A very warm Irish welcome awaits you at Bel -Air gites. Bel - Air has been a favourite with holiday makers for many years. In 2010 we decided it was time to escape from the rat-race to 'live our dream' in the Charente Maritime . We took over the well established business at the beginning of the summer season in July 2010. One season here in Bel - Air was enough to convince us that we had made the right decision to change our life style and move to this beautiful part of France.
Bel - Air has 5 individual gîtes and stands in 25 acres of unspoilt countryside in beautiful Charente-Maritime, surrounded by farmland and vineyards, with many and varied types of wildlife including deer, boar and various birds of prey. Bel Air is also close to the miles of sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast and mostly uncommercialised seaside towns. We think it is the ideal location to suit everyone's idea of a perfect family holiday. This attractive Charentaise Farmhouse is situated in the commune of Brie-sous-Mortagne close to fabulous sea-side town of Royan and the historic town of Saintes with it's fantastic pedestrianised shopping area. We are approximately 7km from the market town of Gémozac which has 2 supermarkets and a good variety of other shops for all daily needs. Gémozac has a large market every 3rd Friday in the month and a fish, meat and vegetable market on Friday of each week.
Taking the opposite direction out of Bel - Air for the same distance, you will find the old port of Mortagne with its quayside restaurants and lovely views across the Gironde river.
Slightly further afield, the beautiful sandy atlantic beaches of Meschers and Royan are just a 20 minute drive away. There is every type of beach imagineable from the pretty cove beaches of Meschers , the sweeping white sandy beaches, each some 3kms long at St George and at Royan. There's surfing at St Palais, even the odd discrete Naturist beach. In all, over 30 kms of sandy beaches on your doorstep.
Your holiday retreat is very centrally located for many interesting and fascinating towns in this beautiful region :
For example, the historic town of Saintes is only 30 minutes drive, there you can visit the Old Abbey, the Cathedral or the famous Amphitheatre or walk leisurely round the town with its many shops and restaurants. In the summer months there are boat trips on the lovely Charente river which meanders through Saintes and the surrounding countryside eventually reaching the world reknowned town of Cognac. Cognac, the town is a short 40 minute drive away with it's many Cognac house tours, Hennessey is most recomended, reasonable, hands on and includes a boat trip.
Royan at only 20 minutes drive away, boasts a Sunday morning market (not to be missed). Shops are also open on this day making it a great morning out. Stay on for lunch and there are many restaurants catering for all tastes, this region is particulary famous for its seafood. There are many excursions that can be booked at the Marina, including visits to the well-known Fort Boyard, Phare de Cordouan (the lighthouse) and the Ile d'Oleron to name but a few. You can also catch a ferry here in Royan over to the Medoc and enjoy a day visiting the well known vineyards.
Bordeaux and La Rochelle Airport are approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes away each.
Bordeaux offers an interesting sight-seeing tour by either horse-drawn carriage or by an ancient (renovated) bus, this trip starts and finishes at the Tourist Information Office. The impressive buildings and vast amount of shops make for a good day out.
Then there is beautiful La Rochelle with its historic port, many quayside restaurants and cobbled streets not to mention the indoor market, it is well worth the drive. The Aquarium at La Rochelle is a favourite with adults and kids alike.
We are also quite close to some of the houses of the lesser known brands of cognac, e.g. Camus, which offer excellent quality and value for money.
Last but not least there are some beautiful Chateaux to visit in the Saintonge region, Chateaux Boulon and La Roche Courbon to name but two, most are within easy reach of Bel - Air.
BEL AIR is perfect for toddler and child friendly, family holidays or short breaks. We can also cater for large groups who wish to get together for special family celebrations.
In the quieter Autumn, Winter and Spring months Bel Air is also a good base for those searching for their own dream home in this beautiful region of France.