The Château de Verteuil on the Charente River, just outside Ruffec
is a 10th Century gem, both inside and out
The FrenchEntrée Property Services team reveal their top areas in which to begin your property search – including tips from our local partner agencies.
This attractive floral town, which was awarded ‘two flowers’ by Le Conseil National des villes et Villages Fleuris, dates back to the 10th century. Founded by King Lothias, Ruffec was once home to a castle fortress and the surrounding area boasts a vast range of historic landmarks, vineyards, natural beauty spots, rivers and much more.
Ruffec’s vieux-quartier (old town) can be found down cobbled pathways between the town hall and the ancient church of Sain-André. The castle walls can still be seen, though the château itself was deconstructed to build houses, which provide modern visitors with a perfect example of Medieval urban architecture.
If châteaux are your thing, then the example at Verteuil-sur-Charente is just a few minutes from Ruffec. The Château de Verteuil dominates the quaint village with its magnificent, slate-roofed towers and beautifully mantained façades. A trip down the river by canoe from Rejallant, a local beauty spot, will take you directly past the Château de Verteuil, giving a perfect view of this 10th-century gem. During the summer, you can visit the Château’s gardens and sections of its equally stunning interior.
The area is very agricultural and farming is an important part of life here, with markets held twice a week in the town centre that offer an abundance of local produce. ‘Night markets’, music festivals, brocantes and antique markets are also a regular feature during the summer months.
With its steadily growing population, Ruffec boasts all of the requisite facilities, including a cinema, public and private schools, a swimming pool, and a large choice of excellent restaurants.
The departement of the Charente is one of the sunniest in France and has its own micro-climate, which provides averages of 2,025 hours of sun each year and a mild 4°c during the winter season.
The nearby towns of Anguileme (42km away), Cognac (55km) and the beautiful Atlantic coast (105km), which is rich in sandy beaches and features the historic port of La Rochelle, make Ruffec an ideal base for exploring all of the myriad attractions of the Poitou-Charentes region.
Property prices around Ruffec remain very attractive and start at around €15,000 for renovation projects, while a simple little pied à terre can be snapped up for €50-€75,000. Digging a little deeper, a budget of €125-€150,000 can secure a very comfortable, three-bedroom property which could be used as a larger main residence or holiday home.
With thanks to Christophe Guay, our partner agency in Poitou-Charentes.
Further information on the area;
If you would like some assistance discovering this or other areas of France and find out more about what the property market has to offer please don’t hesitate to give us a call at +44 (0) 1225 463752 or email us at [email protected]
Originally published in issue 118 of the FrenchEntrée magazine.