Travel tips for exploring the territory

POITIERS, France -- The best way to enjoy Poitou-Charente is to board the TGV rail from Paris to either Tours in the Centre region or Angers in the Pays de la Loire region; rent a car upon arrival; wander south through Poitou-Charente all the way to Bordeaux, and then ride the TGV back to Paris.

Rail Europe offers a France Rail 'n Drive package starting at $199, double.

The package features three days of rail transportation and two car rental days, with value-added tax included.

Phone: (800) 4-EURAIL

Some other helpful travel follow:

  • Take binoculars to examine the small details of the region's Romanesque churches.
  • Purchase the Michelin map of Les Plus Beaux
  • Villages de France, which costs about $7.50 and is available at major bookstores in France.

    Les Plus Beaux Villages de France is a 143-member association of villages. The map, useful for trip planning, highlights the group's members.

  • Have dinner in Angouleme in the old city at La Ruelle, an appealing restaurant with ancient stone walls that are decorated with modern art. As in most areas of this region of France, fish specialties highlight the menu.
  • La Ruelle is located at 6 rue des Trois Rois.

    Phone: (011) 33-5 4595-1519

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