The Zoo de la Palmyre may be a 2 hour drive away, but it is well worth it. It was founded by Claude Caillé in 1966, and is now one of best-known zoos in France. Set at the heart of an 18-hectare pine forest,it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Charente-Maritime. Every year around 700,000 visitors follow its pathways in order to observe more than 1,600 mammals, birds and reptiles from 115 different species. One of our favourite areas was for the polar bears, where you can walk alongside a great glass wall and seem them swimming up close and personal!
(Header image Zoo de la Palmyre ©Ulli J Flickr)