Events in Royan 2021

Planning your summer holiday

Positive thinking?

Since the beginning of November we have been bombarded with Black Friday deals, Christmas sales and online shopping bargains. And they have all helped to take our mind off being in and out of confinement. But now, there is talk about vaccines, and spending time together over the holidays. People are beginning to sound a bit more positive, and some have even asked “are you planning your summer holiday yet?”

What’s on around Bel-Air

For so many businesses, including ours, 2020 meant putting life on hold. We have had several months when we weren’t allowed to open, and even when we did, it was with some trepidation. So we have gone above and beyond the recommended government guidelines to ensure that our guests and staff at Bel-Air were completely safe whilst they were here.

While we’re still in lockdown in France we have been planning our Bel-Air Gites summer family holidays. But not for us. We are checking out what’s going on around Bel-Air for our lovely guests.

And here’s a list of just a few events planned in and around Royan starting in April 2021.

Royan Events Diary

April – Kite & Wind Festival – three days of shows on the beach for the whole family. The ever expanding festival includes aerial displays which will enthral adults and children alike. Each year the festival unfolds along the length of the beach and welcomes regional, national and even international kite flyers and visitors. This is always top of our list because it’s free to watch all the displays, but there are also sessions where you can learn how to fly a kite, water sports and even flights in a hot air balloon. If you can’t get away for the summer then why not plan a holiday earlier in the year?

May – European Museum Night – there are several online events throughout the year. But in May, normally the closest Saturday to May 18th, museums all across European open for the night, free of charge. According to TripAdvisor there are 57 museums in the Charente-Maritime so there is plenty of choice!

Bordeaux museum planning your summer holiday
Planning your summer holiday

Warming up for summer

June – Rendez-vous aux Jardins – The first weekend of June over 2,000 public and private gardens are open to the public. There are guided tours, exhibitions and gardening workshops for adults and children.

Each new edition focuses on a theme relating to knowledge, protection, conservation and gardening: “the child in the garden”, “the stroll”, or “colours”.

Rendez-vous aux Jardins

June 21st – World Music Day

Planning your summer holiday World Music day
World Music Day – Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Artists and music-lovers of all ages gather all over France, and now all over the world, to perform free of charge every year. It’s an unmissable summer event in the French people’s social calendar. So make sure you don’t miss it – wherever you are.

Just for starters

These are a few, just to start you thinking. If you can get away earlier then your travel costs might just be a little less expensive. So why not check them out, and see if you can’t bag yourself a bargain flight or a cheap ferry crossing? You can even use our Bel-Air Gites Holiday Planner to list your favourite events.

Coming soon

We’ll tell you all about the July, August and September events in our next post. So now, while everyone else is still wondering what to buy you for Christmas, you can be planning your summer holiday.

Wouldn’t that be the biggest and best surprise of all if you told them that you’d booked a holiday at Bel-Air Gites in the Charente-Maritime? And they just thought you were dreaming of Christmas.

summer events planning

Book now for 2021

Cognac Tours and Tasting

Cognac Tours and Tastings for the grown-ups

Camus Cognac tours and tasting

Bel-Air Gites is based in the Charente-Maritime and less than an hour’s drive from the historical city of Cognac. And without a doubt, it is one of the favourite destinations for some of our grown-up guests. There is a varied selection of museums, chateaux and medieval buildings to explore, and boat trips along the river. But it seems the most popular adult attractions are in fact the Cognac tours and tastings. Quelle surprise !

Quality control

There are different qualities of Cognac produced by the various companies based in and around the city. And the quality of the spirit will affect the price that you pay. Since the early days of Cognac production the main consumers and producers were the British and Irish. They used some of the techniques perfected for distilling whiskey to help improve the Cognac process. Consequently, because of their involvement the different types of Cognac quality are all English terms. VS (Very Special); VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) and XO (eXtra Old). The quality control is based on the length of time the spirit is left to mature in the oak barrels. Generally, the longer the Cognac matures in the barrel the smoother it becomes.

Tours and tasting

Almost all of the great Cognac houses have regular distillery tours and tasting, but we think one of the best is perhaps one of the least famous – Camus Cognac. Founded in 1863, it’s the largest family-run, independent Cognac business and has been in the Camus family for five generations. Today they employ more than 300 people, in 8 countries, spread across 3 different continents.

In you are interested in finding out more about the distillery process and the various quality controls of this wonderful drink, then check out their website. They offer a variety or tours and tastings, but please remember to drink responsibly.

Cognac tours and tastings
Image credit – Eaters collective on Unsplash

Book for 2021

While you are taking part in your Cognac house tour, the other members of the family can enjoy their own tour. We think this lovely city will surprise you with its impressive architecture, delicious restaurants and charming boutiques. So make sure you include a day out in Cognac on your summer holiday planner.

We look forward to seeing you at Bel-Air Gites next summer

Reduce the stress of packing for your holiday

How to reduce the stress of packing for your holiday

Whether it is your first holiday or you are a regular traveller, packing for your holiday can be very stressful. Maybe even more so if you are packing for a family holiday and need to think about baby and toddler essentials. At Bel-Air Gites we think we have a solution to help reduce your stress levels. And as well as helping you decide what to pack, it will also help you remember to take everything back home with you.

