A town of art and history, the capital of Saintonge will surprise you with its rich history and way of life. Known as a veritable jewel of Roman art in Poitou-Charentes, Saintes has also preserved its Gallo-Roman roots. Located on the banks of the Charente, Saintes boasts a green and picturesque landscape, which makes it ideal for a relaxing holiday. Here is a list of sites and monuments to visit in Saintes and its region as well as ideas for outings.
Monuments to visit in Saintes
- Abbaye aux Dames
- Arch of Germanicus
- Gallo-Roman amphitheatre
- Saint-Pierre cathedral
- St Eutrope Church and crypt
- Paléosite de Saint-Cézaire (20 min)
For more practical information on these sites, don’t hesitate to contact:
- Saintes Tourist Office – Place Bassompierre, 17100 Saintes – +33 (0)188.8.131.52.82
Things to do in Saintes
- The Gallia Théatre offers a wide range of shows: theatre, music, dance, conferences, available to everyone. Open October to May, 67 bis, cours National – +33 (0)184.108.40.206.20
- The Abbaye aux Dames where you can enjoy classical music concerts all-year-round. 11, place de l’Abbaye – +33 (0)220.127.116.11.48
- The Festival of Musical Academies, during which you can attend baroque, romantic and contemporary concerts. 10 days in July, every year since 1972.
- The Vegas complex which houses 2 restaurants and a 10-room, 5-style nightclub. Open Wednesday-Saturday evenings, located at ZAC, La Champagne Saint-Georges – +33 (0)5.46.97.00.00
- Bowling, open every day, 2 p.m. – 2 a.m., 19, rue des Rochers – +33 (0)5.46.95.04.04
- The Gallia Cinéma, open all year, daily shows – 67bis, cours National – +33 (0)18.104.22.168.32
- Atlantic Ciné, open all year, daily shows – ZAC, La Champagne Saint-Georges – +33 (0)22.214.171.124.60
Market days in Saintes
There are markets every morning, except on Mondays:
Tuesdays and Fridays: Saint-Louis site – Place du 11 Novembre (in the car park of the old hospital, 10 min on foot from the hotel);
Wednesdays and Saturdays: place Saint-Pierre (by Saint-Pierre cathedral, 2 min on foot from the hotel);
Thursdays and Sundays: avenue Gambetta (on the main avenue just after the Palissy bridge, 5 min on foot from the hotel).
Monthly fair in Saintes
The great monthly fair is held on the 1st Monday of each month (Cours National and avenue Gambetta, in front of the hotel).
You can attend mass in one of the following remarkable places of worship:
Saint-Vivien Church 2nd, 3rd and 4th Saturdays, at 6.30 p.m.
Saint-Pierre Cathedral or Abbaye aux Dames every Sunday, at 10.30 a.m.
Saint-Eutrope Church 1st and 3rd Sundays, at 11 a.m.
Visit Saintonge, between land and sea
Located in the heart of the Charente-Maritime, the town of Saintes is ideally located with other tourist spots such as La Rochelle, Royan and Cognac located nearby. Located between land and sea, discover an authentic region.
Would you like to visit the beach, try some oysters or go on a boat trip? The Atlantic Coast is full of beautiful places to visit, the chance to take in the sea air!
- Maritime cities: Royan (41 km away), La Rochelle (73 km away)
- Islands: Oléron (50 km away), Aix (62 km away) and Ré (97 km away)
If you prefer to be on dry land or to enjoy cultural activities, the region also offers something to satisfy your love of nature and discovery. Walk through the vineyards, enjoy some tastings, visit historical sites and museums or climb aboard a barge to visit the Marais Poitevin.
- Cognac with the François 1er château and its vineyards (28 km away)
- Niort, its plains and the Marais Poitevin (75 km away)
- Angoulême, the comic book town, its historic old town and ramparts (72 km away)