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Chalais and the local area

Chalais is a small market town at the southern edge of the Charente near to the border with the Dordogne. The town nestles in a hollow in rolling countryside very reminiscent of the Cotswolds.

Chalais is dominated by the Château that sits on the hill above the centre of the town. No stay at La Tannerie would be complete without a meal in the restaurant at the Château, but booking is nearly always necessary.

Chalais has a good range of shops, including an Intermarché supermarket, and all are within easy walking distance of La Tannerie. There are also doctors, dentists and chemists.



The town’s renowned Monday market is a wonderfully typical French street market and is not to be missed.


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Within five miles of Chalais there are numerous pretty villages, frequently wrapped around their village church and square, and each with its own restaurant where traditional French food is served in unfussy surroundings.


The picturesque hilltop village of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne is rightfully popular with visitors who come to see the ancient, Spanish-style houses and the unique monolithic church, carved out of the rock face.


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Bicycle Hire

For those wishing to explore the beautiful countryside around Chalais on 2 wheels, we are pleased to recommend the services of BikeHireDirect.

This local company deliver and collect your bikes direct to La Tannerie for free.

All bikes come with free helmets and locks.

They also rent toddler chariots, baby seats and 'tag-along' bikes as well as racks and baskets.

For more information, click on their advert or follow this link.

Please note: if you hire through our website we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Further afield

Within an hour

La Tannerie is ideally situated for those wishing to visit the vineyards of Bergerac, St-Emillion and Cognac, and all the major producers offer visits and tastings.

The Charente ‘county town’ is Angoulême, 30 miles to the north. On the outskirts are all the usual commercial centres and fast-food outlets, but the city centre, on the banks of the Charente, is lively and attractive.

Bordeaux is about an hour’s drive from Chalais and offers all the amenities of a major city. Whilst extensive development of the tramway continues a visit by train may be preferable. Chalais station is within walking distance of our gîtes and has a regular service to Bordeaux.

Within 2 hours

Within two hours are to be found the superb beaches of the Atlantic coast at Royan, or for a different day out there is the Futuroscope science theme park at Poitiers.

A similar drive in the opposite direction would lead you along the historic Dordogne river to Sarlat and its wonderful medieval centre.

Or head up through the Limousin to visit the Second World War Memorial Village of Oradour-sur-Glane, guaranteed to be a thought-provoking experience.