Top 10 things to do and see on the island of Oléron, I only have eyes for her

Right in the Bay of Biscay, Île d’Oléron is part of the Charente archipelago and stands out as the second largest island in mainland France, after Corsica. A wild and welcoming place, where it is possible to indulge in multiple activities. You can also do nothing and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. But just in case, here are 10 ideas!

1. Visit the Citadel of Château-d’Oléron

Built on an old castle, the citadel was erected from 1630 and is used as part of the defense of the coast. It then became a military training camp and then a prison during the Terror. During the Second World War, the German soldiers appropriated it then a bombardment damaged it. Today, it is still there to testify to its history and that of the region and it is clear that it still looks good!

2. Take a walk in the Boirie Gardens

An oasis of greenery of a rather incredible richness. You can find everything in the Jardins de la Boirie: flowers, rare plants… This is very exotic and very relaxing.

3. Cycling

What if the best way to explore Oléron was to ride a bike and let yourself be carried away (by pedaling a little anyway), along the paths? Several routes are possible. For experienced cyclists and for beginners. For those who don’t want to strain too much either.

4. Go greet the donkeys

Yes, said like that, it might sound weird. This is about the donkeys of Oléron, a super nice place for young and old, where it is possible to observe the donkeys, approach them and go for a walk with them during hikes between beach and forest.

5. Stroll around the Cabanes de la Baudissière

Old oyster huts of all colors now converted into workshops for artists of all kinds. Stonemasons, musicians, writers, jewelry designers… You can also taste local specialities.

6. Go around the swamps

The Papineau marsh, an important ornithological reserve, the Douhet marsh and its many animal and plant species, the Seudre marsh, one of the largest wetlands in France, the Eguille marsh, the Jean Marais (! !!)… It is not the marshes that are lacking on the Island of Oléron!

7. Visit the oyster and natural site of Fort Royer

The oyster and its trade are at the center of this very popular visit to the island. A site operated for a hundred years where it is possible to indulge in tastings but also to hikes in the oyster beds.

8. Go see the birds in the Moëze-Oléron nature reserve

80,000 birds flock to this nature reserve every winter. Specifically, waders and ducks. A very rich and therefore necessarily interesting place.

9. Go surfing

There are 5 surf spots on the island: Saint-Trojan-les-Bains beach, Grand-Village beach, Vert-Bois beach, Huttes beach and Saint-Denis beach. And of course, there are several schools.

10. Fort Boyard

We are not going to quibble but Fort Boyard is not exactly on the Island of Oléron. Let’s say it’s nearby. The scene of one of the most popular French TV shows, this building once nicknamed “Fort de l’inutile” which served as a training target for German soldiers in 1913, is now very famous. Unfortunately, it is impossible to visit it… On the other hand, you can approach it by boat thanks to the inter-island cruises (not to be confused with Intervilles, it has nothing to do).

Oléron, it wins you over! It doesn’t rhyme but it’s true.

Credit One: Pinaujd

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