Exploring Charente- Maritime St Simon de Pellouaille offers an ideal base for exploring Charente-Maritime From historic towns to sandy beaches of Royan (left) and Meschers, from oysters to pineau, from architecture to sunflowers, Charente-Maritime has something for everyone. St Simon is near the bustling market town of Gemozac which has a full range of shops,  banks, supermarkets, doctors, sports facilities and a swimming pool. Saintes, renowned for its Roman remains, churches and shops, lies a few kilometres to the north. You can visit the famous distilleries in the town of Cognac and sample the product. Talmont and the Gironde estuary, an ever changing landscape of water and sky, are close by. The church of St Radegund at Talmont (right) is a gem of Romanesque architecture which should not be missed.  Explore Mortagne sur Gironde with its yacht basin and many other little ports along the estuary. From historic towns to sandy beaches of Royan and Meschers, from oysters to pineau, from architecture to sunflowers, Charente-Maritime has something for everyone. Local wines, pineau & cognac