CharenteJarnac RETURN via Saint-Savinien

7nt Jarnac RETURN via Saint-Savinien

7 nights | 139.80km | 10 locks | Approx. 22 hrs of cruising

This itinerary takes you west of our base in Jarnac where you'll pass the famous distillery town of Cognac and the historic, bustling city of Saintes, before reaching St-Savinien. From here, we recommend catching a train to the nearby coastal town of Rochefort to sample its amazing seafood. Compared with an itinerary that heads east, you'll be interrupted by fewer locks on this west-bound voyage, and the pretty river and gorgeous French countryside are just as beautiful.

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Suggested itinerary

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DAY 1: Arrive Jarnac

0km | 0 locks | Approx. 0 hrs 0 mins of cruising

Arrive at base

2pm - 5pm

After you have arrived and checked-in, we'll show you to your boat as quickly as possible. Spend time settling in, freshen up and await your pre-departure briefing which will be given by one of our base technicians. They will familiarise you with the boat’s domestic systems and give you a hands-on demonstration of the boat controls and how to operate it. They will make sure you are comfortable and confident controlling the boat, as well as navigating the waterway, before you set off.

Explore Jarnac

5pm - 7pm

Before dinner, you could take the opportunity to stock up on provisions for the week. There's a choice of three large supermarkets in Jarnac, each just a four-minute drive from the base. Or take a stroll along the river into the centre of town and find Pâtisserie Christophe, a superb patissier and choclateir that is sure to start a your holiday off with a smile.

Dinner at Le Verre y Table, Jarnac

7:30pm - 9:30pm

This trendy and colourful restaurant has a bistro vibe and serves excellent dishes all made from beautifully fresh, local produce. It's located just a 2 minute drive from our base, although the wine list is excellent and they have a fantastically extensive menu of cognacs – so you may wish make a 15 minute journey by foot instead! We recommend you book in advance.  +33 (0)5 45 35 07 28 | leverreytable.fr

Overnight in Jarnac

Breakfast on board

8am - 9am

Jarnac > Cognac

9am - 12noon

Approx. 3hrs | 3 locks

Lunch at La Courtine, Cognac

12noon - 1:30pm

Enjoy a traditionally prepared French feast at La Courtine restaurant, conveniently situated just along the Charente River bank. Dine on their shaded terrace or in their welcoming dining rooms, resplendant with fine wooden decor. You can moor directly at the restaurant's pontoon. Reservations are required: +33 (0)5 45 82 34 78 | restaurant-la-courtine.fr

Explore Cognac

1:30pm - 6pm

Cognac is known internationally for its namesake Cognac production. Near the marina, several big Cognac trading houses offer visits and tastings. We recommend a visit and tour around the renowned Baron Otard distillery, which is housed inside the Chateau de Cognac, where François I was born. There are a range of tour 'experiences' available, ranging from 30 to 90 minutes. Booking recommended: +33 (0)5 45 36 88 86 | chateauroyaldecognac.com

Château Royal de Cognac offers preferential rates on their tours to le Boat customers.

Alternatively, for the true cognac afficiandos, try the Henessy Cognac house, whose tours & tasings range from 90 minutes to a half day. Booking recommended: hennessy.com

Dinner at La Scala, Cognac

7:30pm - 9:30pm

Ideally located on the banks of the Charente, at the foot of the Château de Cognac, La Scala has a lovely shaded terrace on which to enjoy amazing flavours of Italy. +33 (0)5 45 36 59 11 | lascalacognac.fr

Overnight in Cognac

Breakfast on board

8am - 9am

Cognac > Dompierre-sur-Charente

9am - 11:30am

Approx. 2hrs 30mins | 1 lock

Explore Dompierre-sur-Charente

11:30am - 12:30pm

Take a walk and discover the quaint town of Dompierre-sur-Charente.

Lunch at La Cabana, Dompierre-sur-Charente

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Feast on delicious local fare in this French pub just a 5 minute walk from the river.

Dompierre-sur-Charente > Saintes

1:30pm - 4pm

Approx. 2hrs 30mins | 1 lock

Explore Saintes

4pm - 6pm

Explore this historic city and discover the Gallo-Roman arena that would once seat 15,000 people, the Abbaye aux Dames and the St. Eutrope Church, all unique masterpieces of Romanesque art. If you visit the Abbey, take a 'Sound Voyages' tour where, equipped with 3D sound headphones, you'll guide yourself via a journey of music around the Abbey, including the cloister and the the bell tower.

Abbaye aux Dames offers preferential rates for 'Sound Voyages' to Le Boat customers.

Dinner at Les Saveurs de l'Abbaye, Saintes

7:30pm - 9:30pm

On this restaurant's delightful terrace, which faces the historical Abbaye aux Dames, you will enjoy light, creative dishes made with locally-sourced produce. Reservations advised: +33 (0)5 46 94 17 91 | saveurs-abbaye.com

Overnight in Saintes

Breakfast on board

8am - 9am

Saintes > St-Savinien

9:30am - 12noon

Approx. 3hrs | 0 locks

Taxi or train to Rochefort

12noon - 12:30pm

Order a taxi to spend the afternoon in Rochefort. Or you can take the train (approx 30 minutes | 6€). The train station is just 300 metres from the moorings in Saint-Savinien.

