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What to do in Oleron island, 15 activities to visit the island as an Oleronian

Après avoir passé plusieurs mois à l’île d’Oléron, nous vous dévoilons nos meilleurs plans pour visiter l’île comme un oléronais.

The island of Oleron is the largest of the three islands of the Charente coastline in front of the island of Ré and the island of Aix. It is famous for its diversity of landscapes. In a single day, you can go from dunes to forest, from oyster beds to fish locks, from vineyards to small picturesque villages.

We share with you in this article, what to do and see on the island of Oleron, our 15 must-sees, our ideal itinerary for a weekend and our secrets to visit the island like a local. For us, the island of Oleron is clearly a paradise on earth!

What is the most beautiful part of the island of Oleron?

It is impossible for us to answer this question. According to us, everything is beautiful in Oleron, even when it rains.

84% of the total surface of the island is registered as a classified site, of which 12% is forest, which guarantees the preservation of the landscape and heritage.

L’île d’Oléron offre une grande diversité de paysage, sur un petit territoire, 30 kilomètres de long sur 8 kilomètres de large au maximum. Avec 100 kilomètres de côtes, 70 kilomètres de plages dont certaines avec vue sur le célèbre Fort Boyard et 160 km d’itinéraires cyclables, vous trouverez forcément une activité terrestre ou nautique à faire.

The south of the island is more populated and the north wilder. We advise you to visit your favorite places at different times of the day, depending on the tides the same landscape changes completely.

Visiter l'île d'Oléron passe de l'écuissière

Our 15 activities to visit the island of Oleron

There are really many things to do and see on the island of Oleron, we were not bored at all even in winter. We could almost have started with a top 20 or 25!

1 ◊ Prendre de la hauteur à Chassiron ◊

Located at the northern end of the island of Oleron, 30 minutes by car from the viaduct, the Chassiron lighthouse with its white and black stripes, stands proudly at the end of the island.

Once at its feet, you will feel a bit like at the end of the world.

You can climb its 224 steps, to admire a beautiful panorama of the ocean, the wild coast and the compass rose gardens surrounding the lighthouse.

We also recommend a walk around the lighthouse for nice views of the coastline and the old fish locks. It is an old fishing technique, whose use goes back to the Middle Ages, consisting of a dry stone wall, having the shape of a horseshoe, at low tide, the fish are trapped.

Open all year round, full price 4€, reduced price 2€50 and free under 6 years old, tickets to be bought at the box office.

2 ◊ Château d’Oléron et ses cabanes ◊

C’est l’un de nos endroits préféré sur l’île d’Oléron, situé sur la cote sud-est, à l’entrée de l’île. Selon nous, vous trouverez un condensé de ce que l’île d’oléron a à vous offrir, un bourg pittoresque, une belle forteresse, un port ostréicole, de jolies cabanes colorées et une jolie vue sur le pont.

After exploring the city center, you can enter the citadel via the dormant bridge and passing under the Royal Gate. Within the citadel, get a good view of the viaduct that links the island to the mainland and of Fort Louvois. Then you can leave the citadel by the inclined plane to reach the port and its colored huts.

We advise you to pick up the“heritage circuit” brochure at the tourist office (place de la république open from April to October), which offers a detailed itinerary to discover the historical wealth of the Château d’Oléron. A little culture never hurts!

Our good addresses: the restaurant “Les Frits de Mer”, the bar “L’Annex” and the hut “G Céramique”.

3 ◊ Plage de Boyardville : la plus belle ◊

On the island of Oleron, you will have the choice between beaches facing theAtlantic Ocean (west side), more exposed to the wind, or beaches facing the mainland (east side), more family oriented and quieter with beautiful views of Fort Boyard, the Ile de Ré and La Rochelle.

On the northwest side, we advise you to swim at the supervised beaches, especially with your children, between the blue flags, because the waves can be very strong.

Boyardville beach, located on the east coast of the island, is a beach not to be missed! Bordered by the forest of Saumonards, this immense beach of fine sand, will offer you a beautiful panorama on the mythical Fort Boyard.

