A favorite summertime holiday destination, the Ile d’Oléron is popular because of its beautiful beaches and unspoiled nature sites. The main town is Le Château-d’Oléron, which has a 17th-century citadel and a historic oyster port that displays art exhibits.
The island is easily accessible by ferry, as well as by train or car (it’s connected with the mainland by a viaduct). In the village of Saint-Pierre d’Oléron, the Musée de l’île d’Oléron is devoted to the history and folk art of the island.
Many sandy beaches are found on the west side of the island near the vibrant fishing port of La Cotinière. The wild waves of Vert Bois and L’Acheneau beaches draw many surfers.
Families prefer the beaches of La Brée les Bains and Saumonards in Boyardville (on the east coast of the island) because they have gentler waves.
Also on the east side of the island are extensive oyster beds. Every year in August, the island celebrates its fishing heritage and local gastronomy with the Fête du Chenal d’Ors.
The Île d’Oléron is a 50-minute drive from La Rochelle. (50 minutes away).