Exploring southwest France.

Situated in the southwestern coast of France, Charente Maritime is an area that has plenty to offer the visitor. Although it may be best known for the many miles of sandy beaches, it also abounds in pretty seaside towns and charming islands. The area is also considered to be second only to the Mediterranean coast in terms of sunshine, so it's no wonder that it is popular with both French holidaymakers and visitors from abroad. The area has a far more relaxed feel than the ultra-trendy Cote d'Azur and is considerably less expensive, making it desirable amongst the timeshare fraternity.

The Vendee is also another popular tourist hotspot, offering over 70 miles of glorious sandy beaches along its coast. It has a very mild climate, so is particularly good for those who prefer to head off on their holidays in the cooler winter months, but as the RCI resales market can testify, there is plenty of activity here all year round.

When based in this area, there is a wealth of activity to discover. The zoo at La Palmyre is world renowned and offers visitors the chance to see more than 1600 animals of various kinds, spread over a distance of around 4km. Also in Charente Maritime, the Ile de RĂ© offers a great place to relax and unwind. This exclusive island is quaint and understated, being as typically French as it is possible to be. This is a place where everyone cycles and there are numerous places from which to hire a bike for an hour or so or even longer, depending on how long your stay.

Among the more popular resorts in the RCI resales market are those that offer camping style accommodation. Camping is very big in this part of the world and the resorts are usually far superior to the traditional campsites to which we are accustomed in the UK. Most resorts offer an entertainment complex with activities and shows suitable for the whole family and each resort has at least one good sized and well maintained swimming pool, often offering indoor and outdoor pools as well as toddler pools and spas.

The RCI resales resorts generally provide great value for money, allowing for a relatively cheap family holiday without compromising on quality. Indeed, it is the mark of quality that comes with the RCI name that helps the resale market maintain its integrity even when people are cutting back on their holiday expenditure.