The beach is ideal for families, as it is on the mainland with few waves and is supervised.

A little tip for photographers, you can take nice pictures of Fort Boyard from the top of the dunes.

Sandy beach, supervised and easy access from the free parking

salmon beach

Boyardville beach

4 ◊ Explorer le mythique Fort Boyard ◊

Fort Boyard, built to protect the Rochefort naval arsenal, is the star of the famous television show and thus of the Charente-Maritime region.

Obviously from the island of Oleron, you can go for a sea trip by boat or sailboat to get closer to it, the departure of cruises is located in Boyardville, at the pier of the port.

The interior of the fort cannot be visited, except if you are selected for the television game Fort Boyard, in this case do not hesitate to send us a small dedication of Father Fouras!

5 ◊ Percer le secret des huîtres ◊

Fort Royer is the ideal place to discover the secret of oysters. It is a small oyster farm, built in the middle of oyster beds and channels, with a view of an incredibly beautiful coastline with oyster beds and bouchots in front. And in the middle of this amazing place stood the colorful huts of the oyster farmers. Very instructive guided tours are offered to learn more about the hard job of oyster farmer and oyster farming. Guided tour from 6€.

The village is located in the heart of the nature reserve, Moëze-Oléron, where thousands of birds nest. Explanatory panels along the coastline offer a beautiful and instructive walk.

We recommend the 17 Fort Royer hut, where you can enjoy hot or cold oysters. An authentic place with an incredible view of Fort Royer and the nature reserve.

6 ◊ Arpenter les pistes cyclables ◊

C’est l’activité phare de l’île d’Oléron, avec plus de 160 kilomètres de pistes cyclables, vous avez de quoi en profiter. Pour les plus courageux, le réseau actuel permet de traverser toute l’île. Il y a des barrières pour les vélos partout sur l’île et notamment au niveau des plages.

We have a small preference for the portion between Grand-Village-Plage and Château-d’Oléron. This itinerary in the interior of the island, will allow you to take bicycle paths crossing marshes populated with birds.

Chateau d'Oléron

Please note that in high season, from mid-July to mid-August, we recommend you to travel by bicycle. To give you an idea, the island has grown from 20,000 inhabitants during the year to several hundred thousand during the summer season. The road infrastructure is not adapted to this number of people.

To borrow classic or electric bikes, we recommend the Beach Bikeschain of stores, very well rated on the Internet, with several stores on the island (if you need to be helped, it’s still convenient) and a nice team.

We got help from the store clerk in Grand Village when Matthew got a flat tire with his personal bike.

vélo île oléron

7 ◊ L’activité incontournable en famille ◊

Fishing on foot, accessible to all, is an essential family activity. Here are a few places, easily accessible, where you can go fishing on foot in Oleron without much difficulty. At low tide, the ocean gives way to rocks, it is an ideal place for fishing on foot, gray shrimp, crabs, tellin, cockles …

  • Pass of the Ecuissière in Dolus-d’Oléron
  • On both sides of the Oleron bridge
  • Boyardville Beach

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)

Passe de l'Ecuissière

Passe de l'Ecuissière

8 ◊ La plus belle photo de l’île ◊

The Baudissière channel with its colorful huts is one of the most photogenic spots on the island of Oleron. Artists and fishermen live together harmoniously. We advise you to walk between the huts and of course to take lots of pictures.

Our good addresses : la savonnière d’Oléron and Les moules à facettes

Baudissière channel

9 ◊ Le port de la Cotinière et sa criée ◊

L’une des activités principales de l’île est bien évidemment la pêche, le port de la Cotinière est le 7ème port de pêche français et le premier de la Charente-Maritime. Des visites guidées sont proposées pour en apprendre davantage sur les atouts du port, les différentes techniques de pêche, et certaines visites permettent également d’entrer dans la criée. Vous pourrez consulter les heures de visites et les prix dans les différents offices de tourisme de l’île.

