The region of Poitou-Charentes is located on the west coast of France south of the Loire Valley and North of Perigord. It is relatively unknown by the tourist and hense is tranquil and largely unspoilt. It has a reputation for fine sandy beaches, lovely little harbors and towns and resorts that the French, themselves, frequent. The region also embraces a number of beautiful islands located off its shore. One of the better known, Ile d’Oléron streches nineteen miles and is known for its bounty of oysters. Popular for the unprecendented hours of sun that warms its soil, the Ile de Ré is is easily accessible from the mainland by a bridge.