Sun, nature and local heritage! That's one way of summing up this lively family destination, which has something for everyone. The Charentais coastline has beaches, chalk cliffs, marshland, rocky foreshores and quirky seaside resorts. This diversity cannot fail to please, whether you go in for swimming - the quality of the water is excellent here -, fishing from the shore, surfing or birding. Charente-Maritime is a seafood lovers' paradise: there's plenty to be had in Marennes, and you can enjoy Dublin Bay prawns in La Cotinière and high-quality fresh fish on the islands. Once you've sampled the regional fare, head inland to get a taste of Saintes and its two-thousand-year-old heritage, or La Rochelle, posted on the Atlantic. In this city that looks out over the ocean, you can stroll around the fortified old port, the elegant arcaded streets, or the pools of its aquarium. And if you should feel the call of the sea, sail out to the famous islands of the Charentias coast: the Île d'Aix, Île d'Oléron and Île de Ré.