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Saint Jean d'Angely - practical guide

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May 16, 2024

Looking for a unique destination for your holiday? Discover Saint Jean d’Angely, a jewel of history and culture in the heart of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. This town, with a population of more than 6,000 inhabitants, is located in Charente-Maritime, watered by the Boutone river, perfect for relaxing walks.

Its historical heritage is impressive, with the Royal Abbey, a UNESCO listed site on the way to Santiago de Compostela. Admire its towers, cloister, abbey church, and European cultural center.

Saint Jean d’Angély also shines with its dynamism, offering a variety of activities for any nature, sport, gastronomy or culture lover.

Our handy guide will help you explore Saint Jean d’Angely and the surrounding area, showing you the must-sees and must-sees. Ready for adventure?

Explore the historical heritage of Saint Jean d’Angély

Saint Jean d’Angély, a city with a rich and remarkable past, is home to precious testimonies of its illustrious history. Discover three of its must-see architectural gems:

The Royal Abbey: an architectural jewel

The jewel of Saint Jean d’Angély, the Royal Abbey, founded in the ninth century to house the skull of Saint John the Baptist, has survived the ages, reinventing itself after each destruction. The structures we admire today, built in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, stand out for their classical elegance. Explore the magnificent façade, flanked by two towers, the peaceful cloister, the majestic abbey church, and discover the European cultural center it now houses. This monument is also famous for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, marking an essential stop on the way to Santiago de Compostela.

The Clock Tower: symbol of the city

Emblematic of Saint Jean d’Angély, the Clock Tower, built in the fifteenth century, fulfilled multiple functions: belfry, gateway to the city, and even prison. Its wrought iron bell tower, dominated by a bell dated 1748, offers a breathtaking view of the city and its surroundings. The tower also hosts an exhibition dedicated to the history of Saint Jean d’Angély and its outstanding figures.

Private mansions: a dive into history

The walk in the old heart of Saint Jean d’Angély will take you through time, in front of the facades of half-timbered houses from the medieval and Renaissance periods. You will be enchanted by the private mansions, witnesses to the prosperity of the merchant families of yesteryear. Be sure to visit the Hôtel de Menou, the Hôtel de la Gabelle, the Hôtel de la Salle, and the Hôtel de Villevert, all remarkable for their beautifully ornate facades, carved portals, and unique windows.

The best leisure and activities in Saint Jean d’Angely

In Saint Jean d’Angély, a town rich in history, nature and entertainment take pride of place. Whether your heart leans towards relaxation, sports or culture, this city has a lot to offer you.

Discover our selection of must-do activities during your visit:

Nature and hiking: discovering the landscapes of Angérie

Nature lovers will be seduced by the diverse and lush landscapes that characterize the surroundings of Saint Jean d’Angély. Take the hiking, biking or horseback riding trails to explore the wealth of local flora and fauna, admire vineyards, streams, forests and marshes. Don’t miss the Val de Boutonne lake, a haven of nature perfect for walking, fishing and water sports.

Water activities at the Atlantys resort

For a cool and fun moment, head to the Atlantys Pool Complex, which is easily accessible from downtown. Offering a multitude of activities suitable for everyone, the centre has a sports pool, a play area with slide, a wellness area equipped with a sauna, hammam and jacuzzi, as well as a cardio-training area and a relaxation area with deckchairs and solarium. Various classes are also offered such as swimming, water aerobics, aquabike and aquazumba.

Cultural events and local festivities

Saint Jean d’Angély is a dynamic city that offers a range of cultural and festive events all year round to suit all tastes. Take part in shows, concerts, exhibitions, conferences or workshops organised in emblematic places such as the Royal Abbey, the Cordeliers Museum, the media library, the cinema or the theatre. Soak up the local atmosphere by taking part in events such as the medieval festival, music festival, Christmas market or carnival.

Practical tips for a successful stay in Saint Jean d’Angély

For a memorable experience in Saint Jean d’Angély, discover our tips on gastronomy, accommodation and transport. This city offers a multitude of options to suit all expectations and budgets.

