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Poitiers Guide

Guide

The minor roads around the Poitiers and Poitou-Charentes region are pleasant to drive on, as the bulk of traffic speeds along the A10 motorway. Take a drive around the north and the Marais Poitevin. The area is a dream world of river boulevards and emerald-coloured shimmering reflections and is nicknamed the 'Green Venice'. Purchase car hire in Poitiers here today with our great price comparison website. Let us find you cheap deals by comparing the market. Don't leave it to the last minute. Book today and gain the freedom to explore Poitiers and its surrounding's in your own time.

Explore Poitiers

To the west of Poitiers is La Rochelle, which is considered one of the most mesmerising coastal resorts in France. The waterfront and town centre date from the 17th century when the town played an important role in trade with the New World. You will find the prettiest area between the harbour and place de Verdun.

The gateway to the old town is the Grosse Horloge, dominating the harbour, and providing access to the 18th century shopping arcade, rue du Palais. Other sights worth visiting include the Hotel de Ville and Musée du Nouveau Monde. Located to the south of La Rochelle is Oleron Island, the second largest island in France boasting loads of glorious white sandy beaches.

Originally built on the site of a Roman town, the restored city of Tours is lively and cultured. The Cathédrale St Gatien, dating from the 13th to 16th centuries, has a Gothic façade and medieval stained-glass windows. Place Plumereau lies at the centre of town, surrounded by streets of half-timbered houses and charming courtyards.

The city's best museums include: the Musée de l'Hôtel Gouin, formerly a silk merchant's house and now the archaeological museum, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts, nestled in the old Episcopal palace.

South of Poitiers, along the A10 and E603, is brandy country, where the focus is on cognac. There is a heady scent in the air all around the town, and a tour of one or all of the distilleries and cellars is a must. Make sure you ask for a free bottle or sample.

Farther along the E603 is the town of Angoulême, with its picturesque old town perched on a hill above a thriving, modern counterpart in the valley below. The 12th century Cathédrale St Pierre dominates the old town. Seventy stone statues and bas-reliefs depicting the Last Judgement can be found around the Romanesque façade.

Transport

Poitiers is located in the province of Poitou-Charentes, midway between Paris and Bordeaux. The city boasts an international airport and is well serviced by road and rail, with the main A10 (Paris-Bordeaux) motorway running through the western outskirts of the city. Poitiers is also on the main (Paris-Bordeaux) railway line with numerous connections throughout the day.

By air
Poitiers Airport is only a few kilometres to the west of town and receives regular air traffic from Paris as well as many French regional cities; additionally, Ryanair offers flights daily from London’s Stansted. There is currently no regular bus service from airport to the town, however, taxis are readily available.

By car
If you're driving from Paris, follow the A10 motorway south through the cities of Orléans and Tours, on to Poitiers. Likewise from Bordeaux, follow the A10 all the way to Poitiers. The 340kms from Paris to Poitiers can be driven in three hours; while Bordeaux is 250kms away and can be reached in a little over two hours.

By train
Trains operate to and from Bordeaux, Paris and La Rochelle. Around 18 fast TGV trains arrive daily from Paris Montparnasse, taking 1 hour, 30 minutes. Another 18 (regular) trains arrive daily from Bordeaux, taking 1 hour, 45 minutes. Eleven TGV trains also go from La Rochelle, and take two hours.

Poitiers

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