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Things to do in Cognac

Things to do in  Cognac

Welcome to Cognac

Long a destination for sybarites and luxury travelers, the town of Cognac gives its name to the exclusive white-wine-based brandy made by producers such as Rémy Martin, Martell, Courvoisier, and Hennessy. Touring vineyards and distilleries—and indulging in tasting flights—are among the top things to do in Cognac. However, visitors shouldn't miss Cognac’s riverside or cobblestoned Old Town, while the town's fine-dining restaurants offer a gastronomic accompaniment to all that liquid decadence. The Château de Cognac, plus two museums—one dedicated to art and history, one to Cognac production—are also worth exploring.

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All about Cognac

When to visit

Summer is the most popular time to visit Cognac, thanks to the warm weather, ample sun, and the array of tours and tastings at the Cognac houses. July is particularly busy, and if you time your visit for the end of the month, you can overlap with the Cognac Festival (La Fête du Cognac), which includes live music, tastings, and other entertainment.

Getting around

Cognac is served by the regional Cognac Station (Gare de Cognac), which operates limited train services; Angoulême Station, which is 24 miles (38 kilometers) away, connects to major lines. Local bus lines also operate. The town of Cognac itself is quite compact and easily explored on foot or by bicycle, while taxi services make it easy to return to your hotel after a tasting session at the grand Cognac maisons.

Traveler tips

Most will recognize the names of the four major Cognac houses—Hennessy, Remy-Martin, Martell, and Courvoisier—but they’re not the only maisons in the region. To discover the smaller-scale side of Cognac, it’s worth visiting local houses like ABK6, Bache-Gabrielsen, Maison Frapin, Meukow, and other producers, many of which offer their own tastings and tours on a more personal scale. You can even visit Tonnellerie Allary to see how the barrels used for aging Cognac are made.

People Also Ask

Is Cognac, France worth visiting?

Yes. The historic town of Cognac is renowned for its eponymous brandy, and many visitors come to tour the distilleries, enjoy Cognac tastings, or attend the annual Cognac Festival. Don’t miss a stroll along the scenic Charente riverfront and the atmospheric Old Town with its cobbled lanes and medieval buildings.

What is Cognac, France known for?

Located in the southwest of France, the town of Cognac is renowned as the birthplace of its namesake brandy. There are more than 200 Cognac houses and distilleries in the region, including Hennessy, Martell, Rémy Martin, and Courvoisier. Distillery tours and Cognac tastings are hugely popular with visitors, and there’s also an annual Cognac Festival.

How far is Cognac from the coast of France?

Cognac is just a 1-hour drive from France’s Atlantic Coast. The closest seaside town to Cognac is Royan at the mouth of the Gironde estuary, and the island of Île d’Oléron and the port city of La Rochelle both lie within a 1.5-hour drive.

What is the etiquette for drinking Cognac?

Cognac is traditionally served as a digestif at the end of an evening meal, but the brandy is also used as a base for cocktails and sometimes even in desserts. When enjoyed as a digestif, Cognac should be served neat and at room temperature to fully appreciate its delicate aromas.

How should I spend a day in Cognac?

Start your day with a stroll around the medieval Old Town, browse the shops along the atmospheric cobblestone lanes, and admire the views along the Charente River. After lunch, take a tour of a Cognac distillery, then head to one of the big Cognac houses for an expert-led tasting.

What is the best month to visit Cognac?

The most popular time to visit Cognac is summer when the city hosts festivals such as the Fête du Cognac and the Cognac Blues Passion. However, winter (December through March) is also a great time for Cognac tasting, when the Distilleries en Fête sees distilleries open their doors to the public.


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