It all began along the river Charente, in Cognac: the town’s fabulous history is closely linked to the history of its “brown gold”, the “liquor of Gods” as Victor Hugo used to call Cognac.
COGNAC: A FAMOUS NAME, A FAMOUS DRINK
During the 15th Century, the region produced wine. However, it wasn’t until the 17th Century that double distillation was invented, and Cognac created. Today, all the great Cognac houses offer guided visits and tasting sessions, including immersive experiences between history and modernity, as with Martell House, Rémy Martin or Hennessy .
CHARENTE: THE LOVELIEST STREAM IN THE KINGDOM
The peaceful river Charente, named the Loveliest Stream in the Kingdom by Henry IV, flows through the old provinces of Angoumois and Saintonge. From its riverbed in Limousin, past the lakes of Haute-Charente, on to Rochefort and the ocean, the Charente valley is just waiting to be explored, by car, or by boat/bicycle (departing from Angoulême).
How does one reach the gates to paradise in Cognac country? Simply by visiting a Cognac house – each has its own saga and surprising layout: magical places, themed exhibitions, and even a mini-cruise on the Charente, and last but not least, Cognac tasting. Be sure to visit the Cognac Arts museum, in the centre of the town’s old quarters.
A SURPRISING TREASURE HUNT!
In a number of locations, Terra Aventura is an original treasure hunt of a few kilometers that allows you to discover the territory, local heritage and anecdotes. Using the free smartphone app “Terra Aventura”, the family is ready for adventure. With clues to pick up, there are puzzles to solve and a treasure to look for, which is suitable for old and young alike.
THE RIVER PORT AND BOAT HIRE
Once a lively, commercial port, Cognac now boasts a welcoming, functional leisure port. Close to the centre of the town, the port meets all the needs of the river traveller. With a total length of 361km, the Charente is navigable from Angoulême to Rochefort (170 km).
ACCOMMODATION IN COGNAC
In Cognac, choose from 50 hotels, more than 120 B&B’s and dozens of camping and camper van service areas. NEW: A new high standard hotel (summer 2018), Chais Monnet will offer guests the perfect basecamp for exploring a region rich with wine and gastronomy experiences.
Angoulême, the comic strip capital
In 1969, three friends created a festival in Angoulême to celebrate the Comic Strip or Bande Dessinée (BD) in French. Year by year, the event gathered momentum until in January 1974, the International Comic Strip Festival was born. All the main industry players were there, the press came, and the public – more than 10,000 people across three days. Angoulême, capital of the Comic Strip, was suddenly in the spotlight!
- With its 80 000 ha, the Cognac vineyard is Europe’s largest white grape vineyard divided into six crus.
- The Charente bike tour: nearly 390km of lanes and greenways for browsing the Charente.
- View from the river: navigable from Angoulême to Rochefort, the river Charente allows to discover the enchanting scenery of an exuberant nature.
- Angoulême-Cognac (ANG)
- Bordeaux-Mérignac (BOD) Angoulême
- TGV Paris: 2hrs Cognac Paris: 3hrs 05mins