Le Château-d’Oléron and its colors

Le Château-d’Oléron is a commune located on the island of Oleron in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France.

The town is surrounded by fortifications in the form of a Bastion fort.

Established in the southern part of the island of Oléron, the town is an important oyster port in the Marennes-Oléron basin.

Formerly the residence of the governors of Oléron, it is today one of the main economic centres of the island. Very touristy, its historic centre is made up of traditional houses lining streets intersecting at right angles, forming a large pedestrian area. Former oyster huts, renovated, now house artists’ and craftsmen’s workshops.

Oyster farming nevertheless remains the flagship sector of the town, which belongs to the oyster farming basin of Marennes-Oléron. Numerous oyster beds have been set up on the site of former salt marshes, forming a veritable mosaic of land and water. In these basins, the oysters grow fat and acquire a unique colour and taste under the action of a microscopic algae, the blue navicle. More than 100 companies are engaged in this business.

Tourism and main sights

The citadel of Château-d’Oléron is a military structure built from 1630 to 1704 to protect the southern part of the island of Oléron. It is one of the main historical monuments of the town of Château-d’Oléron, in the department of Charente-Maritime, in southwestern France.

Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption church. The first stone of this church was laid in 1700: in just three years, the nave and the transept were completed. However, it was not until 1764 that work resumed and the choir was finally finished. In 1883, a neo-Romanesque bell tower, surmounting a porch of the same style, completed the building, whose spire, 40 meters high, dominated the entire town.

The historic centre retains many old houses, some built from the seventeenth century (period of reconstruction of the city). The streets intersecting at right angles revolve around a place of arms (Place de la République), embellished in 1851 with a public fountain freely inspired by Baroque and Renaissance styles. Work of the sculptor Jean Paillé, known as “Perrin”, is decorated with marine themes (dolphins, Neptune’s trident) and has been classified as a historical monument since 1937.

Dolmen d’Ors on the northern part of the road near the seaside. It has been classified as a historical monument since 1940.

There are many funny street metal installations near the port and in the citadel.

Beaches

Le Château-d’Oléron has a quiet beach (Beach of Phibie) and a lake known for hosting families in search of greater security for children.

Shopping

The market takes place every day outside Monday, both in the halls and in its immediate surroundings. In season, a night market is held every Wednesday, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., near the Place de la République, and every Friday, at the same time, on the porch.

The craftsman shops located in old renovated oyster huts offer jewellery, paintings, watercolours, sculptures and souvenirs.

Restaurants

The best restaurants are located in the port area and offer cheap oysters and other seafood.

Transport and how to get?

The nearest airport is Rochefort-Saint-Agnant airport (business jets). The main international airport is in Bordeaux.

Shortest distance by car:

From Rochefort: 37 min (34.0 km) via D123

From La Baule-Escoublac (tolls): 3 h 23 min (277 km) via A83

From Saint-Nazaire (tolls): 3 h 20 min (262 km) via A83

From Pornic (tolls): 3 h 5 min (242 km) via A83

From Les Sables-d’Olonne: 2 h 35 min (165 km) via D949

From Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie: 2 h 46 min (190 km) via D948

From Noirmoutier-en-l’Île (tolls): 3 h 17 min (231 km) via D948

From Jard-sur-Mer: 2 h 17 min (144 km) via D949

From Nantes (tolls): 2 h 39 min (198 km) via A83

From Cognac: 1 h 27 min (84.1 km) via N141 and D728

From Angoulême: 2 h 3 min (131 km) via N141

From Arcachon (tolls): 2 h 47 min (233 km) via A10

From Royan: 51 min (43.1 km) via D728

From Biarritz (tolls): 4 h (366 km) via A63 and A10

From Bayonne (tolls): 3 h 49 min (352 km) via A63 and A10

From Dax (tolls): 3 h 35 min (314 km) via A63 and A10

From Saumur (tolls): 3 h 2 min (230 km) via D938

From Bordeaux (tolls): 2 h 15 min (167 km) via A10

From La Rochelle: 1 h 11 min (69.0 km) via D137

From Toulouse (tolls): 4 h 13 min (405 km) via A62 and A10

From Carcassonne (tolls): 4 h 58 min (495 km) via A62

From Monaco (tolls): 9 h 29 min (984 km) via A62

From Nice (tolls): 9 h 19 min (962 km) via A62

From Cannes (tolls): 9 h 7 min (936 km) via A62

From Saint-Tropez (tolls): 9 h 6 min (908 km) via A62

From Marseille (tolls): 7 h 48 min (805 km) via A62

From Avignon (tolls): 7 h 5 min (732 km) via A62

From Montpellier (tolls): 6 h 21 min (644 km) via A62

From Béziers (tolls): 5 h 44 min (583 km) via A61 and A62

From Perpignan (tolls): 5 h 57 min (609 km) via A62

From Narbonne (tolls): 5 h 29 min (553 km) via A61 and A62

From Andorra (tolls): 6 h 27 min (585 km) via A62

Main information

Area: 15.6 sq. km

Population: 4 200

Languages: French

Currency: euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1

GPS coordinates: 45°53′09″N 1°11′41″W

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