Where to eat? Gastronomy and local specialties

Saint Jean d’Angély, a gourmet town, invites you to explore the delights of Charente cuisine and Saintonge specialities. Taste the fresh quality products, including oysters from Marennes-Oléron, butter from Échiré, Charentais melon, as well as cognac and pineau des Charentes. Among the local specialties, don’t miss the farci poitevin, the mouclade, the cheese crab or the angelica of Niort.

Your choice of dining varies according to your preferences and budget. The covered market, open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, offers local products and take-away meals. The many restaurants in the city offer traditional, regional or international cuisine in a welcoming atmosphere. For quicker and cheaper meals, you’ll also find crêperies, pizzerias, brasseries and snacks.

Hosting: options for all budgets

Regarding accommodation in Saint Jean d’Angély, you will have a wide choice, whether it is a hotel, a gîte, a bed and breakfast, a campsite or a seasonal rental, adapted to your comfort and your budget. Enjoy a stay in a pleasant, peaceful and authentic setting, a stone’s throw from the city center and tourist attractions.

Getting around Saint Jean d’Angély and surroundings

There are various transportation options available to explore Saint Jean d’Angély and its surroundings, tailored to your preferences. The city center is easily accessible on foot or by bike, offering a pleasant walk. The bus serves the city’s main attractions and surrounding areas. For more flexibility, car rental, scooter rental or the use of a taxi are also possible. Take the many hiking trails to immerse yourself in the Angers landscapes and nature.


Saint Jean d’Angély is a haven for travellers in search of adventure and discovery. Whether your passion lies in history, a love of nature, the delight of gastronomy or cultural enrichment, Saint Jean d’Angély promises to meet all your expectations. It has a remarkable historical heritage, offers a range of activities and leisure activities, offers a gastronomy rich in flavours and has comfortable accommodation.

This town also enjoys a privileged geographical position, perfectly located to discover the other wonders of the Charente-Maritime. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by, plan your stay in Saint Jean d’Angély now for a memorable adventure!


What are the top tourist attractions in Saint-Jean-d’Angely?

In Saint-Jean-d’Angely, the must-see tourist attractions include:

  • The Musée des Cordeliers, exhibiting local history and temporary exhibitions.
  • The Clock Tower, dating from the fifteenth century, offers a panoramic view of the city.
  • The church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, the only vestige of the Benedictine abbey founded in the ninth century.


How to get to Saint-Jean-d’Angély from Paris or Bordeaux?

To reach Saint-Jean-d’Angély from Paris or Bordeaux, here are the options:

  • By train: Take the TGV to Niort, then a TER to Saint-Jean-d’Angély. The journey from Paris takes about 4 hours and from Bordeaux, about 2 hours.
  • By car: The E5 motorway and then the E60 lead to Saint-Jean-d’Angély, with a journey of about 4 hours from Paris and 1h30 from Bordeaux.
  • By plane: Fly to Bordeaux, take the train to Saintes, then a TER to Saint-Jean-d’Angély, totaling about 8 hours of travel from Paris.


Where are the best places to stay and eat in Saint-Jean-d’Angely?

Quality accommodation and dining options in Saint-Jean-d’Angély include:

  • The Hotel Le Saint Jean, a 3-star hotel in the historic center, offering comfortable rooms, free parking, and a gourmet restaurant.
  • Le Domaine de la Laigne, a rural cottage in a green setting, offering accommodation, outdoor swimming pool, spa and games room, located 10 km from the city.
  • The restaurant La Goule Benaise, famous for its traditional cuisine based on local products.
  • L’Atelier des Saveurs, a modern restaurant offering inventive cuisine, with menus starting at €19 and a varied selection of wines.


What are the cultural and sporting activities to do in Saint-Jean-d’Angely?

Activities in Saint-Jean-d’Angely are diversified, for example:

  • Visit the Musée des Cordeliers and its unique collections related to Citroën expeditions.
  • Explore the historical heritage, such as the Clock Tower or the Royal Abbey.
  • Walk along the Boutone River, with the possibility of enjoying water activities.
  • Indulge in creative hobbies at the Music School or at the Au Fil des Tissus shop.
  • Participate in annual cultural and festive events, such as the Escapade Balade Gourmande or the International Festival of Métis Music.