Holiday on the Island of Oléron in the French Atlantic Coast


Have you at any time considered of owning a vacation on the island of Oléron? Even though a lot of international travellers flock to the Côte d’Azur in southern France, the locals from parts these kinds of as Paris or Bordeaux commit their holiday seasons on the Island of Oléron (Île d’Oléron). Being the 2nd-largest island of France on the Europe continent, the Island of Oléron is related to the mainland by a bridge and is dwelling to approximately 22,000 inhabitants.

Oléron has really contrasting landscapes, from a seaside resort to an oyster farming hub, from a pine forest to the salt marsh landscape, and even from sandy seashores to rocky foreshores. During our relatives getaway in Bourcefranc-Le-Chapus, we did a few activities there, this kind of as traveling to the stunning oyster huts and acquiring a boat trip via the salt marshes. It is also well worth mentioning that the island features lots of campgrounds, these kinds of as Sandaya campsite, which welcomes you during the period!

Eight municipalities of the island give quite a few household routines on the Île d’Oléron. Some of them are unique to the region and are certainly memorable. In which to go on holiday break on the island of Oléron?  Here are some functions to program when you have a Holiday getaway on the Island of Oléron:

  • Spend half-day at Fort Louvois
  • Mountaineering and cycling all around the island
  • Stroll close to the imposing ramparts close to the citadel of Le Château-d’Oléron
  • Take a look at the Salt marshes in Le Grand Village Plage
  • Unwind on the seashores
  • Examine vibrant oyster huts

Commit 50 percent-day at Fort Louvois

On the way to the Island Oléron from Bourcefranc-Le-Chapus, the first sight is Fort Louvoi on the suitable aspect of the bridge. This 17th-century maritime fortification is uncomplicated to reach at low tide on foot and by boat at high tide. Nevertheless, the street to the fortification is coated by seaweed and hence pretty slippery. You can explore its barracks or be part of a novel tour that requires you back via time with the full loved ones. And, you can also take part some games to have exciting or have an interactive practical experience. 

Climbing and cycling close to the island

Because the island has an typical elevation of 1 metre, it is a wonderful location to cycle all over. The island has several shady parts, so even in the summertime, biking is also a well known exercise for the full household.

Our spouse and children enjoys mountaineering. We uncovered one climbing trail at the northern tip of the island about the lighthouse, the Phare de Chassiron. The lighthouse, developed on the cliff, was in the beginning painted in white like its comparable-wanting ‘twin’ the Phare des Baleines on the Ile-de-Ré. Baffled by sailors and potentially perilous, in 1926, the three 6-metre-higher black bands were being painted to distinguish the lighthouse, the Phare des Baleines.

The round stroll all over the lighthouse rewarded us with rocky coastal sights. We went there late in the afternoon in stormy climate. However, the sunset was even now battling through the rainy clouds, giving us a lightning possibility to seize the sights. Some sites have warning symptoms due to the fact the cliff has erosion. Hence, we experienced to choose safety measures going for walks on the cliffside. Inspite of of the uncomfortable temperature, we experienced a very good coastal wander.

Stroll around the imposing ramparts in the vicinity of the citadel of Le Château-d’Oléron

The citadel and ramparts surrounding the medieval district of Le Château-d’Oléronare are accessible calendar year-round. The ramparts of the web site offer you a panoramic watch of the Natural Reserve of Moëze-Oléron. It is interesting to view how the tides alter the landscape of the port. At the lower tide, I recognized a slender channel, Chenal du Château crossing the sand financial institution to the sea. This waterway assures the targeted traffic route for the fisherman’s boats.

The broad site consists of several buildings with totally free access, this sort of as the arsenal, the Powder Journal, and the Royal Bastion. You can be part of a guided tour or acquire a modest practice excursion to explore the citadel and the ramparts.

Visit the Salt marshes in Le Grand Village Plage

Salt marshes and salt farming have contributed to the Charente’s landscape. The salt farming field utilised to be the livelihood in the Middle Ages but declined immediately after the salt marshes dried up from the end of the 19th century. 

In new decades, salt farming is revival, and several salt producers welcome guests to share their enthusiasm, featuring excursions to introduce salt farming works and heritage. Nowadays, visitors can also investigate the salt marshes on their bikes or retain the services of a boat at Le Port des Salines, like we did. It took us about 45 minutes to complete the boat journey. There is a compact shop marketing salt at various phases. As an iconic element of Charente-Maritime’s heritage, a salt marsh is a truly worth-see location if you have a getaway on the island.

Chill out on the shorelines

To attain several sandy shorelines, you first go the vast pine forests by means of little roadways, for example, the Forest of Saint-Trojan. Nevertheless, only some of the beaches are supervised by lifeguards through the summertime. Other beaches offer h2o sports activities from browsing, sailing, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and sand yachting. In the Springtime, the h2o is also chilly for swimming, but the limitless sandy beach locations, especially all through the lower tides, are perfect for walking!

Explore vibrant oyster huts

Not considerably from the citadel, at the cross of the Chenal du Château and the Avenue du port, there are quite a few colourful huts, Cabanes de créateurs(the designer huts). They used to be the oyster huts. To stay away from the outdated houses remaining dilapidated community city hall rents them to artists. Now, artists and craftsmen adorn the areas with their creative imagination and bring the old oyster huts again to everyday living. When I strolled in the port of Château-d’Oléron, my eyes were being drawn to a blue hut, a pink one, and a yellow one particular at the waterfront. The artists, from sculptors, and jewelers, to cutlers, have been creating and repainting the destinations for years. The web site is a person of the finest sites on the island for photography.

But, if you want to pay a visit to the functioning oyster huts, head to the century-outdated oyster-farming village of Fort-Royer in Saint-Georges d’Oléron. People multi-coloured huts there is the witness of classic oyster farming.

Journey tips for a getaway on the Island of Oléron (Île d’Oléron)

In which to remain

There are a great deal of selections from superior accommodations to holiday break resorts and tenting web-sites, for illustration, Tenting Signol, a 4-star campground which is 150 metre from the city centre and 800 metre from Boyardville Beach.

How to get there

  • By street: Ile d’Oléron is attained by a toll-free bridge from Bourcfranc-le-Chapus on the mainland. There is no cycle lane on the bridge so just take precautions. From Paris or Bordeaux, consider A10 to Saintes and then push 45 km to Bourcfranc-le-Chapus. 
  • By h2o: From La Rochelle, get ferries to the island. Remember to stop by to get the thorough info.
  • By coach: Area trains operate to Saintes, Rochefort, and La Rochelle, and nearby Surgères hook up with the TGV to Paris (3 hours).


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