french school trip focusing on the religious sites of the Charente region of southwest France provides students with the opportunity to explore unique churches, view a variety of artifacts and embark on a pilgrimage to the religiously significant town of Lourdes.

Day 1Arrive at La Giraudiere

Day 2Day 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 3Tour of Brossac

A pleasant 20 minute walk from La Giraudiere, Brossac Village is centered around a 12th century hilltop church overlooking a rolling landscape composed of the woodlands, farms and vineyards of the South Charente.

While in Brossac, students can visit the local shops, talk to the local residents and explore the village’s impressive 12th century church.

Day 4Overnight Trip to Lourdes

Lourdes (Occitan: Lorda) is a town and commune situated in the first Pyrenean foothills of the Hautes-Pyrénées department of South Western France.

After Our Lady of Lourdes was claimed to appear to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858, Lourdes developed into a major Christian pilgrimage site. Today, Lourdes has a population of around 15,000, but the town accomodates some 5,000,000 pilgrims and tourists every season.

Day 5Return to La Giraudiere/French Language Lesson

Under the tutelage of a local qualified French teacher, students will have the opportunity to build their French language skills through conversation, activities and written assignments. The duration of each lesson is typically 2 hours, and the lessons can be customized to engage students at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

Day 6Day 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 7Depart 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 French school tour focusing on the religious significance of the Charente region of southwest France: