This was the third time we stayed on Oleron, but some 16 years had passed since the last stay. We were concerned that things may have changed but things were just as we remembered them.
We stayed in a mobile home courtesy Eurocamp (Emplacement 150). It featured a large deck, 3 bedrooms, seperate toilet and a great shower. The vinyl floors, wood effect, are far better than the old carpets of days gone by and the mozzy nets on the bedroom windows were great. The emplacement was a good size and we got the best of the day's sun... from around mid day till sunset.
Ron, the Eurocamp rep was great - nothing too much, and the site as a whole was lovely. The pool was cool, but usable and almost always quiet. We didn't use the restaurant / bar, but we did order bread from there in the evening for delivery fresh in the morning - yummy! The site is fairly small and was nicely tranquil while we were there. A good mix of French, Dutch and English with a few Germans and Irish, staying there.
The Island is fantastic... if you want to just get away and escape! It is very french, so try to use a little french even if it's rusty - the locals will meet you more than half way, but English is not as widely spoken as in Brittany and the Vendee. After saying that, you know you are in France!!
Shopping - there is a large E,Leclerc supermarket five minutes away in Saint Pierre. Meat tends to expensive, but when taken on balance, the cost of living is still probably cheaper in France than the UK. There are a few shops in Saint-Georges but Saint Pierre is a better bet if you need choice. Be prepared for most shops to be closed between 12noon and 3pm, but they do tend to stay open into early evening.
Pleasance Plage at Foulerot, 5-10 minutes drive from the accommodation offers sweeping sands and swimmable waters. This side of the island faces Fort Boyard and the mainland, offering far great shelter. If you want surfing waves then go to the other side of the Island where the Atlantic beats the shore in an awesome show of strength. Surfing, sailboarding, kite surfing and sand yachting are popular but the beaches so vast you don't notice. The beaches are typically quiet and clean. The sea is fantastic.
While on Oleron don't miss a trip to the top of the light house at Chassiron and make sure you see Le Citadel at La Chateau. If you want to travel off the Island then La Rochelle, Cognac and Bordeaux are all within fairly easy reach.
The industry is mainly related to the sea... in harvesting of salt and sea foods. Don't miss trying the oysters - they are world class. The other industry seems to be alcohol with a beautiful local aperitif called Pineau... a mix of cognac and wine, drank well chilled.
In summary, the island is not the place to go if you want action and noise, but if you prefer peaceful surroundings that are distinctly french, it's hard to beat!
- Also Known As:
- Camping Le Domaine D'Oleron France/Charente-Maritime