L’autre activité phare à faire à la Cotinière est de déguster une excellente glace, du glacier L’Angélys (situé dans la rue commerçante), un artisan de la région que nous sommes friands depuis plusieurs années, face au port.

10 ◊ Découvrir l’île en s’amusant ◊

Découvrez ou redécouvrez l’île d’Oléron autrement grâce à un jeu de piste grandeur nature. Nous vous conseillons l’activité sur les traces d’Ularius, un concept 100% original et oléronais.

C’est un jeu grandeur nature, plusieurs équipes s’affrontent, au cours d’une succession d’énigmes, épreuves et quiz. Tout au long de ce rally, Vincent, le super maître du Jeu vous accompagne pour vous fournir un maximum d’anecdotes.

Nous adorons le concept, cela me rappelle les grands jeux que j’organisais lorsque j’étais animatrice en centre de loisirs, les nombreux escapes game que nous avons testés et évidement Pékin express que nous avons suivi de nombreuses années !

Nous avons testé le rallye au Chateau d’Oléron. Les énigmes et les jeux sont vraiment top ! Nous avons appris plein de choses et même découvert de nouveaux lieux bien que nous connaissons bien l’île d’Oléron.

Information and reservation on the website: Sur les Traces d’Ularius

In the footsteps of Ularius

11 ◊ Explorer les plus beaux villages ◊

There is more to Oleron than the beach and water sports! We advise you to take a walk in the small picturesque villages with white houses and colored shutters.

Nous avons une petite préférence pour les villages suivants : l’authentique Saint-Denis-d’Oléron au nord de l’île, la dynamique Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron, c’est le centre de l’île, arpentez les petites ruelles sans rater la maison de Pierre Loti, le petit village portuaire de la Cotinière et la petite ville balnéaire de Saint Trojan Les Bains au sud de l’île.

12 ◊ Coucher de soleil à la plage de Vert Bois ◊

We love the huge and wild beach of Vert Bois on the west coast of the island of Oleron.

On this side of the island, you will be fascinated by the immensity of the sea and you can admire spectacular sunsets. An ideal place to enjoy an aperitif at the end of the day and which has proved itself after many tests! In short, a great time with friends or family!

vert bois beach
vert bois beach

Cette plage est également le spot idéale pour le surf (même pour les débutants) et le bodysurf.

13 ◊ La saliculture au port des salines ◊

Located on the commune of Grand Village, the port of the saltworks is always exploited.

You can walk through the salt marshes and learn more in the small museum open to all. A pleasant place in the middle of nature, which allows to appreciate the diversity of the fauna and flora.

14 ◊ Plage de la Boirie : la plus photogénique ◊

Située à Saint-Denis au nord-est de l’île, la plage de la Boirie avec ses 36 cabanes colorées, offre un panorama exceptionnel sur l’Ile de Ré, le continent, la Rochelle, l’île d’Aix, encore et toujours sur le Fort Boyard. Vous aurez certainement envie de toutes les photographier !

15 ◊ Activités à faire en famille ◊

The island of Oleron is an ideal family vacation spot, although most of the activities listed above are suitable for children, here is a list of things to do especially for the younger ones:

  • Geocaching: we advise you to download thefree mobile geocaching application: Terra aventure.

    How does Terra Aventura work? the application proposes courses in different places in new Aquitaine, the players visualize their position on the map and must answer the enigmas to advance from stage to stage, two courses are proposed on the island a Saint Trojan and another in Saint Denis!

    We love the principle of this application, because we are guided to explore the cities and we learn a lot about history, architecture, gastronomy… All this in a fun way, for young and old! Count on 2h30 to complete the courses and to find the treasure!
  • Le manège gratuit et manuel en bois au port du Chateau d’Oléron, pour allier sport et plaisir des petits !
  • Take surfing lessons, several schools are located along the wild coast, most of them are very well rated on Google.
  • The little train of Saint-Trojan, a round trip of 12 km will lead you to the wild confines of the Pertuis de Maumusson through the pine forest, inaccessible by car, a fun and pleasant activity for children.
  • Port miniature Ti’bato in Saint-Pierre d’Oléron offers the rental of small electric boats (only from 9 years old) on the Prés Valet pond.

