sea rolls on Oleron Island

Tourism on Oleron Island

Saint-Pierre d'Oleron

Saint-Pierre's church

Saint-Pierre's church, built in the 17th and 18th centuries, is surmounted by a hexagonal bell-tower painted in white to be used as land-mark by boats.

From the top of its 40 meters (131 ft), its terrace offers an interesting panorama on the island.

Lantern of the deads

The lantern of the deads, dating from the 12th century, is the highest in France (more than 24 meters, i.e. 78ft). Located in its skylight, a flame was used by night as a reference mark.

Oleron Island Museum

In Saint-Pierre city centre, Oleron Island Museum presents the local history and culture. Life in the 19th century and traditional activities are illustrated by clothes and objects.

Tipical Oleron headgears are exposed, called the "quichenottes". Their name comes from the English "kiss me not". This museum also presents temporary exhibitions.

La Cotinière

Fishing port

On the West coast of the island, La Cotinière is a charming fishing port which is part of Saint-Pierre d'Oleron’s district.

Its fish auction is the 12th in France. There are one hundred fishing boats in the harbour.

The second lighthouse of the island is located at the entrance of the port.

Chapelle Notre-Dame

"Notre Dame de La Cotinière and Saint-Nicolas" chapel, built in 1966, has remarkable stained glasses.

Located close to the port, it is characterized by its triangular shape evoking the Holy Trinity. The steeple of the chapel is also triangular.

Saint-Trojan's little train

The P'tit Train allows access to Gatseau and Maumusson beaches at the South-West of the island.

It is the only means of transportation to the Maumusson beach as there is no road going there. It is a 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) ride from Saint-Trojan.

In operation since 1963, it has always been a tourist train.

Due to natural erosion of the dunes, the terminus of Maumusson had to be rebuilt several times. Otherwise, the terminal would currently be submerged more than half a mile in the ocean.

The P'tit Train is environmentally friendly. It works with frying oil recovered as part of a project with the association "Roule ta Frite".

Gardens of "La Boirie"

Between Saint-Pierre and Arceau, the "Gardens of la Boirie" are botanical gardens dedicated to perennials.

They are presented in a setting inspired by England and Asia.

The visit takes place in a calm and cool atmosphere through waterfalls and ponds. Plants are on sale after the tour.

House of Nature

The House of Nature organizes outings to discover the landscapes, flora and aquatic fauna of the island of Oleron.

At Chateau d'Oleron, a discovery trail located near the House of Nature is a funny way to acquire knowledge about the island's nature.

Oyster farming on Oleron Island

Oyster farming is one of the main economic resources of the island.

From Boyardville to Saint-Trojan, the south of the island is dedicated to oyster farming. There are refined the famous oysters from Oleron, often in former salt pans.

Oysters must be refined at least six months in the island of Oleron or Marennes to be designated "Marennes Oléron". However, they may have been previously raised in another region.

Fort-Royer oyster farming site

To the South of Boyardville, Fort-Royer's Oyster-Farming Natural Site is dedicated to the conservation of the traditional architecture and development of the natural heritage.

It offers walking visits, with commentary, in the oyster beds with possibility of degustation.

Road of the oysters

After the tour, it is advisable to take the road to Les Allards, also called "road of the oysters". It allows to observe colored oyster huts.

In particular, these huts are numerous in the port of La Baudissière. Many of them have been converted into artists' studios.

Oyster Museum

In Saint-Trojan, Patricia et Marc Texier created a museum, the House of the Oleron Oyster, that presents the history and technique of oyster farming.

They also offer a walking tour of oyster beds and tasting of their production.

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