Change of scenery and discovery during your stay on the Ile d’Oléron

Discover gastronomic specialties in Charente-Maritime

Thanks to their exceptional and varied produce, the people of Oleron have created a tasty and natural gastronomy and terroir. These include theMarennes-Oléron oyster, the only French variety to benefit from a red label.

Partly thanks to the port of La Cotinière, the largest fishing port in Charente-Maritime, where over 90 different species are caught, Oleron’s gastronomic diversity is so rich.
The specialities of Oleron are numerous and all very tasty. Here are just a few of them:

Oysters from Oléron

Renowned since Roman times, they are bred on the French Atlantic coast, placed in oyster beds and packaged in the Marennes Oléron basin. It’s thanks to this unique know-how, handed down from generation to generation, fighting for the quality of the regional product, that “Marennes-Oléron” oysters have been awarded two red labels and an appellation contrôlée.

Oyster farming is an important activity on the Ile d’Oléron, and the salt marshes have been converted into oyster beds to green the oysters using a process recognized at European level for its quality.

According to Oleron tradition, oysters are eaten in the following order: an oyster is swallowed, a piece of bread spread with butter is eaten, a piece of sausage is eaten, a drop of white wine is swallowed, and so on, always in the same order.

oysters gastronomy ile oleron
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seafood charente maritime


Seafood and lobster, lords of the ocean, to be enjoyed without moderation, accompanied by pineau and Oleron wines.

Eglade” or “éclade“, a typical regional dish, are mussels arranged in a star shape on a wooden board and baked under a thick carpet of pine needles, a recipe that has been used since the dawn of time. Not to be missed!

Another must-try is “mouclade“, a sweet recipe for mussels cooked in a sauce of curry, pineau and local white wine.

Markets on the island of Oleron

In summer, markets are held every morning on the island. Under the picturesque halls or in the sunshine, it’s an explosion of smells and colors, the atmosphere of the place seduces you, the local stalls make your mouth water. It’s the ideal place to immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of the Ile d’Oléron, to mingle with the locals and meet local producers: market gardeners, winemakers, cheesemakers, beekeepers… and the many small artisan creators.

You’ll find the markets closest to the campsite in Château d’Oléron, the center and Port des Salines in Grand-village-plage, St Trojan-Les-Bains, La Cotinière, Dolus and those in St Pierre d’Oléron, St Denis d’Oléron, La Brée les Bains, St Georges d’Oléron, Boyardville, Domino and Chéray.

cheese market near ile oleron
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Discovering the salt marshes

Made up of colorful oyster huts, thePort des Salines, a natural setting with the Pôle-Nature label, reveals the history of salt production in oléron and the know-how of the salt worker.

Theeco-museum will take you from cabin to cabin into the fabulous world of salt: the tools of the salt worker, how to recognize an activity, the stages of salt harvesting, its use, the seasons of the salt marsh… The eco-museum also has a store where you’ll find specialized books, postcards and games for children.

The guided tour will give you a life-size view of how a salt marsh works, allow you to observe the ancestral skills of the salt worker and taste the white gold that is so vital to our lives.

If you’re a sailor for a day, renting a boat is a fun way to contemplate the marsh landscapes and their rich, diverse flora and fauna.

A new interpretation trail, with free access , marks out the walking route and explores the world of the salt marsh.

You’ll also find: free-access walking trails, the salt loft, producers’ and craftsmen’s huts, restaurants and the Wednesday farmers’ market.

Visit the island of Oleron aboard the Saint-Trojan train

Created in 1963, the p’tit train de Saint-Trojan-les-Bains is theonly tourist railway on the Ile d’Oléron. It crosses the south of the island diagonally and runs from April to October on a narrow railway line.

Originally, the line linked the Saint-Trojan station to the Gatseau station, serving the beach of the same name and the Maumusson beach, two large wild beaches with no road access. A great success, the line was extended to the dunes of the wild coast, measuring 7 kms at the time. However, successive erosions of this dune reduced the line to its current length of 6 kms.

This little train runs through magnificent landscapes of fine sand and pinewoods that are inaccessible by road, allowing you to combine walks in a natural environment with days on the beach and in the sun.

In July and August, the “Sunset Trains” offer evening trips to admire the enchanting spectacle of the sun setting over the sea.

Buffet de la Gare, wagon bar and fast-food outlets provide a refreshing stop-off for strollers.

Le P’tit Train is accessible to people with reduced mobility, with special facilities for wheelchair users.

The train has also been awarded the “Tourisme et Handicap 2010” label.

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Discover the unmissable Couleurs Cabanes

The Village de Créateurs, d’Artisans d’Art et d’Artistes was created in the old oyster huts in the Port du Château d’Oléron, breathing new life into this Oleron heritage while respecting the authenticity of the site.

For over 20 years, this unique place ofexchange, freedom, creation, life and serenity has been a unique place for artists to express themselves and exhibit all year round.

It’s a timeless, warm, charming, fragrant stroll around the Ile d’Oléron, and an immense joy to buy something unique, made on the Ile d’Oléron.

Les Cabanes couleurs d’artistes – Port of Château d’Oléron

To complete your discovery :