A little hillside village overlooking the Charente, Saint-Simeux offers magnificent viewpoints and is a privileged spot for walkers.

An eel-fishing past

The listed site of Les Essacs is unique in the département. The village’s identity is an unusual cross between viticulture and eel-fishing. The village and its winding streets overlook the Charente on one side and on the other, a plateau dedicated exclusively to viticulture.
Les Essacs or the fisheries of Saint-Simeux are the remains or a commercial fluvial activity where eels on downstream migration were caught. They live in the river but between the ages of 10-15 years swim off to the Sargasso Sea to reproduce. The fry take three years to return to the river.

What is an Essac ?

Well, it’s an eel-fishery built on a dyke. When the eels descend the Charente, they are trapped in a bourgnon, a kind of large basket with a net; all the fishermen had to do was to lift the basket with the winch.

Damien Garcia

The Essacs association

A group of some sixty supporters for preserving local heritage have created an association that restores and maintains the fisheries’ site.

Time for a break

The lock at Saint-Simeux has a perfect view of the village!
Discover Géoferme, an organic micro-farm that, in summer, holds Cucurbites evenings beside the Charente.

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