This location has multiple holiday properties
Hi, we’re Patricia and Paul, your hosts at Bel-Air Gites. We look forward to welcoming you to our lovingly restored holiday cottages.
Our Charentaise farmhouse and rustic-style gites provide a comfortable, family-friendly holiday home-away-from-home. The perfect choice for families with children, or bring the whole family as a group, we’ve plenty of space. We’ve created a safe and fun haven for children and toddlers, so they can play and you can have a stress-free holiday!
Our wonderful two bedroom gite Le Chai (the wine store) has been recently refurbished, carefully retaining the original stripped beams and open stonework in the traditional farmhouse style. The open-plan lounge area is furnished with two leather sofas and is equipped with an LCD TV, with UK and French channels and DVD Player. Come and borrow one of the many films we have in the games room.
Set in 25 acres of unspoilt countryside in the pretty parish of Brie-sous-Mortagne, nestled in the heart of the enchanting province of Charente-Maritime. The region is characterised by sweeping uncrowded beaches, pine forests, fields of sunflowers and vineyards.
The tranquil location also makes it an exceptional destination for romantic getaways and relaxed breaks in a totally natural environment. There are plenty of walking and cycling routes in the surrounding countryside for outdoor enthusiasts. Bikes can be hired from a local company and delivered and collected from our gite complex, so you can explore the beautiful countryside. Pack a picnic and go explore!
At Bel-Air Gites we’re located just 20 minutes from the seaside resort of Royan and the stunning Roman town of Saintes, which combines culture, art and wonderful shopping. Just 7 kms away is the market town of Gémozac, here you’ll find delicious local produce and provides all you’ll need to have a go at cooking up some rustic French dishes, or exquisite meats to put on the barbecue.
Head out in the opposite direction and you’ll find yourself portside in the tranquil village of Mortagne, which sits on the Gironde estuary, the largest in Europe. Enjoy lunch at one of the lovely quayside restaurants, with a lovely outlook across the port.
The Bel-Air complex offers four individual gîtes (holiday cottages) and a larger farmhouse. Each sleeps between 4 and 6 guests and is decorated in a traditional French provincial style, always with your comfort in mind. Original stone walls keep the heat of the summer months at bay.
All the cottages are comfortable, amply furnished and well equipped, including UK and French TV channels. Plus Wifi is available at no extra cost. You’ll want for nothing!
Each cottage has a private patio with a barbecue. The perfect place to wind down, enjoy a glass of wine, or the excellent local Cognac, and watch the sunsetting across the fields.
If you're planning the big family reunion or holiday, we can accomodate up to 30 people if you hire all 5 properties.
- All bed linen and bathroom and pool towels are provided
On arrival you will find a freshly baked gateau from the local boulangerie, a bottle of wine, fresh milk, coffee, tea bags, olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar. Gites are stocked with a supply of toilet paper, kitchen roll, cleaning products, bin liners, dishwasher tablets, cling film and tin foil.
What our guests say:
Lovely stay here - thanks! Kids loved the pool. D loved playing footie with the other guests and Cian who was great with them all. A loved the playground, especially the trampoline. Recommend Chateau Enigmes and Talmont sur Gironde on a Tuesday evening, the streets are lined with candles. We didn't manage to stay that late but was a gorgeous village and stunning sunset. Saintes and Meschers beach also good. Thanks again. Debbie and Richard,
Thanks so much for the warm welcome to your beautiful oasis in France. We all had such a relaxing time, every amenity is here in the gite and on site and so many wonderful places to visit including Bordeaux, Royan, Cognac and the zoo. Enjoyed pizza at Pizza Ria and a lovely meal at 'Le Cottage'. Keep up the good work and thanks again. Seamus and Fiona,
Thank you, Patricia and Paul, we had 2 wonderful relaxing weeks. Facilities are brilliant and the kids had a ball, loved the playground and playroom. Enjoyed the Monday evening get together and the book is full of priceless information! We truly enjoyed our stay so thanks for everything. Ian and Anna
The modern kitchen is fully equipped to a high standard with washing machine, gas hob, electric oven, dishwasher, fridge, microwave and lots of cooking equipment and utensils. table and appropriate number of chairs.
Gites are stocked with a supply of toilet paper, kitchen roll, cleaning products, bin liners, dishwasher tablets, cling film and tin foil.
The open-plan lounge area is furnished with two leather sofas and is equipped with an LCD TV, with UK and French channels and DVD Player. Come and borrow one of the many films we have in the games room.
The lounge area leads out to the private patio area with garden furniture, BBQ and wonderful views to the woods and meadows.
