The smell of mimosa floating in the air mixed with the sweet scent of salt water, is the nice cocktail that offers us the island of Oleron, floating at the end of winter off the coast of the Charente-Maritime.
In the footsteps of Oleron “La Lumineuse”
Located in the Atlantic Ocean, the island has an area of 174km², which makes it the largest French island after Corsica. It welcomes over 30km long more than 21,000 permanent inhabitants and does not escape the mass tourism throughout the year to enjoy its high rate of sunshine in any season.
Dominated by the two main cities, Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron and Le Château-d’Oléron, each of these cantons is full of history and small picturesque villages with disparate looks in which it is imperative to stop the time. ‘A coffee.
Its omnipresent sun is worth the nickname of Oléron “The Bright” , but not only. It is also thanks to its daily warmth that the island can produce delicious wines, such as Pineau des Charentes, with a slightly iodized taste due to its geographical situation.
The vineyards and the miles of countryside surrounding the cities are small paradises for long explorations in the middle of nature. And the beach is never far away … the island is lined with beautiful stretches of fine sand. The more adventurous will be able to take the marked trails of the Saumonards forest, to discover at the end of the way the famous Fort with the risky challenges, Fort Boyard. In 1804 the construction of the fort began under the reign of Napoleon I to protect the mouth of the Charente and the military arsenal of Rochefort, it was completed under Louis Philippe in 1857. Its forests, its beaches, its climate, its tracks cycling , historical monuments … so many things that make the island of Oleron a popular destination during summer holidays!
The island of Oleron as a whole has a low relief but very varied. Its highest point of 34 meters height is located in the south of the island, in the dunes of Saint-Trojan-Les-Bains. North of the island, the Chassiron lighthouse . It is common to fall on cliffs four to ten meters high, then to see a few meters away from beautiful sand dunes.
Its climatic conditions favor a very diversified flora too, for example by the appearance of eucalyptus trees, fig trees, olive trees or even mimosas which begin to bloom from the beginning of the year. Pierre Loti, a great French writer very attached to the island, described it as “the perfume island” …
Forests and forests represent 15.6% of the total area of the island and cover very different surfaces. They play a significant role, on the one hand in terms of aesthetics, to increase tourism on the island, but also because their primary objective is the protection of natural and human environments.
It is the beauty of the island of Oleron … everything mixes but assembles perfectly to create beautiful and very surprising landscapes.