We love to swim during our stays on the island of Oleron, the island is known for the diversity of its large wild beaches, either on the ocean side or on the mainland side with a beautiful view on the famous Fort Boyard. With 100 kilometers of coastline, you’ll find a place to lay your towel and enjoy!
You will be spoilt for choice, to help you choose your beach, we have listed on a map the most beautiful wild and picturesque beaches of the island, far from the seaside resorts. Some beaches are even compared to the beaches of the Maldives, so there is a level in the region.
Matthieu’s family has been living on the island for many years, part of the year. We come there regularly and we even lived there for several months when we came back from our year in a camper. Below we reveal our favorite beaches on the island, as well as all the useful information to help you make your choice.
- Where to swim on the island of Oleron ?
- When to swim in Oleron ?
- Our map of beaches on the island of Oleron
- 1. Boyardville beach : facing the mythical Fort Boyard
- 2. Vert Bois beach : its beautiful sunsets
- 3. Saumonards beach : its postcard landscape
- 4. Gatseau Beach: in the south of the island and ideal for families
- 5. Beach of Boirie : its beautiful colored huts
- 6. Beach of Douhet : its small marina
- 7. Beach of the Ecuissière : ideal for fishing on foot
- 8. Huttes Beach: a surfer’s paradise
- 9. The great beach of Saint-Trojan: its treasure at low tide
- 10. American grapevine beach: the secret
- Where to swim in La Cotinière ?
- Where to sleep on the island of Oleron ?
- Rent a boat in Oleron Island
Where to swim on the island of Oleron ?
You will have the choice between the beaches facing theAtlantic Ocean (west side), more exposed to the wind or the beaches facing the continent (east side), more family oriented and quieter with beautiful views on Fort Boyard, Ile de Ré and La Rochelle.
On the north-west side, we advise you to swim at the supervised beaches, especially with your children, between the blue flags, because the baïnes (it is a small basin often accompanied by important currents) can be very strong.
The beaches are supervised, between July and August, from 11am to 7pm. On the spot, remember to consult the map of the beach to be aware of the areas at risk (strong currents, rocky areas…).
We advise you to move away from the coastal towns of Le Château and La Cotinière to enjoy the beautiful and large wild beaches located only a few miles away.
When to swim in Oleron ?
We advise you to come in the middle of summer to enjoy the pleasant water between 19 and 21 degrees. Indeed, we grant you, they are not the temperatures of the Mediterranean sea, it remains nevertheless very pleasant to swim. Personally, we swim from May to September!
Surfers swim almost all year round with good wetsuits.
Our map of beaches on the island of Oleron
Nos essentiels pour visiter L'Ile d'Oléron
1. Boyardville beach : facing the mythical Fort Boyard
Located on the east coast of the island, it is the beach not to be missed! After crossing the Saumonards forest, the dunes covered with low plants and pines will rise in front of you, then in the distance, you will see the mythical Fort Boyard.
It is nevertheless a very pleasant panorama to bathe in. The beach is ideal for families, supervised with few waves. It is a huge beach with room for all the towels even in high season. In short, go ahead and sing the famous theme tune from the TV show Fort Boyard (don’t thank us if it’s stuck in your head for the rest of the day)!
Sandy beach, supervised and easy access from the free parking
We advise you to stop for lunch at the Café de la plage, it is one of our favorite restaurants on the island, excellent hot oysters and very good mussels marinière, Pineau, fourme d’Ambert…
With an outdoor terrace under the pines and in front of the dunes. It is a “kids Friendly” place, our daughter loves to go there, because the kids can play in the sand or in the little wooden hut with lots of beach games, located next to the terrace. Don’t forget to make a reservation!
2. Vert Bois beach : its beautiful sunsets
We love the huge and wild beach of Vert Bois, which is located on the west coast of the island of Oleron.
It is a paradise for surfers, kitesurfers, swimmers and walkers who like to go along the beautiful coast, you can even see the port of Cotinière in the distance. At low tide, when the ocean retreats, the waves give way to an immensity of calm water, ideal for swimmers and/or families.
