Oléron, a natural island with all its original charm
The largest French island off the Atlantic coast is renowned for its particularly distinctive light, fine sandy beaches, unspoiled wilderness and rich heritage. From Saint-Trojan-les-Bains to the seaside resort with its national forest, Dolus-d’Oléron and the Marais aux Oiseaux, the Port des Salines in Le Grand Village Plage, the nature reserve in Moëze-Oléron, and not forgetting the villages in Saint-Georges-d’Oléron, there are so many places to visit!
The island is rich in noteworthy maritime, military and religious heritage, as you’ll discover as soon as you arrive. Fort Louvois, the Citadelle du Château and Fort Boyard in the background set the tone for wonderful holidays to come. Here, oyster farming and fishing are long standing activities, as the traditional multi-coloured cabins reveal in Fort Royer, home to oyster farming ports which have retained their original features. Today, La Cotinière remains the foremost fishing port in Charente-Maritime. Don’t miss the boats coming in at high tide – or leave without trying a seafood platter with Marennes-Oléron oysters.
The island has long been developing initiatives aimed at protecting its exceptional environment ideally suited to eco-friendly holidays – it’s the perfect destination for recharging your batteries and filling up on some positive energy! The "Famille Plus" label has been awarded to numerous sites and entertainment options that are suitable for families.
Looking for some activities? On the west side from Saint-Trojan-les-Bains to the Pointe de Chassiron with its famous black and white striped lighthouse, facing out onto the ocean, Île d’Oléron is home to an exceptional string of long sandy beaches for sunbathing, swimming and making sandcastles. For thrill seekers, there are various clubs to choose from offering beginner’s diving sessions and diving trips. And if you’d like to try surfing, head to Les Allassins in Vertbois, Les Huttes or Saint-Trojan and Grand-Village. Need to de-stress? Visit the thalassotherapy centre in Saint-Trojan-les-Bains to feel the benefit of its waters, or breathe in some sea air while walking or cycling through the maritime pines and holm oaks found in the wetland and on the rugged coastline.