French newscasters often refer to France as the "hexagone", and you can more or less see why. There are ninety-something departements in France, and the one shaded in yellow is the Charente Maritime.

The yellow area on the map to the left is the Charente Maritime, and the village of La Clisse is 10 km to the west of the town of Saintes. Saintes (pronounced "sant") has nothing to do with saints, by the way, but rather derives from the name by which the Romans knew the locals - the Santons. The pre-revolutionary name for the area which roughly coincides with the modern department is the "Saintonge". The almost vertical red line on the map is the A10 autoroute which runs from Paris to Bordeaux. The houses are eight kilometres from the Saintes exit.

Click on map to enlarge.

La Clisse is a village on the main Saintes - Ile d'Oleron road. The houses are located in a "suburb" of La Clisse known as Les Tards (the "slow ones"), half way between La Clisse and Luchat. La Clisse, by the way, refers to an implement for making cheese. One frequently finds local road signs defaced to read "La Cuisse", which means something completely different.

Click on map to enlarge.

Once you decide to visit our area, I'll be happy to provide you with travel advice. If you are arriving at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, you may take a connecting flight to Bordeaux and rent a car there for the one hour drive - or you may rent a car in Paris and drive here (5 hours). Many people prefer the latter, as it is an easy drive and you can stop along the way. To avoid the problem of trying to find the car rental return at the airport, some people return their car in Saintes (or Angouleme) and take the train either to Paris to directly to the airport. A third possibility is to take a train directly from the airport to either Angouleme or Niort and pick up a car there.

If you are arriving at London Heathrow, it takes two flights (changing in Paris) to get to Bordeaux. From London Gatwick, you can fly directly to Bordeaux, and from London Stanstead you can fly to La Rochelle.

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