Le Chai comprises of two bedrooms, the master bedroom with its exposed stone walls has a wonderful calming feel. Furnished with a double bed and wardrobe, there is plenty of space for a child’s cot. The second bedroom is a cosy twin bedroom with tiled floors. The cottage has one bathroom with a shower cubicle.
Bed linen provided.
Cots and baby equipment are available free of charge.
Chai - One bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin.
All towels are supplied.
Electric heaters in all gites.
Our family-friendly holiday complex includes a large heated swimming pool, fully enclosed and gated with a child lock and we have lots of swimming toys available. There is heaps of wide open space for the kids to run, play and make new friends. Plus a play area with swings, slide, trampoline, climbing frame and adventure wooden playhouse!
The indoor games room provides fun for all the family with a pool table, table tennis, a large library of adult and children’s books, and a large selection of family DVDs. There are also toys for younger children, including a mini workbench and kitchen, garage, shop and Fisher price musical walker.
Private patio with bbq and garden table and chairs
- Heated swimming pool
- Volley Ball
- Climbing frame and swings
- Buckets and spades
Covered parking available for all guests.
Ideal for family holidays or large groups.
Short and long term lets possible outside high season.
To take the stress out of having to pack all your baby equipment, we have cots, highchairs, pushchairs, potties, trainer toilet seats, bouncers, steriliser bags and lots of other baby and toddler equipment available, at no extra charge. Just let us know in advance what you will need. We have at least 2 of most items, so, ideal for those travelling with twins.
- Family run Gite complex, owners are on site to help make sure your holiday is as special as you would like.
- During July and August changeover day is Saturday, we can be flexible at other times.
- Reservations are from 4pm on arrival day to 10 am on departure day (we can be flexible outside the high seasons)
- Deposit of 25% to secure a reservation with the balance due 8 weeks before the beginning of the holiday.
- Credit card payments accepted.
Bel Air is also close to the miles of sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast and mostly uncommercialised seaside towns. We think is the ideal location to suit everyone's idea of a perfect family holiday.Close to fabulous sea-side town of Royan and the wonderful beaches of Meschers sur Gironde and ST Georges de Didonne
The Aquarium La Rochelle Located in the heart of town, next to the old harbour and the famous towers of La Rochelle, discover one of the main european private aquariums. Take a two hour’s journey into the depths of the oceans and meet 12 000 Atlantic, Mediterranean and Tropical animals in 3 million litres of water. Explore the magical and mysterious underwater world that keeps fascinating us.
The best zoo we have visited.
Right in the heart of one of the most beautiful pine forests in the area just north of Royan just 35 mins drive away, you will find La Palmyre Zoo. The most famous zoological park in France and recently voted European Zoo of the Year. The most visited tourist attraction in the department of Charente-Maritime. And, as a breeding zoo it is very different from most people’s idea of a zoo as many animals are completely free to roam – and there are more than 1600 of them!
You will meet apes, bears, cockatoos, crocodiles, elephants, giraffes, hippotamuses, jaguars, lions, panthers, parrots, pink flamingos, red ibis and even wolves. There is a polar bear basin a tropical greenhouse and a reptile house. There are shows with trained parrots and sea lions which are great for the kids
Bordeaux is a beautiful city which is world famous for its wines and wonderful architecture including the site at Saint Andrew Cathedral where Louis VII married Eleanor of Aquitaine. The centre of the city has many designer shops and car parking in the city centre should not be a problem. Bordeaux is the most famous wine region in the world. Most visitors come to the city and its surrounds to tour the chateaux, taste the world-class wines and indulge in the regional cuisine. The city is also known for its excellent museums, cafes and restaurants and vibrant nightlife. Wide avenues, neoclassical architecture and well-tended parks all give the city a certain 18th-century grandeur. Bordeaux has around 500 chateaux, or vineyards. There are two key areas of attraction, the Medoc and St Emilion. Firstly the Médoc, a large wine-growing area which lies northwest of Bordeaux, along the western shore of the Gironde Estuary. This is easily accessible by car ferry from Blaye, or from Royan
Cognac. The world's best-known brandy comes from the peaceful countryside surrounding the Charente River one hundred miles north of Bordeaux. This slow moving river, which King François I called the loveliest river in his kingdom, passes through a placid landscape of vineyards bathed by a clear and radiant light. A twenty-mile area called the 'golden circle" of cognac production encompasses Cognac and the second distilling town of Jarnac. Cognac, the medieval town which bears the name of the region, is attractive with its narrow medieval cobbled streets and elegant Renaissance facades. It is here that the fabled nectar has been created since the 17" century and that the very air one breathes is permeated by the heavy scent of spirits evaporating rom oak casks held in storage: this aroma is referred to as the "angels's share'. World famous firms such as Camus, Hennessy, Niartell, Otard, Prince Hubert de Polignac, Rémy-Martin, Courvoisier, and Renault-Bisquit are located here; each distillery has its own secret and unique process for mixing the various blends of its eaux-de-vie. Join a guided tour to learn about the double-distilling process that goes on in copper stills before the ageing in oak barrels where the precious liquor will improve, taking on its final bouquet and famous golden glow. Take a barge or a small train and discover the history of cognac, its vineyards, distilleries and museums which show you not only how it is made but proudly display the oldest reserve of cognacs dating back to 830. Then how about a taste!
