Spend your holiday on a river barge on the inland waterways.
With the Charente judged to be one the most beautiful rivers in France – think floating passed small villages and historic towns, fields full of grapevines or grazing Limousin cows – finding a floating hotel, albeit it one you have to drive yourself, is easy to do. You can hire a modern boat or old-style barge for two or as many as 12-16. All come with up-to-date bathrooms and kitchens, as well as sundecks to take in the sun and the views.
You can moor your boat anywhere along the river, whether for an afternoon or overnight, although most people tend to head to sites by restaurants or shops. You don’t need any previous experience to steer a boat if you plan to stick to the quieter parts of the river (you won’t be allowed near busy port towns such as Rochefort). In fact, it is said that the best drivers are teenagers who have yet to learn to drive!