What to do in Oleron when it rains ?

L’île d’Oléron est un lieu de vacances idéal en famille, cependant la météo peu parfois être un peu capricieuse. Pas de panique, nous avons noté quelques idées d’activités à faire en intérieur pour échapper à la pluie :

  • Ludo Café in Dolus-d’Oléron, a recently renovated, pleasant and free toy library, with lots of games for the little ones (ball pool, cooking, dolls, first age puzzles…) and board games for the adults, we go there almost every week.
  • The museum of L’Ile d’Oléron in Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron, which gathers more than 500 objects. It presents the history of the island and its inhabitants over the centuries.
  • Iléo a water park in Dolus-d’Oléron a swimming pool with a wellness area (with sauna, hammam, balneo pool and jacuzzi), which is transformed in July and August into a huge water park.

Itinerary for a 2-3 day weekend

If you have a big 3-day weekend, we recommend the following itinerary of all the best places on the island:

  • Day 1: Concentrate on the east coast of the island, start with the Chateau d’Oléron and its citadel then in the afternoon explore Fort Royer then stroll or swim at the beach of Boyardville
  • Day 2: Heading north to the lighthouse of Chassiron, then stop at the small village of Saint-Denis and the beach of La Brée Les Bains, then the port in the afternoon explore the fishing port of Cotinière
  • Day 3: We recommend renting a bike to explore part of the island, then taking a ride to the port of Les Salinesand then to Saint-Trojan with an adventure rally before leaving the island.

Do not hesitate to stay 1 week to explore the whole island of Oleron at your own pace!

plage île oléron

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 or Dolus-d’Oléron, where you can enjoy the many restaurants and markets while being only a few kilometers from the beaches.

Hôtel et chambres d’hôtes

With ocean and pool view

Hôtel Île de Lumière à la Cotinière, idéalement situé, avec accès océan et à quelques minutes à pied du très animé port de pêche de La Cotinière. La décoration bord de mer, avec ses teintes douces et reposantes, apporte tout de suite un esprit de vacances au soleil. Situé sur la côte ouest, l’emplacement central vous permettra de visiter facilement à la fois le sud et le nord de l’île. Parking gratuit + petit déjeuner. Bref, foncez-y !

Appartement tout équipé avec piscine :

Le Pressoir, à Dolus d’Oléron, est une option idéale pour les familles, car tous les logements sont dotés d’une cuisine et entièrement équipés pour vous sentir comme à la maison. Idéalement situé à quelques minutes du joli village de Dolus-d’Oléron, et à proximité de la plage de la Remigeasse.

En plein centre ville

Hôtel Le Square à Saint-Pierred’Oléron, c’est une excellente option si vous souhaitez profiter du centre de Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron et de ces petits restaurants. L’hôtel est joliment décoré et équipé d’une piscine chauffée. Parking public et petit déjeuner.

Camping in Oleron

Vous trouverez votre bonheur en consultant les nombreux campings sur l’île d’Oléron ici, vous pouvez trier en fonction du type d’hébergement souhaité et des installations proposées (piscines, 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, which offers bungalows, tents, chalets for rent. 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.

What is the most beautiful beach on the island of Oleron?

In our opinion, Boyardville Beach, a large stretch of fine sand with a view of Fort Boyard, is the most beautiful beach on the island of Oleron. Ideal for families as it is supervised (point 3).

Où manger et boire un verre à l’île d’Oléron ?