Lunch at Les Béatilles, Rochefort

12:30pm - 2pm

Rochefort is a smart and elegant looking town, not very far from the Atlantic Ocean, so the fish and shellfish here are as fresh as they can be. We recommend lunch at Les Béatilles, situated just 3 minutes away from Place Colbert. Don't forget to try La jonchée rochefortaise, a traditional cheese dessert. +33 (0)5 46 88 23 74 | https://restaurantlesbeatilles.hubside.fr/

Explore Rochefort

2pm - 6:30pm

The town was developed around Louis XIV’s naval base in the 17th century - the restored arsenal can be visited to learn about the town’s ship building heritage. Nearby is the Corderie Royale (the royal ropery) which explains hemp cultivation and will show how those fibres were twisted into 200-metre lengths of rigging. Not far away, the Musée de la Marine has a collection of sailing and steam-boat models and other maritime paraphernalia. Just outside the museum, the Jardin des Retours has individual gardens with maritime themes, including a magnolia garden in honour of the man who first brought these seeds to Europe and the Jardin des Amériques, which has a yew-tree maze commemorating legendary French naval battles.

Taxi or train back to Saint-Savinien

6:30pm - 7pm

Dinner at Le Barrage, Saint-Savinien

7:30pm - 9:30pm

The setting is ideal for people-watching, with its outside tables filling half of the little square in front of the market hall. The food here is simple, but delicious. +33 (0)5 46 90 20 61

Overnight in Saint-Savinien

Breakfast on board

8am - 9am

Explore Saint-Savinien

9am - 11:30am

Saint-Savinien is a picturesque old town with narrow streets just waiting to be leisurely ambled down. The 12th century Church of Saint-Savinien dominates the skyline of the town - its clocktower was added later in the 14th century. While exploring the streets between the river and the church you will also come across the towers and high stone walls of the Château de La Cave.

Saint-Savinien > Port-d'Envaux

11:30am - 12:30pm

Approx. 1hr | 0 locks

Picnic lunch in Port-d'Envaux

12noon - 2pm

By the river there’s a sandy play area which has a safe area for swimming, as well as refreshments and kayak hire – a nice place for a lunchtime picnic and to while away the afternoon.

Explore Port-d'Envaux

2pm - 4pm

If you've added them to your booking, take the bikes (4 minutes from Port-D'envaux) or walk (15 minutes) to admire the magnificent sculptures of the Lapidiales site. A constantly evolving art space where sculptors from all over the world are working on impressive pieces of art.  

Port-d'Envaux > Saintes

4:30pm - 6:30pm

Approx. 2hrs | 0 locks

 

Dinner at L’insolite, Saintes

7:30pm - 9:30pm

This restaurant is always busy and is set in a lovely cobbled street in central Saintes. It serves superb French cuisine but always with a creative twist, with great attention to detail and with lovely textures and flavours. It's fine dining, but without the formality. Booking recommended: +33 5 46 97 70 69

Overnight in Saintes

Breakfast on board

8am - 9am

Explore Saintes

9am - 11am

Another chance to explore Saintes and to see anything you missed on your first visit. In the Middle Ages, Saintes had the only bridge over the lower Charente, and was used by pilgrims heading to Santiago de Compostela. The only remaining part of the bridge is the Arch of Germanicus, a well-known landmark of the city. Saintes was the first Roman capital of Aquitaine; the surviving sculptures and artefacts from that era can be discovered in Mediolanum, Archaeological Museum  +33 (0)5 46 74 20 97 | ville-saintes.fr/decouvrir-sortir/culture/musees/musee-archeologique

Saintes > Chaniers

11am - 12:30pm

Approx. 1hr 30mins | 0 locks

Lunch at Le Moulin de la Baine, Chaniers

12:30pm - 2:30pm

Formerly a water mill, which makes a relaxing and beautiful setting to enjoy good quality food by the river. It's just a 10 minute walk from the moorings in Chaniers, beside Baine lock. +33 (0)6 56 80 24 91 | moulin-baine.com

Chaniers > Cognac

2:30pm - 6pm

Approx. 3hrs 30mins | 2 locks

Dinner at Poulpette, Cognac

7:30pm - 9:30pm

This Michelin-rated restaurant has an unassuming exterior, but don’t be put off. The food is spectacular and sure to be one of the highlights of your holiday. With the menu changing each season, the food here is a fresh and exquisitely prepared as you’ll ever find. Be sure to book: 05 45 82 22 08 | poulpette.squarespace.com

Overnight in Cognac

Breakfast on board

8am - 9am

Cognac > Bourg-Charente

9am - 11am

Approx. 2hrs | 2 locks

Explore Bourg-Charente

11am - 12noon

This town has a beautiful Romanesque church from the 12th century and has several castles, including the house of Marnier Lapostolle who produces the famous Grand Marnier.

Lunch at La Ribaudière, Bourg-Charente

12noon - 2pm

Why not try something extra special for lunch? This Michelin-rated restaurant is a true "ambassador of the region". Their modern menu is inspired by local specialities and the finest selections of wines & spirits in France. Due to high demand, we would recommend booking in advance. +33 (0)5 45 81 30 54 | laribaudiere.com

Bourg-Charente > Jarnac

2pm - 3pm

Approx. 1hr | 1 lock

Explore Jarnac

3pm - 5:30pm

Jarnac is the city of former French President, François Mitterrand, and you can visit his childhood home here. It displays the gifts offered to the President by the Heads of State from around the world. +33 (0)5 45 81 38 88 | musee-francois-mitterrand.org

Maison natale de François Mitterrand offers preferential rates to Le Boat customers.

Dinner at L'Alambic, Jarnac

7:30pm - 9:30pm

Just a 10 minute walk from the Le Boat base, the food at this restaurant comes high-rated. A small outdoor seating area spills out on to the pavement and the bustling square and gives real atmosphere as you dine. It gets very busy, so be sure to book: +33 5 45 81 19 58

Overnight in Jarnac

Breakfast on board

7:30am - 8:30am

Enjoy your final breakfast on board before tidying and vacating your boat by 9am (unless you have booked and paid for a late-checkout)

Depart Jarnac

9am