On this side of the island, you will be caught by the immensity of the ocean and you will be able to observe magnificent sunsets. It is the ideal place for the aperitifs of end of the day, we tested and approved many times!
Several accesses are possible, in season, we recommend you to park on the parking lot of the Écossais then to take the forest path which will lead you to the beach in 15 minutes or to take the bicycle path which ends at the level of the school of Surf take off.
By car, you can park at the free parking lot at the level of the road of the sea, then you will reach the supervised beach.
For the record, a few blockhouses were scattered over this immense expanse of sand, following erosion and the advance of the ocean, they were destroyed.
Sandy beach, supervised and easy access from the free parking lot
3. Saumonards beach : its postcard landscape
This wild beach, entirely bordered by the pine forest of Saumonards, will offer you a very beautiful view on the island of Ré, La Rochelle and of course, on Fort Boyard!
On this side of the island, the beach is sheltered from the waves, so it is a good option for families, but beware, as the beach is not supervised.
Sandy beach, not supervised (Gautrelle beach is supervised and located right next to it) and easy access from the free parking lot.
4. Gatseau Beach: in the south of the island and ideal for families
This beach, the most southern of the island, will offer you a breathtaking view of Ronce-Les-Bains located just opposite on the mainland.
Again, it is an ideal beach for families, it is sheltered from the waves, located in a bay and bordered by a beautiful pine forest!
Sandy beach, supervised and easy access from the free parking lot.
5. Beach of Boirie : its beautiful colored huts
It is the most photogenic beach of the island, with its 36 colored huts which make all the charm of the place and the pleasure of the photographers, here beautiful photos are easy to make even for amateur photographers!
This beach is located in Saint Denis, in the north east of the island, it offers an exceptional panorama on the Ile de Ré, the mainland, La Rochelle, the island of Aix, still and always on the Fort Boyard.
It is an ideal beach for families and paddle enthusiasts, sheltered from the waves. At low tide, it is an ideal place to practice fishing on foot. A little further south the beach of Brée les Bains also offers the same panorama as well as pretty huts.
Sandy beach, supervised and easy access from the parking lot located next to the guiguette “La Buvette”.
6. Beach of Douhet : its small marina
Located next to the small port of Le Douhet, in the northeast of the island, this beach will also offer you a postcard setting, with a view of the pretty little port of Le Douhet and theisland of Ré as well as La Rochelle in front.
It is an ideal beach with children, because it takes several dozen meters before you get water above your waist.
Sandy beach, supervised and easy access from the parking lot
7. Beach of the Ecuissière : ideal for fishing on foot
Located on the west coast, at low tide, the ocean gives way to rocks, it is an ideal place for fishing on foot, shrimps, crabs, tellin, cockles … and always for the sunsets!
Fishing on foot is regulated, for more information on the authorized quantities, the authorized periods, we advise you to consult the site of theIODDE (Ile d’Oléron Sustainable Development Environment)
Beach with rocks and free parking
8. Huttes Beach: a surfer’s paradise
Located in the northwest of the island, this beach is beaten by the winds of the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, here, the waves give themselves to joy, for the biggest pleasure of the passionate persons of sport of glide, it is a place renowned to practise surfing, kitesurfing, bodyboarding as well as windsurfing!
Moreover, several surfing schools have been set up on this coast, to help novices get started and experts improve their skills.
This beach is ideal for families when the ocean retreats and for walkers who like to go along the coast, which borders the ocean for several kilometers.
Sandy and pebble beach, supervised and free parking nearby
9. The great beach of Saint-Trojan: its treasure at low tide
At low tide, the charm of this beach lies in the wreckage of the Presidente Viera ship. We particularly like the beaches showing vestiges of time.
We strongly advise you to swim in the supervised swimming area, even though it may seem narrow, because it is a place where the sea currents are strong. To the south of the beach is the naturist beach.
You can enjoy beautiful views of the ocean arm between the island and the mainland, the beach is located on the west coast so beautiful sunsets are available.
