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The town of Jarnac is on the banks of the Charente River, east of Cognac and west of Angouleme, in the eastern Charente department (Poitou-Charentes region) of France. The surrounding area is a gently rolling landscape of vineyards and other farming activities.

In the centre of historic Jarnac at the Place du Chateau and along the Grand Rue, you will find lots of shops and all facilities.

Because of its proximity to Cognac there are numerous producers and sellers of both cognac and the local charente wine within the town, often operating from grand 19th century townhouses (Jarnac falls within the region defined as the ‘cognac appellation controlée’), and including world famous Courvoisier which is open for visits during the summer.

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There is also a museum dedicated to cognac in Jarnac.

Jarnac is best known as being the birthplace of Francois Mitterrand (President of France from 1981-1995), and it is possible to visit Mitterrand’s birthplace. In the Francois Mitterrand museum you can see many of the objects he was given by foreign leaders and dignitaries during his years as president, as well as other tributes, photos and memorabilia, and models of some of the important monuments constructed while he was President.

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Much of the town centres along the river banks. Be sure to stroll across the bridge and along the river side, looking across to the grand buildings that line the Charente river in the town.

You will also want to explore the interesting variety of specialist shops in the town, including chances to buy chocolates, another speciality in Jarnac.

Some of the other highlights of a visit include Jarnac old town itself; the church and crypt of Saint-Pierre (an early roman style church dating in part from the 11th century and with many additions and modifications from the following eight centuries); and the quais along the Charente river.

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If you are able to visit Jarnac during the winter you can visit the truffle market, held from December to February in the town.