Vienne

Situated north of Charente, the Vienne is a department in central-western France. It is home to some stunning Romanesque architecture, much of which can be found in the departmental capital, Poitiers, which provides excellent transport links around Vienne.

Vienne promotes itself as a destination of amusement parks, animal parks, and outdoor leisure and as well as the well-known Futuroscope there are a couple of other smaller theme parks, and a whole range of family-focussed activities including the Vallée des Singes in Romagne, Planète Crocodiles in Civaux, and the eagles in Chauvigny.

Garden lovers will want to visit the extensive planned gardens in Parc de la Belle in Magné in the east of Vienne, where an extraordinary range of plants set-off very well the original farm estate that stands here.

The history buffs among you will be interested to learn that, although Vienne was only officially created during the French Revolution, it was here that Eleanor of Aquitaine lived, and her marriage to Henry II brought this part of France under English rule.

There are plenty of marked trails for those who fancy exploring Vienne by foot, or perhaps cycle along the Vélo Rail for wonderful views of the medieval citadel of Chauvigny and its five fortified châteaux.

Positioned between the Atlantic coast and the centre of France, the department is an active farming area with rolling fields full of cheerful yellow sunflowers, and is an ideal place for soaking up the pleasures of rural France. Known for its mild summers and winters, Vienne is popular among holidays and prospective homeowners whether they’re after the rural idyll or dynamic city living. The lazy meandering rivers overhung with oaks are perfect for a peaceful day’s fishing, a soothing paddle in a canoe or a leisurely ramble along the banks.

The region is known for enjoying rustic, hearty food, and the people of Vienne often enjoy visiting the numerous street markets to pick up local delicacies. The area is famous for its goat’s cheese and is also home to a number of different wines which are definitely worth trying.

Buying property in Vienne

Vienne is the perfect place for expats to relocate or purchase a second property due to the idyllic rural landscapes, vibrant city life in Poiters and the year-round mild climate. There’s a wide range of property styles and prices; from stone brick farmhouses, cream-coloured stone longères with sloping tiled roofs and sizeable charentaise houses, usually situated on a piece of land, which make ideal holiday homes.

Civray

Sitated at the point where three departments meet: the South of Vienne, North Charente and East Deux Sèvres, the town of Civray has been a busy commercial centre since Roman times.

During your visit, let yourself be seduced by its historical heritage such as the church of Saint Nicolas, superb example of the Romanesque poitevin art of the twelfth century. Visit also the Archaeological Museum, a treasure trove that displays archaeological finds around Civray. Civray also invites you to moments of calm and relaxation along the green banks of the Charente.

There are also markets on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Properties - Civray

Lizant

Nestled in a valley of the Vienne, the charming town of Lizant is bordered in its southern part by the Charente and settles at the point of where four small rivers connect: the Cornac, the Pas de Mule, the Cibiou which meet in the village to become the Sonnette.

It is a beautiful area to go for walks over the small bridges, taking in the view of the gardens and the shady paths that escape from the houses to follow the whims of the water. The landscape is conducive to hiking, you will find many themed circuits surrounding in the village.

Discover on your walks the mills and old buildings. And enjoy the recreational area of ​​the fishery with three pools and many games for the children.

The equestrian farm “Les Boutiers” is also a welcome family stop for you to enjoy beautiful horseback walks in a hilly landscape.

Properties - Lizant

Poitiers

Historic churches, in particular Romanesque church buildings, are the main attraction inside Poitiers itself. The town's centre is picturesque, with generally well-preserved architecture and a recently re-zoned pedestrian area. There are numerous shops, cafes and restaurants in the town centre.

The city of Poitiers has a very old tradition as a university centre, starting in the Middle Ages. Today Poitiers is one of the biggest university towns in France.

Since 1987, Poitiers' tourist industry has indirectly benefited from the Futuroscope theme-park and research park in nearby Chasseneuil-du-Poitou. The centre of town receives visits in complement to the theme-park and benefits from a larger proportion of European tourists, notably from the United Kingdom. In conjunction, Poitiers' tourism has directly benefited from the TGV high-speed rail link to Paris.

Charroux

The town of Charroux was founded in the 8th century under the patronage of the Carolingian rulers: Charlemagne, Louis the Pious and Charles the Bald. It quickly became rich and famous, and the Abbey of Saint-Sauveur was one of the high places of medieval Christianity. Located on the paths of Saint Jacques de Compostelle, the pilgrims came there to venerate the holy relics. The shrines and other liturgical objects formed a fabulous treasure from which one can still admire some pieces.

The abbey experienced the Hundred Years War, the wars of religion, the Revolution ... Ruined, it was sold as national property in 1790.

Narrow streets, houses, squares, halls, old stones, fountains ... everything in Charroux tells a story imbued with mystery and poetry!

Properties - Charroux

Couhé

Born from the Paris-Bordeaux road, Couhé owes it her wealth. The village has regained its tranquillity since the deviation of the RN 10.

The story of Couhé is attached to the lords of Lusignan. To see: the remains of the castle erected in 1020; the halls of the sixteenth century, the Abbey of Valence, founded in 1230 by Hughes X Lusignan.

Nearby: the Valley of the Monkeys, the Islands of Payré and its miniature port, the Rural Museum of the Old Cormenier.

Properties - Couhé

Blanzay

Blanzay and its surroundings were occupied very early by man, as demonstrated by the discovery at the beginning of the century of a currency of Augustus in silver. If you wish to explore further the surroundings of Civray, a small detour here promises you nice visits. In particular, the blazing, ogival-style Blanzay church, which has undergone renovations in recent years to include a contemporary stained glass window. The 17th century castle, listed as a Historical Monument since 1990 for its tower, chimney and building, is also worth a visit.

While strolling in the streets of Blanzay, you will discover a rich rural heritage: wells, ovens, dovecotes, dry stone walls, four ponds (La Garde, La Jeune Balluc, Jesson and La Popinière). 

Finally, do not leave without a trip to L'escargouille: an outdoor snail farm. A guided and commented tour, followed by a tasting of products!

Chaunay

Chaunay is a commune in the south of Vienne, located in the region of New-Aquitaine. Its inhabitants are called Chaunaisiens. Chaunay is located on the RN 10, 45 km from Poitiers on the axis Paris Bordeaux.

Chaunay is a busy town, with doctors, primary school, hotel / restaurant / bar, grocery store, bakeries, post office etc. Situated not far from Civray and Couhé, it offers quick access to the RN10 and Poitiers Biard airport.

Properties - Chaunay

L’Isle Jourdain

L' Isle Jourdain is considered one of the most beautiful places in the Vienne Valley.

Here, the activities on offer are numerous and diverse. Chardes Lake, made by a barrage, has a water-skiing centre offering introductory and advanced water-skiing classes, speedboat racing, baby-skiing (for children aged 5 - 10 ) and a children's play area.

The magnificent viaduct is now used for walks and bungee jumping.

In close proximity there is the Val de Vienne Car and Motorcycle Centre in Le Vigeant ( close to L'Isle Jourdain).

Moussac and its’ canoe-kayak centre offering canoe and kayak rentals, and hiking, water and mountain bike outings, which can be arranged year round. Also: unsupervised swimming, playground and campsite.

Accommodation: hotels, campsite, holiday resort, bed and breakfast.

Tuesday market and fair on the 20th of the month.

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