Enjoy really getting back to nature
Nature-lovers, what are you waiting for? Come and make the most of the unspoilt natural habitats of the île d'Oléron and the bassin de Marennes.
Here, we go from sand dunes to cliffs, from forest to vineyards, from man-made oyster channels to tidal fish weirs – an incredible abundance of different habitats in the one place! Take the paths less travelled and you’ll discover places you’ve never dreamed of. Fauna, flora, indeed, the whole natural world beckons to you, inviting you to get away from it all in a bucolic natural setting.
The woods of the île d'Oléron cover 12% of the island’s surface and help protect it from the wind and the waves. On the bassin de Marennes, the marshes are the most prominent feature of the landscape and play a big part in their fame thanks to their connection with Marennes-Oléron farmed oysters!
The wild and unspoilt character of this region makes it a paradise for migratory birds: storks, small waders etc. The mild climate of the Pays Marennes-Oléron also encourages a rich flora. Most abundant in the sand dunes and wetland habitats, the very brightly-coloured, highly-scented range of flower species is largely the result of the very sunny climate.
Boasting a natural heritage that’s one-of-a-kind, the island is home to several ‘Echappées Nature’ sites including the Marais aux Oiseaux and the Port des Salines, two highly significant natural habitats which are open to the public all the year round. At the Marais aux Oiseaux you can set off to explore the local area’s fauna and flora, whilst a visit to the Port des Salines enables you to see an age-old activity of the Marennes-Oléron area – the harvesting of sea salt – at first hand.
Lastly, the wide variety and large number of beaches are another aspect of the Marennes-Oléron region that’s not to be missed. Here you can relax, bathe and enjoy some sporting activities – especially given the excellent bathing water quality. Several bathing resorts here have Blue Flag status, in fact, the île d’Oléron possesses almost half the Blue Flag beaches in the Charente-Maritime département.