Be careful not to confuse ” the big beach of St Trojan ” which is supervised and accessible by car and by bike with the ” beach of St Trojan ” which is not accessible by car or by bike although Google map proposes itineraries.
Sandy beach, supervised and easy access from the free parking lot
10. American grapevine beach: the secret
We call it the secret beach, because it is one of the quietest beaches of Oleron, it is accessible only by foot, from Bris to Saint-Trojan It is only accessible on foot, from Bris to Saint-Trojan, you have to go through the pass of the American Vine, these few kilometers of walking in the sand discourage more than one and we understand why!
After this small effort, you will see beautiful dunes and an almost wild beach! Because of the strong sea currents, this beach is not authorized for swimming.
Where to swim in La Cotinière ?
This question comes up regularly, if you do not have a car or if you do not want to take the car, you can go to the beach of La Matha located south of the port of La Cotinière, before the fish market. This beach is less wild than the ones mentioned above and there is also less space.
Where to sleep on the island of Oleron ?
On the island of Oleron, things to do and see are spread out over the whole island. We therefore advise you to choose a central accommodation to be able to go to the different points of interest easily.
The best place to stay is on the coast near La Cotinière, you can easily access one of the great beaches of the wild coast and you can enjoy the many night activities in high season.
If you really want to be in the center of Oleron’s life, we recommend the village of Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron or Dolus-d’Oléron, where you can enjoy the many restaurants and markets while being only a few kilometers from the beaches.
Hotel and guest rooms
- With ocean view and swimming pool : Hotel Île de Lumière in La Cotinière, ideally located, with ocean access and a few minutes walk from the very lively fishing port of La Cotinière. The seaside decoration, with its soft and restful colors, immediately brings a spirit of vacation in the sun. Located on the west coast, the central location will allow you to easily visit both the south and north of the island. Free parking + breakfast. In short, go for it!
- Fully equipped apartment with pool : Le Pressoir accommodation in Dolus d’Oléron is an ideal option for families, as all accommodations have a kitchen and are fully equipped to make you feel at home. Ideally located a few minutes from the pretty village of Dolus-d’Oléron, and close to the Remigeasse beach.
- In the city center: Hotel Le Square in Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron is an excellent option if you want to enjoy the center of Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron and its small restaurants. The hotel is nicely decorated and equipped with a heated pool. Public parking and breakfast.
You will find your happiness by consulting the numerous campsites on the island of Oleron here, you can sort according to the type of accommodation and facilities offered (swimming pools, parking …)
- Camping les Flots Atlantique village: we have tested this campsite with our motorhome. It is ideally located south of the fishing port of Cotinière on the coast near Dolus-d’Oléron and Cotinière. It is a human-sized and family campsite with Direct access to the ocean, by a small footpath and playground, which offers bungalows, tents, chalets and camping-car sites for rent, it is ideally located to visit the island of Oleron. An ideal choice at a low price.
- In the north of the island with a swimming pool : Les Hameaux des Marines (Terre de France group), in Saint Denis, thiscampsite offers cottages and bungalows in a green and calm environment, located close to the beach.
Rent a boat in Oleron Island
Exploring the Oleron coast and its beaches, getting close to Fort Boyard, is a great experience by boat. On board your boat with or without a license, you will have beautiful views of the coast, and you can even swim away from the crowd.
To rent your boat, we recommend that you use the Samboat platform. It’s very simple, they have the most complete offer of boat rental and their website is very easy to use!
You enter your location ” La Cotinière “, ” Saint Denis “, then your dates. then your dates, then you can filter by type of boat (motorboats, barges, small boats…), with or without a license, with or without a skipper: in short, you are spoilt for choice.
We wish you a pleasant swim and a pleasant stay on the Ile d’Oléron ! If this article has helped you find your dream beach, leave us 5 stars below to encourage us.
Don’t hesitate to drop us a line below, to let us know if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, here or on Instagram, we’ll be delighted to get back to you.