- France, Atlantic Coast, La Rochelle, Rochefort, Royan, Island of Re, Island of Oleron, Charente, Estuary of Gironde - Tourism and Holiday Guide

Tourism and Holiday on the French Atlantic Coast


To see

To do

To know

To taste


Practical information

Site map - French Atlantic Coast - Geographic landmarks, riversand estuaries, towns, resorts, islands and peninsulas

You are here: Home > Geographic landmarks

To see, north to south

The "Marais Poitevin"

La Rochelle

Island of Ré

Island of Aix



Madame Island

Island of Oléron




La Tremblade


La Palmyre









To do


Boat trips





The market


Drives through the vineyards

Drives through the marshes

Drives through the forest


To know

The Romanesque Art


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






Sea food

"Terroir" products

The restaurants



A unique position on the Atlantic coast of continental Europe

The region which extends from the South of the Vendee to the estuary of the Gironde, occupies a unique position on the Atlantic coast of continental Europe, between the 45th and 46th parallels.

This situation ensures a mild and sunny climate. The period of sunshine (2600 hours a year) is comparable to that of the Côte d’azur.

To help organise your walks, it will be helpful to refer to some easily recognisable landmarks on maps which are widely illustrated in the tourist brochures.

Rivers and estuaries

The river Charente flows through the towns of Jarnac, Cognac, Saintes, Rochefort and comes out into the sea level with the island of Oléron, with Port-des-Barques and the Madam island on the left bank and Fouras and the peninsula of La fumée on the right bank.

The impressive viaduct of the Charente, downstream from Rochefort, put into service in 1991, appreciably reduces the driving time between Royan and La Rochelle.

The river Seudre, a small coastal river with its source in the South of Charente-Maritime, flows through Saujon before forming an estuary which constitutes the main artery of Marennes-Oléron's oyster area. From the river Seudre, channels flow which feed ponds called "claires" with sea water.

Looking from the bridge of the river Seudre which connects Marennes to La Tremblade, there are beautiful views to be seen, each very different, depending upon the tide, of oysterbeds and the "claires" ponds where oysters mature.

Islands and peninsulas

The Ré island, off La Rochelle. The bridge - viaduct is very easily accessible from the north by-pass road after La Pallice. This very beautiful curved bridge, about three kilometres long, is a magnificent entrance to the island.

The island of Aix, famous because of Napoleon's sojourn, is accessible from the pier of the Pointe de la Fumée.

The peninsula of Fouras, situated on the right-hand side of the mouth of the river Charente. From the pointe de la Fumée, you have a clear view of Fouras, the Madam island, the island of Oléron, the Boyard fortress, the island of Aix, the island of Ré and the coast of La Rochelle and La Pallice.

The Madam island, on the West of Port-des-Barques and on the left bank of the mouth of the river Charente,is linked to the shore by a road named ‘la Passe-aux-Bœufs’, which can only be used at low tide.

The island of Oléron, linked to the continent by a bridge - viaduct with free access, built in 1966. It looks like the continuation of the peninsula of Arvert and is the largest island of the region with a length of around thirty kilometres, from Saint-Trojan-les-Bains to the Chassiron lighthouse.

The peninsula of Arvert, south of the island of Oléron, has a boundary which stretches from the coast from Royan to the Pointe de la Coubre, the Côte Sauvage up to the Pointe Espagnole and the estuary of the river Seudre.

The coastline has large sandy beaches exposed to the waves with rocky shores but there are also well sheltered beaches called ‘conches’.

The national forest of la Coubre extends from Saint-Palais-sur-Mer to Ronce-les-bains, on both sides of the D25 road. Walking routes are offered by the national Forests Office.


Hotel by the sea
direct access to the beach

Hotel à Royan, Résidence de Rohan

Hotel Résidence de Rohan

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


Island of Oléron

Airotel Oléron

Campsite at Le Chateau d'Oleron, the choice of beach, water sports and family activities...>>

La Palmyre

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



north of Royan

Eldapi Vacances

Quiet and family campsite, leisure for all ages. Aquatic area, 345 square meters of pools, two swimming pools, one paddling pool. Tennis court, games room. Supermarket, snack-bar. Close to Royan >>


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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