We have a few bicycles available free of charge or additional bikes can be hired. Check out http://bikehiredirect.com/cyclingincharentemaritime.html
There are golf courses at Royan, Saintes and Cognac http://www.golfderoyan.com/ http://www.ville-saintes.fr/EXT/golf/golf_site.html http://www.golfducognac.asso.fr/
La Rochelle is most famous for its old harbor and its three outstanding medieval towers. For the locals, that familiar, inviting sight doesn't just symbolize the port's rich history: it's also a haven of style, good times and lively quayside cafes. The vibrant lifestyle attracts an international set and there are trendy bars and excellent restaurants a plenty. The town is full of fascinating details: look out for the huge chain on the restaurant-filled Cours des Dames, under the Tour de la Chaine. It used to be slung across the mouth of the harbor, between la Tour de la Chaine and its felloe sentinel, the Tour Saint-Nicolas. Third of la Rochelle's seafront towers is la Tour de la Lnaterne, in which a huge candle was lit nightly as a beacon for incoming craft. Another impressive piece of architecture on the harbor is the porte de la Grosse Horloge. Behind this portal, the town center is easily reached, and on the bustling arcaded streets, you'll see plenty of fine architecture. With its café and clubs, this is an exuberant town at any time of the year, but it excels during the summer with an international film festival and in mid-July, the nation's top musical happening, les Francofolies, in which French-speaking musicians and music-lovers from all over the world congregate.
Pôle-Nature de Vitrezay a 21 hectare nature reserve on the largest wild estuary in Europe is found at ST SORLIN DE CONAC on the Gironde river in the Charente-Maritime, Near the port town of Port Vitrezay, the marshlands and lakes of Pôle-Nature de Vitrezay are home to a number of animal and bird species including storks, herons, sea eagles, red kites, buzzards as well as otters. It is also an important stopping off point for migratory birds. Follow one of the paths through the wetland area stopping at observation hides along the way. Ramble or cycle on your own or take one of the guided tours. There are also boat trips plus fishing, canoeing, sailing or head out in a sea kayak. The traditional carrelets (fishing huts) on stilts with large nets can be rented.
The Miniature port of Saint-Savinien has A 'fleet' of hand crafted, electric boats. Children can choose from Mississippi steam boats, tugs, river pushing tugs, a trawler, a cargo ship, a sardine fishing boat or a ferry. Budding sailors can navigate the boats on the lake and along the miniature canals passing a boat wash-house, a fisherman’s cottage, a Japanese bridge. Radars, a lighthouse and a light ship guide them around a dredger, a refloating barge and various other ocean perils.
Open Sundays and bank holidays from April to September and every day in July and August from 2 pm to 6 pm.
Royan at only 20 minutes drive away, boasts a Sunday morning market (not to be missed). Shops are also open on this day making it a great morning out. Stay on for lunch and there are many restaurants catering for all tastes, this region is particulary famous for its seafood. There are many excursions that can be booked at the Marina, including visits to the well-known Fort Boyard, Phare de Cordouan (the lighthouse) and the Ile d'Oleron to name but a few. You can also catch a ferry here in Royan over to the Medoc and enjoy a day visiting the well known vineyards.
Saintes Located on the banks of the Charente river, this 2000 year old town was once the Roman capital of southwestern France. The presence of one of the oldest remaining amphitheaters as well as Roman baths, which may be visited, attests to this. Between visits to the cathedral of St-Pierre and the church of St-Eutrope, be sure to stroll through the wonderful medieval city of narrow streets and markets.
Pôle-Nature de Vitrezay a 21 hectare nature reserve on the largest wild estuary in Europe is found at ST SORLIN DE CONAC
on the Gironde river in the Charente-Maritime,
Near the port town of Port Vitrezay, the marshlands and lakes of Pôle-Nature de Vitrezay are home to a number of animal and bird species including storks, herons, sea eagles, red kites, buzzards as
well as otters. It is also an important stopping off point for migratory birds.
