The French Atlantic Coast south of La Rochelle is packed with possibilities, whether you want a romantic break or a family holiday, a gastronomic weekend or heritage trip.
Rochefort on the Charente river was developed as the strategic dockyard for ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV. Visit the royal rope factory; see the construction of a replica 18th century frigate; and visit the town’s exotic gardens and museums.
The Atlantic coast here is dotted with military defences such as the fortified salt port of Brouage, or take a cruise to see Fort Boyard which rises from the waves close to Ile d’Oléron. Home to the famous Marennes-Oléron oyster beds, the island offers family-friendly waters on the east coast and rolling breakers on the west, plus some seriously good seafood.
Take a boat to the traffic-free island of Ile d’Aix, home to just 200 people, or cross the causeway at low tide to the even smaller Ile Madame, to walk through carpets of wild flowers.
Royan and the neighbouring Atlantic coast resorts have been popular with tourists since the ‘Belle Epoque’ of the late 19th century. Visit La Palmyre zoo, one of Europe’s largest ; walk or cycle the forest trails of La Coubre, and explore the small fishing villages of the Gironde estuary.
More about Atlantic coast
- Royan Five sandy bays, fabulous leisure facilities, and more than 2,600 hours of sunshine a year ... More
- Gironde Estuary Nestled on the eastern shore of the Gironde Estuary, Royan and neighbouring... More
- Oleron Island France’s second largest island, Oleron Island, lies just off the French Atlantic Coast... More
- Aix Island Located just off the French Atlantic Coast, Ile d’Aix is an enchanting place for an away-day. More
- Rochefort Tucked inside a loop of the Charente river some 20 km inland, Rochefort may not be on the French Atlantic coast... More
- Fortifications The Atlantic Coast of Poitou-Charentes has been strategically important since the Middle Ages and today, forts, .... More
Wall of fame
Upcoming events in Atlantic coast
- Un Violon sur le Sable – 20-27 July 2013 A classical experience not to be missed! More
- Nuits Romanes – across the region through June, July and August Free concerts and shows showcasing the region’s Roman heritage More
- Visit the frigate Hermion in Rochefort - History in the making An inspirational project for all the family to enjoy More