Discover the Seaside Pleasures of Charente Maritime

Charente Maritime, where the coastline is adorned with seaside gems offering a diversity of incomparable experiences. Whether you are a lover of relaxing on the golden sand, a water sports enthusiast or an explorer eager for marine treasures, this region of the French Atlantic coast is full of seaside activities to discover. In this article, we bring you a sunny overview of the coastal wonders of Charente Maritime.


The beaches


1. Grande Côte Beach - Saint-Palais-sur-Mer

Nestled between cliffs and pine forests, Grande Côte beach in Saint-Palais-sur-Mer offers an idyllic setting for a family day. Children can safely play in the shallow waters while parents relax on the golden sand. Take the opportunity to indulge in water activities like surfing or paddle-boarding.


2. Conche des Baleines Beach - Île de Ré

Go to the Ile de Ré to discover the magnificent Conche des Baleines beach. With its sand dunes as far as the eye can see and its iconic lighthouse, this beach offers a spectacular setting for family walks or picnics with friends. Don't miss the sunset, a magical moment to savor by the sea.


3. Chatelaillon-Plage Beach

Just a few kilometers from La Rochelle, Chatelaillon-Plage beach is renowned for its friendly atmosphere and its many activities. Children can have fun in the beach clubs while adults relax on the deckchairs sipping a refreshing cocktail. Want thrills? Try your hand at kitesurfing or sailing.


4. Saint-Georges-de-Didonne Beach

Located near Royan, Saint-Georges-de-Didonne beach is a true paradise for lovers of relaxation. Its vast expanse of fine sand is the ideal place to lounge in the sun or organize family games. After a busy day, explore the charming city center and taste local specialties in one of the many restaurants.


5. Côte Sauvage Beach - La Palmyre

For a wilder experience, head to Côte Sauvage beach in La Palmyre. Bordered by a pine forest and sand dunes, this beach offers a preserved setting and a tranquil atmosphere. It's the perfect place for a romantic stroll or a tanning session in complete privacy.


6. La Brée-les-Bains Beach

Located on the island of Oléron, the beach of La Brée-les-Bains is a true haven of peace in the heart of Charente-Maritime. Its peaceful and family atmosphere makes it a favorite place for parents looking for tranquility. Children can have fun safely in the shallow waters while adults relax under the island's gentle sun. Take the opportunity to explore the surrounding area by bike or to taste fresh seafood in one of the seafront restaurants. A getaway to La Brée-les-Bains promises relaxation and a change of scenery, just a few steps from the Atlantic coast .


7. Marennes-Plage Beach

Nestled in the heart of the magnificent Bay of Marennes, Marennes-Plage beach offers an enchanting setting for a day with family or friends. Bordered by stretches of fine sand and bathed by the clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean, this beach is a true jewel of Charente-Maritime. Children can safely indulge in building sandcastles or supervised swimming while parents enjoy the sun and the gentle sound of the waves. Seafood lovers will be delighted by the numerous oyster shacks nearby, where they can enjoy fresh oysters with a view of the bay. Don't also miss the opportunity to go for a walk at low tide to discover the richness of the oyster beds and salt marshes for which the region is famous. With its friendly atmosphere and breathtaking landscapes, Marennes-Plage beach is an essential stopover during your stay in Charente-Maritime.


Nautical sports


1. Surfing at La Côte Sauvage - La Palmyre

Lovers of surfing and wild waves, head to the famous Côte Sauvage in La Palmyre. This unspoiled stretch of coastline is renowned for its powerful waves and wild nature. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer, the surfing conditions here are exceptional. Rent a board and let yourself be carried away by the energy of the Atlantic Ocean.


2. Kitesurfing in La Tremblade - Ronce-les-Bains

Soar above the waves and let yourself be carried away by the wind during a kitesurfing session at La Tremblade. The vast expanses of sand and shallow waters of the bay provide an ideal playground for lovers of this sport. Learn the basics with lessons taught by professionals or challenge the winds solo for a thrilling experience.


3. Stand-up Paddle in Fouras-les-Bains

For a quieter but equally enriching experience, opt for a stand-up paddleboard ride in Fouras-les-Bains. Paddle at your own pace along the coast and discover the region's unspoiled coastal landscapes. Admire the city's historic fortifications and observe the marine life that swims in the crystal clear waters.


4. Sailing in La Rochelle

The nautical capital of the region, La Rochelle offers a multitude of opportunities for sailing. Rent a sailboat or board a catamaran for an unforgettable sea excursion. Explore neighboring islands, sail along rugged coastlines or take part in a regatta to feel the adrenaline of competition.


5. Canoeing in the Marais Poitevin

Immerse yourself in the heart of the unspoiled nature of the Marais Poitevin and set off on a canoeing adventure. Paddle through the winding canals, in the shade of century-old trees, and discover the richness of the fauna and flora that inhabit these marshy lands. A soothing and exotic experience to share with family or friends.


Walks by the Sea


1. Rampart walk in Saint-Martin-de-Ré

Start your exploration with the charming fortified town of Saint-Martin-de-Ré. Stroll along the ramparts surrounding the old town and enjoy breathtaking views of the port and the Atlantic Ocean. Admire the historic architecture of the fortifications and soak up the peaceful atmosphere in the cobbled streets.


2. Customs officers' path in Meschers-sur-Gironde

For a total immersion in wild nature, take the customs trail in Meschers-sur-Gironde. This coastal path will take you past steep cliffs and secret coves, offering spectacular views of the Gironde estuary. Take time to explore the troglodyte caves carved into the rock and cool off in the crystal clear waters.


3. Bike ride on the island of Oléron

Rent bikes and explore the island of Oléron at your own pace. Ride the cycle paths along the coast and pass through picturesque villages bordered by salt marshes and sand dunes. Stop along the way to taste fresh seafood at one of the typical restaurants and enjoy the revitalizing sea air.


4. Walk to the Cordouan Lighthouse

For an extraordinary getaway, board a boat and head towards the Cordouan Lighthouse, nicknamed the ""Versailles of the sea"". This majestic stone tower, erected in the middle of the ocean, offers an enchanting setting for an unforgettable maritime trip. Admire the grandiose architecture of the lighthouse and be amazed by the panorama of the infinite horizon.


5. Relaxation on Royan beach

End your day in style by relaxing on Royan beach. Spread your towel on the golden sand and let yourself be lulled by the gentle sound of the waves. Take the opportunity to cool off in the clear waters of the Atlantic or indulge in water activities like paddle-boarding or beach volleyball.


Underwater Pleasures


1. Scuba diving on Île de Ré

Discover the exceptional seabed of Île de Ré during a scuba diving excursion. Accompanied by experienced guides, explore spectacular dive sites where you can admire an incredible variety of marine life, from colorful fish to mysterious shipwrecks. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, Île de Ré offers experiences suitable for all levels.


2. Snorkeling on the island of Oléron

Embark on an unforgettable snorkeling adventure to the island of Oléron, where the shallow waters are home to a multitude of underwater treasures. Gear up with your mask and snorkel and explore the quiet coves and sandbars where you can spot colorful fish, starfish and maybe even crabs and lobsters. It's a perfect activity for the whole family, allowing everyone to discover the magic of the seabed.


3. Transparent Kayak Ride in La Rochelle

Treat yourself to a unique transparent kayak experience in La Rochelle, where you can paddle through the clear waters while observing the marine life beneath your feet. With the transparent bottom of your kayak, you will have a breathtaking view of the seabed and may be able to spot fish, algae and even crustaceans. It's a fun and original way to discover the beauty of the sea in complete tranquility.


4. Boat Excursion to Fort Boyard

Discover the famous Fort Boyard during a boat excursion departing from La Rochelle or the island of Oléron. Along the way, take the opportunity to spot dolphins playing in the waves and learn about the fascinating history of this iconic fortress. You will also have the opportunity to stop for a snorkeling session around the fort, where you can admire a wide variety of fish and corals.


5. Seal observation at the Gironde estuary

For a truly unique experience, go and meet the seals in the Gironde estuary during a boat excursion. Accompanied by naturalist guides, you will navigate through the calm waters of the estuary in search of these majestic marine mammals. It is an unforgettable experience that will delight nature lovers of all ages.


Charente Maritime is much more than just a seaside destination; it is a true paradise for lovers of the sea and the sun. From golden beaches and thrilling water activities to seaside walks and underwater explorations, this coastal region offers an array of experiences that will satisfy the desires of every traveler seeking relaxation and adventure. Join us for an unforgettable seaside getaway in Charente Maritime!

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