You need a holiday checklist.

packed suitcases holiday packing

Where to start

First of all, what type of holiday is it? Packing for your holiday will depend on whether it’s family holiday, a romantic weekend for two, or a meet up with friends. Will you be spending time on the beach or hiking through the woods? And what is the average temperature at your holiday location? We can’t help you plan for every eventuality, but hopefully our hints and tips can start you off on the right track, whatever you are planning.

When you know the sort of holiday you have got planned then you can start your holiday checklist. And here’s how we start our list.


Although you might be thinking hairdryer, we are actually talking real ‘essentials’. The things that are going to get you from home to fantastic holiday and back again.

  1. Valid passports. Check you have got passports for all the family members you are travelling with. Are they valid and is the expiry date correct for where you are going? For some countries your passport expiry date has to be at least 6 months after your return date.
  2. Flight tickets, ferry tickets. Printed off and kept with the passports. Some airlines now over digital tickets. If that’s the case with yours then make sure they are saved online where you can find them quickly and easily when you are at the boarding gate.
  3. Travel Insurance. It’s vitally important that your travel insurance covers all members of your party for the whole period of your trip. Make sure it’s valid for non-essential travel and for any activities you might have planned while your away. For example jet skiing, scuba diving and zip wires might not be covered on a standard policy.
  4. Credit cards, cash and foreign currency. Exchange rates and other transaction fees can cost more when you are abroad, so think about getting your holiday money or a currency card before you go.
  5. Driving Licence and driving permits. Make sure your licence is valid for the countries you are driving through, and check if you need any other driving permits. Make sure vehicle insurance and breakdown cover is sufficient for your whole trip.
  6. Visas. Do you need any travel visas for the country you are going to? If so, apply early to make sure they arrive in time for your trip.
  7. Medicines. If anyone in your party has to take regular medication, make sure that you have enough for your trip.
  8. Keys. Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But you would be surprised how many of our guests phone us when they get home and ask did we find any house-keys in their gite. If you have a spare key, then leave it with a friend or neighbour.
packing for your holiday

Family Holiday Checklist

How many times have you forgotten something and had to buy another on holiday? When you are away there are things you probably wouldn’t think of using at home, such as insect repellent or flip-flops.

Here are a few items that you should be packing for your holiday, whether you are coming to Bel-Air Gites or going elsewhere.

For the Car

  • Blanket(s)
  • Baby wipes
  • Tissues
  • Toys, games and reading material for the journey
  • Car window shade
  • Nappy changing bag
  • Booster seats
  • First aid kit

For the pool, beach and Bel-Air Gites

  • Sunglasses
  • Flip-flops
  • Suncream
  • Swimwear, flotation aids, swimming goggles
  • Insect repellent
  • Beach ball or inflatables
  • Sun hats
  • Beach towels

What we provide

Having a break at Bel-Air Gites takes a lot of the stress out of packing for your holiday. Because we want it to be your best family holiday we start by providing all the basic kiddie essentials. Whether you have babies, toddlers or bigger kids, at Bel-Air gites you will find everything you need to make this your family’s home-from-home.

We pride ourselves on being ‘child-friendly’ which means that in the gites you will find everything you need, including:

  • Cots and linen, high-chairs, pushchairs, baby baths, stair gates, changing mats, baby monitors, booster seats, potties and toilet trainer seats.
  • Steriliser bags, child steps, bath/shower non-slip mats, child-proof cupboard and window locks, bath toys and children’s cutlery
  • Hand blender, night lights, blackout blinds and much more!

There is no extra charge for baby equipment or towels for the length of your holiday. And if you can think of something that we haven’t listed just let us know, and we will do our best to provide it.


There’s a large selection of toys, books, DVD’s, indoor and outdoor games. Our large playground is full of swings, a slide, climbing frame, trampoline and tunnels. And the large, heated outdoor pool is fenced in and securely gated so children cannot get in or out unsupervised.

For your safety

At Bel-Air Gites the safety of our guests and staff is high priority, so naturally we have to impose a few restrictions due to the coronavirus. We have worked hard to ensure that the restrictions do not stop you enjoying your holiday. And we are following the guidelines issued by the French Government and Health Organisations.

Each gite now has an allocated area with sun loungers by the pool. The loungers are disinfected every evening, and there is disinfectant available for guests to clean them during the day. There is a limit of 10 people in the pool area at any time, so we ask our guests to be mindful of other guests who might be waiting to use the pool.

Unfortunately the games room will be closed, but we have provided a box of DVDs and toys in each gite. The playground and trampoline are still accessible, and they are disinfected each evening. As is always the case, for all our amenities we leave it up to the parents to decide whether their children should use them or not.

If you have any questions or concerns about booking your next family holiday at Bel-Air Gites then please get in touch now. We want you and your family to be happy and feel safe during your entire stay with us.

Book Now For 2021


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