The Immediate Locality
About 5 minutes walk takes you to the Rejallant, this is where the people of Ruffec come to “relax”. There is a restaurant where you can get a “Plat de Jour” or you can have a full a la carte meal, which is very reasonable. You can also just walk down for a coffee or an ice cream.
At the Rejallant you can enjoy fishing, swimming, BBQs, there are often live shows at the weekends or tabletop sales. Kayaking is available at the Rejallant as well as cycle hire. Typically the French would come here with a picnic and just relax by the river. The Rejallant does not affect the tranquility of the “Chateau La Vigne” You can hire canoes and other equipment for water sport entertainment. The water sport does not extend past the private waters of the house along the Charente at this point. The Rejallant is open every day all year round.
What To See And Do
Locally, there is much to see and do in the local villages and the Town of Ruffec.
Ruffec has two supermarkets and bustling traditional town centre which has several boulangeries, butchers, patisseries and several eateries including two pizzerias. A wide range of good restaurants is available locally.
The local “Charentaise” wine, and well known “Pineau” (an aperitif) are both very good can be purchased at the local supermarkets There are some local wine cellars and several Chateau open to tourists. Markets take place in Ruffec centre, selling locally produced delicacies and home made food, pates, cheese veg and wine. The market has a fantastic under-cover fish market. The local tourist information is worth a visit. It is situated in the square at Ruffec adjacent to the market. Poiteau-Charente is also the home of Foie Gras and is sold abundantly.
One hour drive. Futuroscope, one of France’s largest family attractions is 8km north of Poitiers and is a really good day out for all offering something completely different to the local culture but on the scale of the Eden Project or Disney Paris. For information visit www.futuroscope.fr. This gigantic jumble of futuristic architecture dominates the local skyline and houses the most cutting-edge techniques in modern film. Here one screen is the size of a seven storey building, and there is a dome-shaped cinema that has liquid-crystal goggles giving the illusion of solidity and an underfloor screen that makes it seem one is airborne. With its giant 3-D cinema, this is one of the few theme parks to deliver all the thrills with none of the spills!
45 minutes drive. The most famous town of Cognac is just 40km from Ruffec and you can visit the famous cellars of Hennessy, Remy Martin and where you can tour the houses, famous Chateaux and taste the cognac. For those more interested you can also book for special tasting and cognac appreciation. These tours take about 1½ hours and can be booked at the door.
Angouleme and Poitiers – the nearest large towns.
Angouleme is in the Charente region. Poitiers is in the Poitou region. Both towns are large and have lots to see and do.
Angouleme is 30 minutes drive & has a humming nightlife of bar-cafes and things to do. The historic old parapeted city with pedestrian streets has all the old walls in place and during September there is a traditional vintage car race (Tour Des Ramparts) around the town wall perimeter, which is a good old-fashioned French tradition. Angouleme has an excellent tourist information centre right in the middle, which is extremely useful. Nautilus water park is excellent with its man made beach, sailing and wind surfing etc.
Poitiers is 45 minutes drive. it offers lots to see in terms of art and architecture as well as the impressive church of Notre-Dame. The busy centre is full of narrow, winding pedestrian streets ideal for shopping and exploring.
La Valee des Singues
30 minutes – more than 250 monkeys living in total liberty.
1 hour famous for its porcelain manufacture and cobbled streets.
1 hour 30 minutes. Visit the fishing ports of Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Rochefort, Royan with their superb sandy beaches, aquarium and trips to Fort Boyard. Near Bordeaux you will find the quintessential villages full of vineyards. An unforgettable day out where you can tour many vineyards such as at Saint Emilion and caves for free of for a small fee. Tasting is the norm. Oh and you can buy as much as you wish!
1 hour. Steeped in Roman history, one of the most beautiful cities in France.