We love a good festival, and we don’t just mean tented cities with lots of bands. Food festivals, wine festivals, saint’s festivals, giants festivals…they are all a great excuse for a knees up.  French regions do festivals really well and Charente Maritime is no exception (who wouldn’t love a party in the home of Cognac).  If you’re taking up the offer we posted a week or so ago for a mobile home holiday or just fancy a trip to La Rochelle, Poitiers, Futuroscope, Ile de Re or any of the other attractions in the area you could always time it to coincide with one of the following.  Some of them sound fantastic!  As we receive details from other regions/countries we’ll add them, hence why this is “Part 1”

April – May – June

Kite Flying Festival – Chatelaillon– 19th – 20th April

An annual event held at Chatelaillon-Plage with more than 250 competitors and 40,000 spectators

Festival Passe Portes – Ile de Ré – 27th May – 1st June

A festival of open-air theatre free to all and taking place when the island is heading towards the summer months

Stand up Paddle Challenge 30th May – 1st

This takes place on the Ile d’Oléron.

Maraisthon – Marais Poitevin –14th – 15th June The fifth anniversary of the race this year.

Festivals Nuits Romanes – all over the department30th June – 1st September –

All sorts of entertainment that takes place all over the Châtellerault in the summer. This year is the tenth anniversary of the Festival.

International Film Festival – La Rochelle – 27th June – 7th July –

The 41st festival is held in La Rochelle. In 2012, 82,429 spectators watched 389 performances of 142 long films and 61 shorts.

July- August – September

The Francofolies – La Rochelle –10th – 14th July

It is the Thirtieth Anniversary of the festival this year.

Festival de Saintes – Saintes – 11th – 19th July –

This will take place in July 2013 in the Abbaye aux Dames in the centre of Saintes. The concerts are all classical with music from the present day back to the Renaissance.

A Violin on the Sand – Royan – 19th – 26th July

Festival Musique en Ré – Ile de Ré – 20th – 30th July-

The only festival in France dedicated to amateur composers gathered together so the public may appreciate the talent and the diversity of French song.

Festival international de Guitare – Ile de Ré – 11th  July 2014

This festival takes place all over the island with a number of recitals given by guitarists from all over the world.

Jazz en Ré – Ile de Ré – 22nd -25th August 2014-

The Sixteenth Jazz en Ré Festival will take place this August in Saint Martin de Ré. Taking place at the port of St Martin de Ré under the Vauban fortifications, this enjoyable jazz festival has something for everyone, from swing to ‘manouche’ to blues.

Festival BD Ile de Ré – Ile de Ré – 7th August 2014

This festival welcomes artists and designers from the cartoon world for the most colourful two days of summer!

Le Grand Pavois – La Rochelle – 17th – 22th September-

One of the most important boat shows in the world with more than 750 boats, 89,000 visitors in 2012 and covering an area of 100,000 square metres.

October – November – December

Jazz between Two Towers – La Rochelle – 4th – 11th October 2014 –

This is one of the best known jazz festivals in France attracting stars such as John Scofield, Joe Louis Walker and Michelle Hendricks. The beautiful setting between the towers of the old port of La Rochelle is exceptional.

La Rochelle Marathon – La Rochelle – 30th November

The 23rd race will take place towards the end of the month and is the second fastest marathon after that of Paris. Usually about 9,000 participants take part in the marathon or the 10 kilometre race.