Family holidays are a special time for parents, grand-parents and children. It’s a time for reunions, sharing, making memories and discovering new things together. The île d’Oléron and the bassin de Marennes has been a ‘Famille Plus’-accredited destination since 2016, meaning that it is especially geared towards catering towards the needs of families. This national scheme helps identify and grade resorts and places that boast venues, facilities, activities and pricing systems that are particularly tailored to families and children.
The Marennes-Oléron region boasts over 100 km of coastline – more than enough to make plenty of sandcastles and take a dip in the sea too. Make the most of the numerous beaches suitable for swimming and other water sports. Sporting types can enjoy water-based activities at any time of the year- surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, yachting and more. Wander along the very varied foreshore with your family and explore the delights of gathering shellfish by hand! The beaches on the mainland side are sheltered from the biggest waves and the wind, making them perfect for families with young children to go swimming.
Did you know that the île d’Oléron (as of 2020), boasted 7 beaches and 1 port with Blue Flag status due to the quality of their bathing water? Here you can swim safely on any of 16 lifeguard-monitored beaches. Lifeguards keep a close watch over designated swimming areas marked by blue buoys.
The more adventurous may want to climb aboard a pirate ship, a sailboat, a catamaran or a speedboat to discover Fort Boyard, the Ile d’Aix or La Rochelle. Leisure activities bearing the ‘Famille Plus’ label are committed to fulfilling the following conditions: that they are accessible to families with children aged between 3 and 12, with activities suitable for different ages; they are supervised by qualified staff members; that they fulfil all legal and regulatory requirements, that they have appropriate insurance cover and equipment and a family-friendly pricing structure (at least some sort of discount for the under-12s).
Learn and have fun at the same time
Enjoy some of the simple pleasures of life and give your kids free rein! You can find out more about wreckers, salt-makers and oyster famers in museums but also in harbours and other working environments through tours and meeting the people involved. Special events designed to raise awareness of the environment take place throughout the year. Several charities share their passion for the environment and sustainable development by means of a whole raft of guided tours to protected habitats such as marshland, the foreshore and sand dunes. These tours are suitable for families or groups and must be booked in advance.
What happens if it rains? Well, the environment needs water, and although the rain never lasts for long, there’s always something to keep you amused on the île d’Oléron and the bassin de Marennes! Facilities and activities designed with families in mind will enable you to come away with great memories of your holidays. Bowling alleys, cinemas, multi-media libraries, exhibitions and museums all offer good alternatives. All the year round, our multi-media libraries and toy libraries will open up a world of imagination to youngsters through books, games and workshops which will really stimulate their brains.
Reinvigorating getaways in a beautiful natural setting
Get off the beaten track and take a journey through this multi-facetted region. Blow the cobwebs away with a break to this Atlantic region! From north to south, east to west, there are 2,900 hectares of state-owned woodland composed mostly of maritime pines and holm oaks through which to wander, as well as marshland – a precious natural resource with a fragile ecosystem – and the coastline. The île d’Oléron boasts two "Échappées Nature" sites - the marais aux oiseaux at Dolus and the port des salines in Petit Village. These protected natural sites are open to the public all year round and offer numerous child-friendly activities. The main goal of these local nature reserves is to raise visitors’ awareness of the natural world and the traditions of the Marennes-Oléron area. Hikers will love these places, as will cyclists and horse riders.
The Famille Plus scheme
Every year, the île d'Oléron and bassin de Marennes tourist board publishes its Famille Plus guide to ensure that it caters to the needs of families and children as effectively as possible. Inside you’ll find a full range of tourist services (special activities and events, tours, workshops...) which are tailored specifically to children of all ages. Feel free to visit our different offices spread across the area so that we can give you the best possible help in planning your stay.
A destination that’s serious about being family-friendly
The Île d’Oléron - bassin de Marennes is a ‘Famille Plus’-accredited destination, which means that families are sure to receive an especially warm welcome here and are catered to with special activities and events designed to appeal to them, thanks to a whole network of partners who have signed up to the same commitments as we have:
- A welcome that’s especially tailored to families
- Special events that are suitable for all ages
- Activities for the family as a whole or its individual members
- Tailored pricing according to age
- A wide range of shops and services close at hand
- Our staff and service providers will treat your kids like royalty
Why not meet our partners?
Famille Plus-accredited accommodation providers
Famille Plus-accredited restaurants
Famille Plus-accredited leisure activity service providers