Charité sur Loire is a small medieval village located in Burgundy, one of France's main wine regions. Built around a church complex, one of Europe's largest, the quaint stone houses cling to the sides of the church in the immediate surroundings. A lovely little base to explore the region's restaurants, taverns and wineries. The best way to get around is by bike, and in fact the region is very popular with cycling enthusiasts, especially in the summer. This tiny village is also home to one of France's main literature festivals, Le Festival du Mot, 'The Festival of the Word', in English. Now in its eighth year, the event will take place from 30 May until 3 June 2012 and welcomes writers, playwrights and bookworms from all over France.
Set on the banks of the Loire River, the picturesque village offers a range of activities mainly around art and culture, but a great way of seeing another side to the region is via canoe. There are various itineraries and companies offering tours to explore the local fauna and flora, and if you are lucky, you might even get to stop off on some of the desert islets dotting the river for a picnic of local cheese and wine!Pesmes' noble demeanor Underestimated art in Vézelay