What to Do in Cognac France

I was going back through all of my posts and realized that a post on Cognac has been long overdue. It’s a pretty small town, so you may be wondering what to do in Cognac France. Well, I spent a weekend there and these are my highlights! This is What to Do in Cognac!

Festivals

I headed to Cognac specifically to see one of my favorite singers who was touring Europe at the time, LP. There is a yearly music festival during the summer called Blues Passions. There are tons of music festivals happening in practically every town from around late May to early July. I can’t say I had a particular interest in any of the other acts, but it was fun to walk around with wine in a plastic cup. Also, if there are certain singers you really want to see, the crowds will likely be very small. Despite LP being very popular in some European countries she was relatively unknown in France at the time, which meant I got practically front row standing placement! There is also, of course, a Cognac Festival, and there is also apparent a yearly Book Festival.

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The Cognac Blues Festival, where I saw my favorite singer LP

Cognac Museums/Tours

Pretty much all the big names in Cognac have tours. Hennessey, Otard, and Martell, and more will show you the distilleries. Cognac is my favorite alcohol and I highly recommend giving it a try! Of course these tours will give you the option to taste a few 🙂 The Chateau de Cognac is also a good option to visit. It was the birthplace of Francis the First and the home of Baron Otard (the namesake of the Cognac brand Otard, of course). While I didn’t go on this tour, I really wish I had as it looks like a lot of fun!

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An example of what you might see on a Cognac Tour

I did, however, head to the Musee des Arts du Cognac. Although it claims to be about art, the majority of it is dedicated to the production of Cognac, Cognac history, etc. It is a really cool museum, though, with a fantastic section dedicated to the different brands and bottles throughout history. The art of Cognac the drink is beautiful. If you are only in Cognac for a short time, as I was, this is the best way to get a well-rounded appreciation for the fortified wine.

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Obviously before I got a better camera, but these are the beautiful varieties of grape vines outside the Musee des Arts

Explore the Town

If you have not been to any smaller towns in France (under 100k people) I highly recommend it. There is something so overly charming and collected about small French towns. Whatever local legand or bit of history, each town has something and displays it with pride. Whether that is Blois, with it’s Royal Chateau, Orleans with Jean d’Arc, or Cognac with its, well, Cognac. The Old Town is simply delightful to wander about and it’s what I spent most of the rest of my time doing. I headed to the Covered Market and overpaid for overripe raspberries. And, of course, I bought two bottles of actual cognac.

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One of the lovely, quintessential buildings of central France

While it is a small place, simply existing in these small towns in France has been more than enough to delight me. Do yourself a favor when you visit France, and give yourself a few days to truly experience them, not glide through onto the next place. I think I would find myself disappointed if I only went to these places as daytrips. Small towns are about the people that live there in that moment, more than anything else.

 

I hope this has been helpful to you!

Check out my other posts!

Three Idyllic Days in Rome

A Week in Paris

Big City Lights in NYC

 

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