Exclusive Use

New ‘Exclusive Use’ Holiday

Exclusive use deal world tourism day bel-air gites

Keeping safe

Bel-Air Gites is a small family-run business and our family live onsite all year round. We fully understand how important it is to ensure that your family and friends are safe during your time here. That is why we want to reassure you that we strictly follow the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the French government. It is also the reason we have come up with our new ‘Exclusive Use’ offer for 2021.

What is ‘Exclusive Use’?

This year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we are introducing a new holiday package, aimed at giving you some peace of mind during these difficult times. With our new ‘Exclusive Use’ package you can hire both of our large family gites, that can accommodate up to 13 people. You will have exclusive use of the gite complex, including the gardens, children’s play areas and our huge outdoor pool with sun loungers. We guarantee that no other guests will be booked in to any other accommodation for the same dates. In addition, we will provide hand sanitiser sprays and cleaning products around the complex, and in the gites for your added protection.

Peace of mind

For just €2600 per week you can stay in our two family gites, Châtaigniers and Chouette ,with full unlimited access to all our fantastic family facilities. This will give you total peace of mind, and a wonderful time shared with your loved ones. Our special package is only available by booking direct with Bel-Air Gites. Availability is limited due to already confirmed bookings, so call us now to check availability and get a great deal. 

UPDATE : We only have a couple of weeks available in June and September 2021. Call now so you don’t miss out

Blue Lagoon of Charente

Pure Blue Lakes of the Charente

Just under an hour’s drive away from Bel-Air Gites is the town of Touvérac. It’s only a small town, but the area surrounding it is a protected natural site, with some wonderful hiking trails. However, this is also a place that can take your breath away. In amongst the pines there is a hidden paradise – the beautiful clear waters of ‘Les Lacs Bleus’. The Blue Lakes of the Charente.

Blue Lakes of the Charente

Hiker’s paradise

Lace up your hiking boots, get your binoculars ready, and head off on the trails surrounding the pure blue waters. It’s a good 2 hour walk so make sure you are suitably kitted out, and have plenty of water. The wet clay can be a bit slippery, so take care as you walk the white slopes. Well-sign-posted trails will take you around the old kaolin quarries.

Kaolinic Clays

Mined in the Charente up until the 1990’s, this beautiful white clay has a variety of uses. Primarily used in porcelain, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and paper-making, it’s now also used in skincare. However, the kaolinic clays extracted in the Charente were mainly used to make refractory materials to withstand high temperatures, such as in furnaces, kilns, etc.

When the mines were finished with, the holes were left open and the rain turned them into small, hillside reservoirs. It’s these old mines that now make up the blue lakes of the Charente. The water is pure and clear, but because the environment is still young, the aquatic life is still developing. So don’t expect to see lots of fish.

Slippery surface

Allow a good 2 hours to hike the complete circuit, and try and allow some time to read the many information panels. Because there are some fairly steep slopes, the trails are not recommended for people with restricted mobility. And tempting though it looks, swimming in the lakes is not allowed. We would also advise people not to go too close to the water’s edge, because if you slip, it can be very difficult to get a firm footing on the slippery clay surface. Don’t be put off though. It really is a beautiful place, and the blue lakes are a spectacular site to see.

The walk around the Lacs Bleu is one of the things I will remember most about our holiday trip. Unsure if we were in the right location, the first glimpse when rounding the bend was just breath-taking.…. Unmissable if you like nature walks!

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Book Bel-Air Gites

So, yet another wonderful family activity for you to plan into your next summer holiday with us here at Bel-Air Gites. Be sure to bring your hiking gear, but don’t forget your swimming costumes as well, Because when you get back from admiring the Blue Lakes of the Charente, you can take a dip in the beautiful cool blue pool at Bel-Air Gites.

We look forward to welcoming you and your family to our fantastic child-friendly gite complex next summer. Book now to avoid disappointment.

The glorious heated pool
Bel-Air Child-friendly gites in the Charente-Maritime

Hiking in Charente-Maritime

The Charente-Maritime is a fantastic place to go hiking, and welcomes millions of walkers and hikers every year. Will it be your turn next?

With over 500 miles of long distance footpaths, and over 1600 miles of shorter marked footpaths, the Charente-Maritime area is a great place for hikers. And those numbers don’t include the many beach and forest paths we have in the region. So if you are planning to go hiking when you come to Bel-Air Gites, make sure you bring a map. We would hate it if any of our lovely visitors got lost.

Stay Fit

In a recent UK government survey over 70% of the people questioned said walking is their favourite outdoor activity. Maybe because it’s something all the family can do together, or because it is free. Whatever the reason, it’s a well known fact that regular, brisk daily walks are good for you.

Walking can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier. And if you go hiking along the coastline near to Bel-Air Gites, not only will you witness some amazing views, but you will also breathe in lungfuls of rejuvenating sea air.

Get a Guide

We weren’t joking when we said to bring a map. It would be easy to get lost on some of the long trails, so wherever you are planning to go hiking, pick up a guidebook from the local Tourist Information Office. Or go online to the Charente-Maritime Hiking Committee website. The site includes a number of ‘aquatic walking sites’ with plans you can download, but you will need to translate them from French!

The EasyVoyage website is in English and references several great long and short distance hiking routes in the region.

Hiking Checklist

To an experienced hiker this next section is going to be a bit like teaching your granny to suck eggs, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little reminder. Especially if you usually go hiking during the unpredictable, wet British summers. The temperatures here can get into the 40s during July and August so take plenty of fluids, high-factor sun-cream and a hat.

  1. Wear suitable clothing – select clothing and footwear that is suitable for the terrain and the weather. Wearing comfortable socks and shoes will make sure that you walk without bruises, blisters or sore feet.
  2. Stay hydrated – Proper hydration of your body keeps you fresh and energised. Don’t wait to feel thirsty. Drink a little and often. Even if it is only a sip it helps maintain body temperature and keeps you hydrated. You will walk easily and enjoy the experience.
  3. Don’t go off on your own – carry a reliable map and follow the trail as planned. If you are in a group then stay with them, or close to them. Always tell someone where you are going, and what time you’ll be back. And don’t forget to let them know when you are back, so they don’t send out a search party!
  4. Take your phone – although GPS and mobile devices might not work all the time, it’s still a good idea to carry your phone with you. Signals from the mobile phones are useful and have helped to locate lost hikers in the past.
  5. Carry a whistle – it might sound a bit random but if you get lost people can hear you from far away. And blowing a whistle uses a lot less energy than shouting.
  6. Essentials – take sun-screen, sunglasses, hat, and toilet paper. If you are out for several hours at some point you might need to ‘pay a visit’.
  7. Bring your litter home with you – self-explanatory. Do not leave your empty plastic bottles, cans or paper bags littering our beautiful countryside, polluting our beaches or endangering the wildlife.
  8. Don’t overdo it – You might be a fit, well built and healthy person but hiking is different from a walk in the park. The different climate and terrain will have an impact on your body, so take it easy if you haven’t done this kind of thing before, or for a long while.

Here are few more : Hiking Safety Tips – just in case we have missed anything.

Relax and unwind

While you are out walking or hiking in our beautiful region just remember, that when you get back what better way is there to relax and unwind than in our wonderful swimming pool?

So don’t go wandering off too far. We want you to come back to Bel-Air Gites to enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Bel-Air Gites – Book Now For 2021

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