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Châteaux of the Charente Charente

Châteaux of the Charente

Country lanes and a rolling landscape of rivers and lakes – a cyclist's paradise!

Châteaux of the Charente

Local folklore has it that when God finished his work creating the magnificent châteaux in the Loire, he set to work sprinkling this region with many smaller castles. This moderate cycle explores a stunning countryside of vineyards, nodding sunflowers and forests of towering oaks, with these turreted châteaux perched high above winding rivers.

Holiday Highlights

  • Beautiful rolling countryside
  • Bustling town of Confolens
  • Stunning Châteaux
  • Pierre et Lumiere - the Loire in spectacular miniature

What's Included

  • 6 days cycling
  • 5 nights half board
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Comprehensive route notes
  • English rep
  • Bike hire
  • Station transfers

Starting Days

You can choose to begin this holiday on Saturday or Tuesday.

Itinerary & Hotels

  • 1

    Arrival Nieuil day 1


    Your holiday begins at the charming and peaceful 4-star Château de Nieuil, a ‘Relais du Silence’ set in woodland along with its renowned restaurant, La Grange des Oies, and a heated pool.

    • Hotel exterior
    • Traditional double bedroom
    • Traditional reception area
    • Hotel frontage

    Hôtel Chateau Nieuil

    This hotel is something rather special. As you approach, you will be struck by the beautiful Renaissance facade and sturdy towers. The chateau was formerly a favourite hunting lodge of Francois 1st. The chateau was converted into a comfortable hotel in 1937 and has remained in the same family ever since. Bedrooms are spacious and airy, many with fine views of the extensive grounds. All are air-conditioned and have satellite TV and a mini-bar. Unusually, the hotel also boasts its own top class art gallery. The delightful restaurant, La Grange aux Oies, is located in the former stable block.


    • Outstanding chateau hotel in extensive parkland
    • Excellent restaurant in former stable block
    • The hotel has its own art gallery
    • Comfortable breakfast room and lounge



    Sample menus


    Les huîtres de Philippe Menadier en nage tiède au lait de morue et aux salicornes

    Les lentilles bio de Chassagnes en salade de haddock, œuf de poule mollet et crème de lard fumé

    Le pied de cochon parmentier en rouleaux croustillants à la crème de moutarde

    Le suprême de caille en salade de poireaux fumés et vinaigrette de Pineau


    Le dos de cabillaud farci à la chair de tourteaux, chou chinois aux fruits secs

    Le filet de rascasse à l'infusion de langoustines, risotto de quinoa à l'endive

    La tête de veau farcie de gambas et grillée minute, ravigote de topinambours

    L'épaule de sanglier mijotée au vin de cannelle, mousseline de rutabaga aux châtaignes

    La poule faisane (servie pour 2 personnes) en ballotine au foie gras, confit de chou rouge aux pommes fruits

    Le blanc de seiche en fricassée à l'huile de chorizo, crème de potiron au safran d' Angoumois


    Le chocolat Michel Cluizel, palet au chocolat noir à la mangue, crème glacée fine champagne

    La pomme Belchard façon panacotta, croustillant pralin et sorbet cacao

    La poire William dans une mousse nougat rafraîchie à l’alcool de poire de Mr Picard

    Le Paris-Brest - version Grange aux Oies et crème glacée à la vanille bourbon

  • 2

    Day trip to Verteuil day 2


    Cycling on quiet country roads, this round trip takes in the pretty villages of Nanteuil and Verteuil-sur-Charente with its magnificent château on the river.

    35 mi
    (56 km)

  • 3

    Nieuil to Confolens day 3


    Today, head to the valley of the River Vienne and to the bustling town of Confolens. Our friendly chambre d’hôte overlooks the old cobbled bridge. There’s a good choice of restaurants in town.

    • Al fresco dining
    • Double bedroom

    Pont Vieux

    This is an outstanding B&B with beautiful rooms, most with a river view. The rooms have comfortable, quality beds and luxury bathrooms with powerful hot showers. Breakfast is wholesome and varied. There is a separate fully equipped kitchen for guest use and a lounge area with a TV and free WiFi. To the rear, the pretty terrace has commanding views over the river, its 12th century bridge and the old town. Why not sit under the weeping willow beside the waters edge and contemplate the day ahead?


    • Wonderful B&B with very high standards of comfort
    • Delightful bedrooms with modern bathrooms
    • Brilliant breakfast!
    • Easy stroll into the old town



    There's no shortage of excellent restaurants in Confolens. The town exudes an old world charm and it's well worth wandering around the quiet streets before or after your meal.

    18 mi
    (29 km)

  • 4

    Day trip along the Vallée de Vienne day 4


    A loop ride takes you either side of the lazy river with opportunities for a river-bank picnic before reaching the medieval castle of St-Germain-de-Confolens.

    28 mi
    (45 km)

  • 5

    Confolens to Massignac day 5


    After breakfast, follow the river south, then climb the rolling hills of Charente-Limousin to your next château hotel, which overlooks the lakes of Haute-Charente.

    • Traditional exterior
    • Simple double bedroom
    • Simple double bedroom

    Château de la Redortière

    Château de la Redortière is a stylish B&B, dating back to 1880, and in many ways is typical of La Belle Epoque. It is surrounded by 200 hectares of parkland and there are some delightful picnic spots. Bedrooms are all comfortable and airy and all have comfortable en suite bathrooms. There is a convivial restaurant / breakfast room providing fine meals making good use of local produce (3 farms can be found in the chateau grounds)..


    • Stylish chateau B&B with comfortable rooms (all with fine views)
    • Friendly dining room with fine local cuisine
    • Extensive gounds - ideal for an evening stroll or picnic



    The chateau is very close to a large dairy farm and makes good use of its produce. We highly recommend the tomme de vache, but there are many other delights to try!

    22 mi
    (35 km)

  • 6

    Massignac to Montbron day 6


    Cycle around the lake’s nature reserve, the source of the River Charente, stopping at a leisure beach before lunch. In the afternoon, ride through picturesque countryside before the long descent to the delightful Chambre d’hôte Brise Bois.


    Chambres d’hôtes - Brise Bois

    Discover this hotel with a traditional restaurant situated in the beautiful Charentaise countryside. The enthusiastic team welcome you with unforgettable service. Take time to relax with a meal prepared by the chef, served in the cosy restaurant or on the terrace.


    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Table tennis
    • Billiards
    • Outdoor swimming pool (seasonal)
    • Free WiFi



    One of the specialities of the house is the homemade Foie Gras, a true speciality of the region. Chef Robert also produces a selection of other fabulous dishes, such as as a fillet steak with a caramel sauce or a skewer of langoustines with rosemary. The seasonal menu changes approximately every 3 months.

    30 mi
    (48 km)

  • 7

    Day Trip to La Rochefoucauld day 7


    An easy ride, partly along a converted railway line to the pretty town of La Rochefoucauld with its picturesque château and cobbled bridge over the Tardoire river. Return along the river valley to Brise Bois.

    26 mi
    (42 km)

Route & Location

Customise Your Holiday

  • Extend your stay

    Add an extra night at Chateau de Lavaud. Please call us for details.