Taking the Plunge: Secret Sud Charente wild swimming

Whilst a dip in your own pool is one of the reasons so many of us have moved to Sud Charente, there is nothing to beat a swim in a cool river or lake on a sweltering summer day.

In Sud Charente we are fortunate to be within reach of numerous watering holes: beaches, lakes, rivers and open air public swimming pools (piscines en plein air).

Our main rivers, the Dronne and the Charente, both offer freshwater bathing points with sandy beaches as well as water sports. Aubeterre beach (plage) on the Dronne (pictured below) is exceedingly popular, where canoeing and kayaking can also be enjoyed. It's emptiest in the mornings and best avoided on Sundays in August. There's a simple cafe open in high season, and when the crowds have come home you can sit with a glass of beer and a plate of chips and enjoy a view that the classiest restaurants in the world would die for.

Some other less well known spots are:-

  • Jonzac’s base de loisirs d’Heurtebise

  • Chateauneuf sur Charente’s base de loisirs du Bain des Dames

  • Brossac’s Etang Vallier Resort

  • St. Vallier’s Lac Sensation Frisson

Just over the border in the Charente Maritime you will find Montguyon’s lac de Beauvallon or Montendre’s lac Baron de Desqueyroux. Or visit Dordogne’s Saint-Aulaye which also has a sandy beach (pictured below one summer evening).

A total of 20 open air swimming pools can be found in the Charente alone, which will be open from June. For more information on opening times and locations click here.

Sometimes a more exciting swim is required to keep everyone, especially children and thrill seeking adults, entertained. Try one of these ’centres aquatique’ whatever the weather:

In Sud Charente luckily a day to a beach is always within reach. Highly recommended resorts are:-

  • Saint-Georges-de-Didonne (on the Gironde estuary)

  • Saint-Palais-sur-Mer (on the Atlantic Ocean)

  • Dune of Pilat at Pyla-sur-Mer in Arcachon Bay (pictured below)

Enjoyed this blog post? Would you like to share and post some of your own ‘cooling down’ places on our Secret Sud Charente Facebook page? Please feel free to do so. It would be appreciated to hear your own recommendations.

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