  • L’Ecume in Saint-Trojan : it is one of our favorite restaurants on the island, offering a refined and elegant cuisine with fresh products in a magnificent setting with a small sea view from the terrace, and it’s one of the few restaurants open all year round (even offering takeaway menus for Christmas and New Year’s). For those of you who came to Oléron in winter, you’ll understand that we were delighted to find a restaurant open out of season, so go for it without hesitation! (we recommend the very affordable lunch menu and remember to reserve)
  • Frits de Mer on the port du Château is the island’s fish and chips, with a choice of breading and homemade sauce, in a superb setting. The interior is decorated with artists’ works (Matthieu’s sister created the canvas with the pretty octopus at the back of the room) and the outside terrace overlooks a lovely little channel and the citadel. (remember to reserve and take away service)
  • Les Vagabonds, located right next to Les Frits de Mer, also at the Port du Château, is the brunch place to be in Oléron. The dishes are excellent, hearty and beautifully presented. Remember to book in advance to secure a place on the superb terrace at the back.
  • Moules frites : we have two options that we really like, Mussel Fishing at Chateau d’Oléron which offers different mussel recipes to be eaten on the terrace in front of the colourful cabins, and the Café de la plageThis is one of our favorite restaurants on the island, excellent hot oysters and very good mussels, at Pineauto the 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 children 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! (remember to reserve the second one)
  • Le Petit Burgeur in Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron: Very good burger. Quality products and generous burger size. (open in the evening)
  • Pizza: this is our favorite address in St. Pierre, Bella Ciao, the dough is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the pizzas are well topped.

Have a drink

We like the following places: The Annex’ at Chateau d’Oléron with concerts in summer and a nice terrace, the Médo, a wine bar in Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron (open all year long) and L’Atypique in La Brée Les Bains with a nice view on La Rochelle and the Ile de Ré (open in summer).

Where to shop in Oleron ?

Eating well

In addition to the well-known products, salt, oysters and Oleron wine. Many excellent quality food products are produced on the island of Oleron.

  • La Lumineuse, in La Cotinière and Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron, a cannery made in Oléron ! For the different products, they favor local fishing as much as possible. Made on the spot, the products are elaborated without additive, without coloring nor conservative.
  • The eggs of the Little Organic Farm, the hens are raised in the forest. We met Matthieu during the agricultural days who explained us with passion the history of his small farm. You can buy his excellent eggs at Super U and Intermarché.
  • The bread, at Pain des Bois in Dolus-d’Oléron, Morgane selects her raw materials and bakes her bread over a wood fire. We, who are not big bread consumers, ate much more than usual, her bread is excellent! (open Monday and Friday bread to be ordered by sms)
  • La ferme de la Poltière in Dolus-d’Oléron, for quality organic vegetables (open Tuesday and Friday)
  • Maje organic wine in Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron, we particularly like their white wine range.
le chateau île oléron

Our favorite creators from Oleron

We lived several months on the island of Oleron, so we had the time to discover and exchange with several creators from Oleron.

We were pleasantly surprised by the number of creators in Oleron. We are delighted to be able to honor all these talented people here.

The soap factory of Oléron

As you have already read in our previous articles, for several years we have been making our own household products and cosmetics. Concerning the soaps, with the handling of soda, we were not serene. So I attended a workshop with Carole to learn how to make them ourselves.

In the end, by taking a few precautions and following Carole’s advice, it is very simple and I spent a pleasant afternoon, I left with a recipe and soaps. In short, a great gift to make or to offer.

Organic soaps made by cold saponification on the Ile d’Oléron, with love, by Carole and Louis. We recommend you to go to one of their two pretty huts (in Baudissière or in the port of Saint-Trojan), to discover their realization, don’t miss the black coal soap: the Chassiron + online sale.

The After Shop

It’s a mobile store selling second-hand clothes, as well as hand-embroidered clothes and dried flower bouquets made by the adorable and dynamic Sandrine. We buy almost all of our daughter’s clothes second hand, we have found some nice pieces at low prices for her and for me.

Stand to be found on the markets of Oleron

Løuløute & Simone

Løuløute & Simone, is an Oléronaise brand, specialized in hair accessories (scrunchies, headbands, barrettes…). All products are designed and manufactured by the talented Marie. His store, entirely renovated, located on the port of Saint-Trojan is a real little haven of peace.