Follow one of the paths through the wetland area stopping at observation hides along the way. Ramble or cycle on your own or take one of the guided tours.
There are also boat trips plus fishing, canoeing, sailing or head out in a sea kayak. The traditional carrelets (fishing huts) on stilts with large nets can be
See what life was like for Neanderthal man and woman
Visit Paléosite , This 10-hectare theme park at Saint-Césaire near Saintes in the Charente-Maritime, is situated at the site of the 1979 archaeological dig where the fossilised remains of a young Neanderthal woman, nicknamed Pierrette, were found. The park includes recreated Neanderthal (and Homo Sapiens) villages with caves dwellings and animal skin teepees as well as cemeteries including that of woolly mammoths.
You can visit the original Pierrette dig and see fossils collected at the site, as well as collections from other prehistoric digs plus recreations of long-dead animals such as the woolly mammoth and sabre-toothed tiger.
Very popular among Paleosite’s attractions are the interactive areas where you can test your strength arm-wrestling a virtual Neanderthal, collect virtual artefacts as if you are an archaeologist and see how far you can throw a spear. Perhaps the most fun of all is the program which allows you to morph your face into that of a Neanderthal – and you can take the picture home with you!
Except during school holidays, the park is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
April-June: 10am-7pm Wednesday to Sunday (the ticket office is closed between 12.30pm-1.30pm and one hour before the park closes).
July & August: 10am-8pm non-stop
September: 10am-7pm Wednesday to Sunday (the ticket office is closed between 12.30pm-1.30pm and one hour before the park closes).
October-Weekend 10.30am- 6,30pm
Adults : €10
Children 6-14 years : €6
Children under 5 : free
Route de la Montée Verte
17 770, Saint-Césaire
Tel: 0810 130 134
Spectacular Treetop Ropes Adventure Course.
Zipit Forest Adventures offers up to 4 hours of tree-top, fun-filled, adventure challenge in a healthy, outdoor setting for adults and children from age 7. Climb poles and climbing walls, swing into cargo nets, balance on a rope bridge, hurtle down a zipwire, even ride a BMX across a treetop bridge! From beginners to adrenaline junkies, we show you how to make your day a fun experience - push yourself that little bit further with guidance and encouragement from our instructors, knowing that you are secure in your harness.
Climb It, Swing It, Surf It, ZIPIT - but above all have fun and be adventurous!
*Discover the secrets of the Gironde estuary, the largest in Europe*
The Poitou-Charentes shares the mouth of the Gironde river with the Aquitaine. And Le Parc de l’estuaire was created to help visitors appreciate the complex geology and eco-system that makes up Europe’s largest estuary (75 km long and 12 km wide). The nature centre is situated in the much larger forest known as the forêt de Suzac, which extends for 350 hectares, more than 90 hectares of which are now protected.
At the heart of the park is the La Villa de l’Estuaire. This is home to the park’s permanent exhibition where through displays and interactive games the mysteries of the estuary are unveiled; how it was formed, how it is changing, how fragile this phenomenon of nature is, and what steps are being taken to preserve it.
From the tour de guet or lookout tower the park officials keep an eye out for forest fires. The tower is open to visitors and it is from her you can get a spectacular view of the estuary, the Mediterranean-style vegetation around the park, the coastline, beaches, forests … and local lighthouses, Phare (lighthouse) de Cordouan and and the Phare de la Coubre.
It is possible to walk through the park and to admire close up the pines and other trees, shrubs and plants of the park. The park also has another room where temporary exhibitions are held, a teashop and a small shop selling goods produced by local artisans.
The Parc de l’estuaire is open all year apart from December and January.
February to start of April: 2pm to 6pm every day
Early April to start of May: 10am to 12pm and 2.30pm to 6.30pm every day (except Sunday mornings).
Early May to 30 June: 2.30pm to 6.30pm every day
July to August: 10am to 7pm every day (except Sunday mornings)
First two weeks September: 10am to 12pm and 2.30pm to 6.30pm every day (except Sunday mornings).
Second half of September to end November: 2pm to 6pm every day
Audio tapes are av
Château des Énigmes, at Pons have a treasure hunt that is great fun for kids and adults alike . Solve the musketeer-themed puzzles t the castle through a series of 21 games that include fishing for corks, recognising the smell of an aromatic plants and solving the mystery of the Templar Code. The challenges are diverse, imaginative, large-scale and well constructed. Nice little cafe for a break half way through, too.
Only a 20 minute drive from your gite at www.belairgites.com
It is open daily from 4th April to 1st November, from 10am to 7pm (8pm in July and August).
Adult (over 12 yrs) : 14 €
Child ( 4 to 12 ) : 11 €
Under 4 yrs: Free