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Island of Oleron

to discover

When Oleron was an island

The lighthouse of Chassiron

La Cotinière

The beer of Naufrageurs

Thalassotherapy

To see, north to south

The "Marais Poitevin"

La Rochelle

Island of Ré

Island of Aix

Fouras

Rochefort

Madame Island

Island of Oléron

Marennes

Brouage

Ronce-les-Bains

La Tremblade

Mornac-sur-Seudre

La Palmyre

Saint-Palais-sur-Mer

Vaux-sur-Mer

Royan

Saint-Georges-de-
Didonne

Meschers

Talmont

Mortagne-sur-Gironde

Blaye

To do

Cycling

Boat trips

Sailing

Golf

Riding

Jogging

The market

Thalassotherapy

Drives through the vineyards

Drives through the marshes

Drives through the forest

Walks

To know

The Romanesque Art

Rochefort

The Citadel of Brouage

The Citadel of Blaye

The lighthouses

The forest of La Coubre

The marshes

The "Marais Poitevin"

The carrelets

The ostreiculture

Vine and wines

To taste

Wines

Cognac

Pineau

Oysters

Mussels

Sea food

"Terroir" products

The restaurants

 

 

mimosas en fleurs en février

The island of Oleron

The island of Oleron is the most Southern of the islands of the French Atlantic coast. You can visit there all the year round.

The island of Oléron has been a holiday destination since the development of sea bathing, during the second half of the 19th Century.

The bridge which connects it with the mainland since 1966 has made it easily accessible. The summer months are particularly busy but it is worth spending at least a day of your holiday, if you are staying in the region, visiting and discovering Oléron.

We would like to offer you on this page, information to help with either the organisation of a day visit or quick location of places to stay on holiday.

And above all, remember that you can visit there all the year round, in autumn or in the spring and at the end of winter when the mimosa is in flower.

It is the most Southern of the islands of the French Atlantic coast and the west coast is influenced by the Gulf Stream.
Its climate is gentle which is shown by the presence of the mimosas and it is sometimes called the Island of Mimosas.

From the mainland to  the island of Oleron

The point of departure from the mainland is obviously the town of Marennes where the D26 road leads to the bridge.

Crossing the bridge there are beautiful views of the coast, very different from high tide to low tide, at which time you will be able to see the oyster beds.

After crossing the three kilometres of the bridge, you have three options: either take the westward direction Saint-Trojan-les-Bains, or take the eastward direction Le Château d'Oléron, or take the central D734 road and follow this for 30 km to the lighthouse of Chassiron at the extreme northern point of the island.

The west coast, facing the ocean, is the continuation of the west coast of the peninsula of Arvert, Côte Sauvage and Forêt de la Coubre.

Westward, the first place to stop is Saint-Trojan-les-Bains, a very old seaside resort.

The beach, with its promenade, offers a magnificent circular view, from left to right, of the bridge of the island of Oléron, the bridge of Seudre, the beaches and the forest of Ronce-les-Bains.

At low tide, the sea goes out a very long way and uncovers a vast stretch of beach.

The Grande Plage of Saint-Trojan, facing the sea on the West , is accessible through the forest and by a tourist railway, boarding point at the Saint-Trojan railway station.

The national forest of Saint-Trojan, with its pines and holm oaks, is the biggest forest on the island, and stretches for eight kilometres, up to the beach of Vert-Bois and then La Rémigeasse and La Perroche, which are the beaches of Dolus d' Oléron.

After La Rémigeasse, the small coastal road continues on to La Cotinière.

La Cotinière is the most important fishing port of the island and one of the ‘big three’, with La Rochelle and Royan, of Charente-Maritime. The fishermen of La Cotinière concentrate on the principal sorts of fish, sole, sea dace, langoustine.

Three kilometres further inland, the D274 road leads to the "Capital" of the island, Saint Pierre d' Oléron.

