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Poitiers

Poitiers

Home to one of France’s oldest universities, the city of Poitiers may not be the biggest city in France, but that certainly isn’t holding it back. In addition to a lively social scene, including regular musical festivals and even a traditional Scottish Highland Games, Poitiers will enchant visitors with its bags of charm, beautifully preserved Romanesque churches and range of quirk independent shopping boutiques that are par excellent.

This pint-sized city has more than its fair share of hotels and guesthouses. Housed in a former Jesuit chapel, four-star Mercure Poitiers Centre (14 rue Édouard Grimaux) retains all the grandeur of its 19th-century heyday. Nearby Best Western Poitiers Centre Le Grand Hôtel (28 rue Carnot) channels simple minimalism within a charming historic shell, while Les Appartements Notre-Dame (3 place Charles de Gaulle) is a small selection of self-catering apartments with a snug, homey feel and faint-making balcony views towards the bell tower of Notre-Dame la Grande. Hôtel de l'Europe (39 rue Carnot) offers mid-budget travellers huge beds and slick service in a central location, while no-frills Hôtel Central (35 place du Maréchal Leclerc) is a reliable value option.

The postcard-perfect Grand’Rue is packed with quirky little arts and crafts shops. If you’re travelling with kids, don’t miss a visit to La Maison de Poupée (151 Grand’Rue), a stylish child-centric boutique that stocks a huge range of antique toys. Nearby Ciergerie Guédon (113 Grand’Rue) is one of the few places in France where candles are still made by hand, and just up the road Fabrique de Parapluies (137 Grand’Rue) has been designing, selling and restoring umbrellas for four generations. Foodies should try traditional macarons, nougatine and melt-in-the-mouth chocolate at Maison Rannou-Métivier (Centre Commercial Leclerc and other locations).

Marannes-Oléron mussels, langoustines, crab, Barbezieux black chicken, goat’s cheese and cognac-infused snails are all delicacies of this ultra-foodie region. Local ingredients are showcased to perfection in Le Poitevin (76 rue Carnot), where warm décor and a crackling fire make for the perfect winter evening retreat. In the suburb of Saint-Benoît, Michelin-starred Passions et Gourmandises (6 rue du Square) delivers creative and unmistakably French dishes to a romantic terrace overlooking the water. After dark, head to the Relax Bar in central Poitiers (20 place Charles de Gaulle), where you can sip on homemade cocktails and sample 12 different varieties of rum.

Highland Games
June
The little town of Bressuire, just to the west of Poitiers, has been twinned with Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire for more than 20 years. The result is an annual Highland Games, with all the traditional sports of Scottish hammer throw, caber toss, stone put and weight throw. Scottish bands and dancers entertain the watching crowds.


Notre-Dame la Grande Polychromy
June-September
During the summer months, Poitiers’ stunning church Notre-Dame la Grande hosts a nightly light show. The display aims to show how the church would have looked back in its 11th-century heyday.


Poitiers éclats d'été
July-August
Starting in July and running throughout the summer, this festival puts on a nightly programme of live music, open-air cinema screenings and concerts. There are shows for children too, making it a highlight for visiting families.


Saxophone en Mouvement
August
This funky jazz festival is run parallel to an international saxophone academy, which invites around 50 young saxophonists from around the world every year to perfect their craft under the tuition of experts. Concerts, lectures and light shows are all included in the programme.


Les Expressifs
October
One of the leading circus and street art festivals in Europe, Les Expressifs is a long weekend of colourful, costumed celebration to mark the start of autumn. The focus is on new talent and cultural diversity, and the philosophy behind the event is to make culture accessible to all.

ESSENTIALS

Language
French
Currency
Euro
Time zone
GMT +1
Flight time
1 Hour 25
Holiday type
City Break , Sightseeing

WEATHER

02/08/14
Light rain shower
Light rain shower
13°C
min
25°C
max
03/08/14
Sunny skies
Sunny skies
14°C
min
27°C
max
04/08/14
Partly cloudy skies
Partly cloudy skies
13°C
min
27°C
max
05/08/14
Sunny skies
Sunny skies
14°C
min
28°C
max
06/08/14
Sunny skies
Sunny skies
14°C
min
29°C
max
07/08/14
Sunny skies
Sunny skies
18°C
min
32°C
max
Jan
9°C max
2°C min
Feb
8°C max
1°C min
Mar
12°C max
3°C min
Apr
16°C max
5°C min
May
21°C max
8°C min
Jun
24°C max
11°C min
Jul
25°C max
13°C min
Aug
25°C max
12°C min
Sep
22°C max
10°C min
Oct
18°C max
8°C min
Nov
11°C max
4°C min
Dec
8°C max
2°C min

AIRLINES

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