On the shores of Charente-Maritime,in New Aquitaine region,awaits you the Isle of Oléron. This island is the largest island in France after Corsica. Its 175 km² are mainly composed of natural spaces. A large part of the island is classified. From your CAMPSITE ON THE ILE D’OLERON,discover this island that alternates beaches, marshes and forests.
The marshes of the Île d’Oléron
We arrive on the island of Oléron by a bridge. Built in the 1960s, it was in its time, with its 3 kilometers long, the longest bridge in France. The first place was taken over by the Saint Nazaire Bridge in 1974. It remains today the third longest bridge in France (behind the bridge of the island of Ré). The crossing is free. It can be crossed by car, of course, but also on foot and by bicycle thanks to a bike path connected to a network of 130 km of bike paths that run through the island.
As soon as you arrive on the island, you discover a typical landscape of the island: the marshes. The island of Oléron has one of the most important wetlands in France. About 40% of the island is covered with marshes! For a long time, these marshes were dedicated to the production of salt. Since the 18th century, they have been used for the production of the famous oysters of the island of Oléron, the Fine de Claire. In the marshes of the island of Oléron, you will find many oyster huts to taste these oysters protected by an AOC. The port of the Salines,with its label “Echappées Nature”, invites you to learn more about the salt production on the Isle of Oléron with visits – tasting and workshops for children.
In addition to the production of oysters and salt, the marshes of the island of Oléron are a paradise for migratory birds and especially waterbirds such as geese or waders. Most of the marshes on the island of Oléron are now protected. They are classified as Natura 2000 Protected Natural Areas. Be sure to go for a walk on your camping holiday on the island of Oléron to appreciate the richness of its flora and fauna. In total there are more than 250 species of birds on the island of Oléron and 140 species of plants! In the south of the island, the Bris marsh is covered by a footpath. It can be visited alone or in the company of a nature guide. Depending on the season, he will introduce you to the many orchids that bloom there.
The beaches of the Isle of Oléron
One of the main reasons to come to the island of Oléron are, of course, the beaches. The island has 100 kilometres of coastline, most of which is made up of beaches. In many parts of the island you will find long sandy beaches that are suitable for to sunbathing as well as water sports, but also smaller beaches sheltered from the ocean or bordered by the forest. There’s something for everyone. One of the most popular beaches is Boyardville Beach thanks to its stunning view of the famous Fort Boyard. Surfers and snowboarders will be favouring the Huttes beach in the North of the Island.
The heritage of the Île d’Oléron
Although essentially made of wild landscapes, the island of Oléron has an interesting heritage strongly marked by its island character. Of course, the most famous monument is FORT BOYARD which stands off the island and which you can admire during cruises. This stone vessel in the middle of the sea was meant to be a defensive place on the mouth of the Charente river. At the end, this building turned out to be useless and have been abandonned for years. It gained a new celebrity at the late 20th century with the TV Game that uses the fort as a seeting. Fort Boyard should have completed the defensif network made of the citadel of the Château d’Oléron and the stronghold of Brouage, laid out by Vauban, or Fort Louvois. The CHASSIRON LIGHTHOUSE,in the north of the island, offers a superb panorama of the island, La Rochelle and the island of Ré from the top of its 224 steps (we counted for you!). Among the various villages on the island of Oléron, LA COTINIERE is probably the one that is worth a visit. This lovely fishing port nestles on the west coast of the island. Don’t miss the sight of boats returning from fishing to unload bars, soles or langoustines. The perfect place to buy fresh fish to enjoy on your CAMPSITE ON THE ILE D’OLERON.