I participated in a workshop where Marie gently and patiently guided me to sew my own maxi scrunchie. Another great gift idea to offer or to offer yourself.

Sales at the store and online, + workshop at the store or on the pretty terrace when the weather permits.

G. Ceramic

When we arrived on Oléron, after several months of wandering around Europe with our family in a camper van, we needed to take some time for ourselves and create things with our hands. So we did a few ceramics workshops at the cabane G. Céramique located in Chateau d’Oléron, with Charlène.

The workshop takes place on a terrace at the water’s edge (at high tide), with a view of the pretty colored huts. It’s hard to find a more inspiring place to make your piece (mug, plate, trivet…). Then, the creations are sent once they are fired and glazed or you can come and pick them up (that’s what we did).

Our good addresses on our map

As you know, we love to write down all our good addresses and our itinerary on a map to facilitate our readers’ stay. Obviously, we share this map below with you:

How to come to the island of Oleron?

  • By car: from Paris and Bordeaux, you must follow the A10 and exit at Saintes and from Paris exit at La Rochelle. The bridge of the island of Oleron is free.
  • En train + bus : vous pouvez vous arrêter à la gard de La Rochelle puis prendre le bateau (d’avril à octobre) ou louer une voiture. Vous pouvez également vous arrêter à la gare de Rochefort ou à celle de Surgères, des correspondances en bus à destination de l’île d’Oléron et de Marennes sont proposées toute l’année.

What is the price of the Oleron Island bridge?

Contrary to the viaduct on the island of Ré, the one in Oleron is free. We just advise you to calculate your schedule during high season.

Avoid, for example, Friday and Sunday, after 6pm, unless you want to spend your evening in traffic. If you have to leave the island on a Sunday, prefer to leave in the late morning then picnic and spend the afternoon on one of the pretty beaches in Marennes, located just off the bridge.

visier l'ile d'oléron plage

What to do around the island of Oleron ?

La Rochelle

La ville Rochelle est située à 1h de l’île d’Oléron, est une ville à visiter absolument que nous avons exploré à plusieurs reprisess, notamment lorsque nous habitions à Paris et pour assister au festival Les Francofolies. Avec ses tours et son adorable vieux-port, La Rochelle offre une grande diversité d’activités nautiques ou terrestres.

C’est notre escapade citadine préférée depuis que nous vivons à l’île d’Oléron, nous avons rédigé un article pour vous aider à préparer votre visite de La Rochelle.

The island of Ré

This is the other island to visit in Charente-Maritime. You will also find charming white villages and beautiful wild beaches. The bridge to get there is not free.


Rochefort is an ideally located city, a few kilometers from the ocean and close to many tourist destinations, the island of Oleron (45 minutes), the island of Aix, the island Madame, La Rochelle …

A city steeped in history that was once an important maritime arsenal, including the home port of Hermione. Today named “Ville d’Art et d’Histoire”, its charming city center will seduce you immediately.

Nous avons pris beaucoup de plaisir à rédiger cet article au sujet de cette île que nous adorons et que nous connaissons (presque) par cœur. Nous remercions nos familles et amis qui nous ont donné de précieux conseils, nous mettons également à jour régulièrement cet article puisque y vivons actuellement.

Si vous avez d’autres suggestions à nous faire, n’hésitez pas à laisser un commentaire ci-dessous. Nous les ajouterons à notre liste de choses à visiter à l’île d’Oléron

If you enjoyed reading it as much as we did writing it, feel free to give it 5 stars below!

We wish you an excellent stay in Oleron ! Feel free to leave us a quick note or 5 stars below, to tell us if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, here or on Instagram, we’ll get back to you with great pleasure.

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My name is Floriane, and I've been an adventurer and travel enthusiast since I was very young. More than anything, I love sharing our travel stories and tips with you. We love short getaways as well as long trips. This blog was born after our backpacking trip around the world. We also went on a family tour of Europe.
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