Châtelaillon-Plage is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France. Today this Atlantic resort combines the retro charm of a « Belle Epoque » and a XXI century modernity.
From the history prior to the nineteenth century, there are still a few agricultural and oyster buildings (village of Boucholeurs). It was only at the end of the nineteenth century, with the appearance of the railway, that the seaside resort was made to accommodate the first lovers of sea bathing; more than 1,500 villas had been built by the beginning of the twentieth century.
Tourism and leisure
Beauséjour was built at the end of the nineteenth century during the installation of the Châtelaillon-Plage station and its development as a seaside resort. Its first vocation was the hotel industry. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it became a summer camp and then housed the Châtelaillon-Plage nursery school before being completely renovated in 2007. This magnificent mansion is today a cultural space and a place of leisure for the people of Châtelaillonnais.
A first “Tournesol” swimming pool, resulting from a national construction program, was created in 1975 in Châtelaillon-Plage. The Aquatic Center succeeded him and opened its doors in June 1991. Two indoor pools, two Jacuzzis, two outdoor pools, two giant slides constitute it.
Casino was built in 1893 when Châtelaillon turned into a sought-after seaside resort. After damage caused by World War II, the entrance was rebuilt, a cinema was installed as well as an open-air performance hall. Destroyed during the second half of the twentieth century, it was rebuilt identically. It is still the central place for Châtelaillonnaise evenings with its restaurant, nightclub (La Licorne) and games room.
The resort is crossed by the EuroVelo 1 cycle route (also known in its French part as the “Vélodyssée”) which connects Norway to Portugal. The city became part of the La Tour de France 2020 competition.
Total length of the beach is 3 km. Officially divided into three beaches, the locals speak of each of them separately or name it Big Beach (it is the largest beach in the area between La Rochelle and Rochfort). The north beach is located at the entrance of the sea boulevard. The main beach faces the casino, in the centre of the 3 km stretch. The south beach is located near the marina and the best place for water sports (kitesurf, canoeing, kite and yachting). All three beaches are sandy and suitable for kids.
Shopping is not priority on the tourist program.
Best restaurants are located on the waterfront. There is one Michelin list restaurant in the city: Les Flots 52 boulevard de la Mer, 31 – 58 EUR • Modern Cuisine (no stars)
Transport and how to get to?
The town is served by TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine to La Rochelle, Rochefort and Saintes, but also by Corail Intercités to Nantes or Bordeaux. The service is also improved in the summer season, in order to guarantee optimal access to the station for holidaymakers arriving by TGV at La Rochelle-Ville station.
Shortest distance by car:
From Rochefort: 25 min (24.6 km) via D137
From Le Château-d’Oléron: 54 min (56.5 km) via D137
From Niort: 1 h 1 min (73.6 km) via N11
From Saintes: 46 min (63.2 km) via A837
From La Baule-Escoublac (tolls): 2 h 41 min (225 km) via A83
From Saint-Nazaire (tolls): 2 h 38 min (211 km) via A83
From Pornic (tolls): 2 h 23 min (191 km) via A83
From Les Sables-d’Olonne: 1 h 49 min (114 km) via D949
From Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie (tolls): 2 h 1 min (139 km) via D948
From Noirmoutier-en-l’Île (tolls): 2 h 39 min (181 km) via D948
From Jard-sur-Mer (tolls): 1 h 28 min (92.6 km) via D949
From Nantes (tolls): 1 h 52 min (147 km) via A83
From Cognac (tolls): 1 h 11 min (93.2 km) via A837
From Angoulême (tolls): 1 h 46 min (140 km) via N141 and A837
From Arcachon (tolls): 2 h 29 min (239 km) via A10
From Royan: 1 h 1 min (63.0 km) via D733
From Biarritz (tolls): 3 h 44 min (369 km) via A63 and A10
From Bayonne (tolls): 3 h 30 min (358 km) via A63 and A10
From Dax (tolls): 3 h 16 min (320 km) via A63 and A10
From Saumur: 2 h 32 min (203 km) via D938
From Bordeaux (tolls): 1 h 55 min (173 km) via A10
From La Rochelle: 25 min (15.6 km) via D137
From Toulouse (tolls): 3 h 58 min (412 km) via A62 and A10
From Carcassonne (tolls): 4 h 44 min (501 km) via A62
From Monaco (tolls): 9 h 14 min (991 km) via A62
From Nice (tolls): 9 h 2 min (969 km) via A62
From Cannes (tolls): 8 h 47 min (942 km) via A62
From Saint-Tropez (tolls): 8 h 44 min (914 km) via A62
From Marseille (tolls): 7 h 32 min (811 km) via A62
From Avignon (tolls): 6 h 51 min (738 km) via A62
From Montpellier (tolls): 6 h 6 min (651 km) via A62
From Béziers (tolls): 5 h 29 min (589 km) via A62
From Perpignan (tolls): 5 h 40 min (615 km) via A62
From Narbonne (tolls): 5 h 13 min (559 km) via A61 and A62
From Andorra (tolls): 6 h 14 min (592 km) via A62
Area: 6.6 sq. km
Population: 5 900
Time: Central European UTC +1
GPS coordinates: 46°04′27″N 1°05′12″W