Distiller of sensations

Along the Charente

With an overall length of 361km, the Charente is navigable in the last 170km, from Angoulême to Rochefort.  The source is in Chéronnac, Haute Vienne and in following it through the départements of Vienne, Charente and Charente-Maritime a multitude of picturesque little villages, with a particularly rich heritage, can be seen.  At the end of this lengthy journey, the Charente meets the Atlantic Ocean between Port des Barques (left bank) and Fouras (right bank), between île Madame and île d’Aix, just across from Fort Boyard.
It was in use very early on as a means of communication – the oldest ports date from the Gallo-Roman period – and the Charente became the main commercial route between the hinterland and the Atlantic coast.  Heavy flat-bottomed sailing barges (gabarres) were constructed to transport goods such as stone from Crazannes, canons from Ruelle-sur-Touvre and eaux-de-vie from Cognac which they carried to the sea whence they returned loaded with, amongst others, salt from the Île de Ré.

Spring light

The river Charente

King Henri IV: “The most beautiful stream in the whole kingdom”!

Nowadays, you can still take a trip on a sailing barge from Saint-Simon.

Enjoy time together as a family at water-level, cruising alongside lush green riverbanks, Charentais villages …

Have you ever dreamed of being a skipper?

Houseboats (no licence needed) of all sizes can be hired at Cognac, Jarnac and Sireuil for a weekend, a week, even two …
Navigation is child’s play, negotiating a lock an opportunity for a chat, life on board a simple choice between lazing around and fishing …
Don’t miss out on tasting the local specialities – with your feet in the water!  The Charente is wonderful for the eyes and the taste buds.

Gabarre la Renaissance St-Simon

Cruise on the river Charente

Discover the cruises on the river Charente…

Ah, Fresh air!

The advantage of being on holiday here is that sooner or later you’ll find yourself beside the Charente.
A multitude of water sports : canoeing, pedalos, electric and motor boats for hire, the Bain des Dames beach, stand-up paddle and diving – everywhere! Ideal for young or old, big or small, sporty or those simply in search of relaxation.

Discover water activities and places to swim

Canoe on the river Charente in Jarnac


Bain des Dames Beach in Châteauneuf-sur-Charente


Fancy some greenery !

How about a stroll through the vines between woods and rivers or along the banks of the Charente?
Or wandering though our charming villages, watching the world go by at a lock, soaking up the peaceful atmosphere of a Romanesque church?
Whether you’re on your own, with friends or family, a longdistance walker or a Sunday stroller, there’s so much choice among the signposted walks in the “Grand Cognac” area – ranging from a straightforward change of scenery to the unusual.

Discover the signposted walks

Jardins du Chaigne in Touzac


Dolmen at St-Fort-sur-le-Né

focus > cognac for golfers

Golf de Cognac

In a perfect setting between Cognac and Jarnac beside the Charente lies the 18 hole par 72 Cognac Golf course with a 4 hole training course. Everything has been done to make the golfer – whether a beginner or rather more practised – feel comfortably at home.


Planning, charting and sharing your running or jogging routes…
On openrunner.com you can find a number of routes in our area for your daily exercise! The Cognac Tourist Office has also prepared a downloadable 5km route to enable you to get to know the eaux-de-vie city even better! www.openrunner.com

fancy a bike ride ?

We’ve created 11 itineraries to enable you to discover our home region. It doesn’t matter whether you are an occasional cyclist or a passionate follower of the Tour de France… Each itinerary has three options: “family” – very easy, between 5 to 11km: “discovery” – easy from 23 to 35km and “explorer” – more difficult, up to 42km.
You can cycle along the towpath beside the Charente from Cognac to Jarnac. Stop when you want, discover curiosities, admire the scenery, wander round a church or visit a vineyard, it’s up to you! And remember, if it’s a bit steep, you can always get off and walk up! Enjoy the environment and your escapade will be delightfully memorable.

Discover itineraries for bikes

Tour by bikes in the vines


fancy going up in the world ?

Feeling adventurous ? After a big thrill ? You don’t suffer from vertigo ?
You want to surprise your friends ? Try one – or all – of these : rock-climbing, balloon trips, microlights, treetop adventure parks, waterskiing, wakeboarding and many more.

Discover all the activities

Balloon flight

Vue imprenable sur le vignoble

Climbing at La Font Qui Pisse in Châteauneuf-sur-Charente


Leisure and activities

Discover all leisure activities on Destination Cognac : walks, cycling tours, canoe, paddle and boat renting, river cruises, where to swim, geocaching, wellness...