France’s second largest island, Oleron Island, lies just off the French Atlantic Coast of Poitou-Charentes, but has a personality all its own. Linked to the mainland by a toll-free bridge, its laid-back lifestyle is dominated by water and nature, an idyllic location for an active family holiday or romantic break.
Choose from 25 glorious sandy beaches, many of them backed by scented pine woods. The east coast offers safe bathing in family-friendly waters, whilst adrenalin seekers will love the crashing waves of west coast beaches such as La Grande Plage.
Oleron Island offers facilities and tuition for every kind of watersport as well as bike hire and horse riding. Heritage fans can climb the Chassiron lighthouse and visit the citadel of Le Château-d’Oléron, whilst nature lovers can explore a network of marked trails and visit the Marais aux Oiseaux bird reserve.
Be sure to take a guided tour of an oyster farm to find out why Marennes-Oléron oysters are considered the best in France - around 45% of French oyster production comes from the island and the Seudre estuary on the mainland opposite. And don’t forget to try the delicious fresh fish and shellfish landed daily at La Cotinière.
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