At Saint Pierre, take the D734, to go to Saint-Denis d'Oléron, passing through Chéray and Saint Georges d'Oléron, to reach the most distant point North of the island and the lighthouse of Chassiron

pont d'Oléron, vu du Chapus
plage de La Perroche
port de pêche de La Cotinière
vue du haut du phare de Chassiron
Saint-Denis, port de plaisance
paysage de marais

The lighthouse of Chassiron

The lighthouse of Chassiron, 46 metres in height, is open to the public. The reward for climbing to the top of this lighthouse is a magnificent panorama over the island of Oléron, the island of Aix, the island of Ré, La Rochelle. Saint-Denis d'Oléron has an important, well protected marina.

Boyardville and Fort Boyard

On the east side, you shouldn't miss Boyardville, its marina and the beach from where you will get a good view of the famous Fort Boyard.

Boyardville was the departure point for the men who built Fort Boyard. Le Château d'Oléron, three kilometres east of the bridge, is an old fortified town with its citadel strengthened by Vauban.

The landscape of the east coast is, in the south, facing the mainland and the estuary of the Charente, similar to that of the Seudre. We recommend following the oyster road between Le Château and Boyardville. The small coastal road, signposted " Route des huîtres " from Le Château d'Oléron, winds between channels, oyster huts and "claires".

The east coast is really, in its southern part, the domain of the oyster producers.
Still in the oyster area, Ors, close to the bridge, deserves a visit for a walk along the channel between the colourful oyster huts.

Oléron lives not only from the sea but also from the soil

Through the variety of landscapes and the picturesque villages with their low houses, one realises that Oléron lives not only from the sea but also from the soil.

In particular, the vineyard is important for the local economy. Vines are cultivated very low to resist to the west wind which can destroy them. On the other hand, there is practically never a harmful frost.

Once, the wine was mostly intended for distillation for the production of cognac and pineau.

The vineyard covered 4 000 hectares before the crisis of the phylloxera, in 1860. It is about 800 hectares today, which is five times smaller than before.

The market for cognac having declined, the wine growers turned to the production of pineau and of local wines. The main vine is the white ugni for the wine of distillation, but now the wine growers plant Sauvignon, Colombard, Cabernet and Merlot vines.

The main production is of dry white wine, which is the perfect accompaniment for oysters, but the production of rosé and red wine is also a growing market.

A quality policy and the opportunity of having a local market made up of tourists and holiday-makers ensures the future of the vineyards of the island.

 

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île d'Oléron
Marennes-Oléron

Airotel Oleron
Campsite at Le Chateau d'Oleron, the choice of beach and water sports, family activities and the tranquillity of a wooded park.

Mer & Soleil d'Oleron
Four stars holiday village club with mobile homes. A stone’s throw away from one of the finest beaches on the Ile d'Oléron

 

Camping-Club Verebleu
Island of Oleron, mobile homes, chalets or traditional campsite. The greatest aquatic space.

 

Sequoia Parc
Castel camping Sequoia Parc, a magnificient 110 acre domaine with waterpark, children's club.

Ads by Bernezac

Airotel Oléron
Campsite at Le Chateau d'Oleron, the choice of beach and water sports, family activities and the tranquillity of a wooded park.

Palmyre Loisirs
Campsite, 4 stars. Universe of sports and games,  in a sunny pine forest.

Palmyre Loisirs

Hotel Residence de Rohan
Charming house, 3 kms away from Royan in a unique environment. By the sea, direct access to the beach

Eldapi Vacances
Quiet and family campsite at Saint-Augustin-sur-Mer, between Saint-Palais and La Palmyre.

Mer & Soleil d'Oléron
Four stars holiday village club with mobile homes. A stone’s throw away from one of the finest beaches on the Ile d'Oléron

Camping Les Vignes

Close to Royan and La Palmyre, in a quiet area, 10 minutes away through woods from the beach of  La Grande Côte.

Activ' Loisirs Les Pins
Family campsite in Ronce les Bains, pine forest, three heated indoor pools from April to October.

Yukadi Village Le Logis

Le Logis, under the warm Charente sun, 600 metres from the sea and 10 km from Royan, much of it situated in a pine forest

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