The fishing port of La
Cotinière, on the west coast of the island of Oléron, at the
centre of the Côte Sauvage, is an excellent place to visit which
will delight all the family, children and parents.
We strongly recommend
that you keep an afternoon free during your stay on the Atlantic
coast to enjoy the lively atmosphere and colourful sights of the
port of La Cotinière.
A large car park right by the port, between the church and the
sea, will allow you to park without too much difficulty.
On the quay, the sailors and the wholesale fish merchants work
surrounded by ambling tourists, highlighting the contrast
between those who work and those who are on holiday.
Fishing for sardines
The unloading of
sardines from the boats is particularly spectacular, making it
the perfect scene for photographers and video enthusiasts to
The sardine was formerly one of the main fish of La Cotinière.
Fishing for sardines was recently relaunched and the sardines of
La Cotinière are now preserved in oil and put into tins,
prepared for consumers who are looking for a product of high
From June until September, the boats of La Cotinière bring back
every day several hundred kilos of sardines.
They are unloaded,
then sorted and put into cases directly on the quay, which
attracts a lot of interest from the holiday-makers.
But sardine fishing is
only one of the activities of La Cotinière. Close to the quay,
there are also the larger fish which are sold by computerised
auction, where one can watch the operations from a glass
You can watch the cases of fish rolling by on conveyors in front
of the relaxed buyers whose orders are handled by the computer
system and the prices are displayed on a big screen.
This is a
far cry from the auction of the past and from its physical and
Continuing the walk
along the pier, after leaving the auction, go first of all up to
the lighthouse at the entry of the port and then down to the end
of the pier, where one is rewarded by beautiful views over the
whole port and the beach, with the church in the background,
which is dedicated to the sailors lost at sea.
This modern church,
built in 1967 deserves a visit.
Stained glass windows give a
beautiful internal luminosity and set the mood for meditation in
memory of all the sailors lost at sea.