With its retro charm and its Belle Époque style, Châtelaillon-Plage is a pretty seaside resort which inevitably attracts the eyes of the sea lovers. From La Rochelle you can come here for a day to enjoy the largest beach in the area, or from the rest of France for a long weekend or more, but you will always be won over by the local way of life. Near the village of Boucholeurs, a paradise for oyster and mussel lovers, you can also enjoy every meal. What more could you ask for at the end of your summer?
The charm of the 1900's style architecture
However, Châtelaillon-Plage hides a turbulent past. A human presence is attested as early as the Merovingian period, as shown by the cemetery located at Les Boucholeurs. Especially, in the 12th century, the viguerie (smallest medieval administrative entity) of Châtelaillon extends from the Sèvre in the north to the Charente in the south, on all the islands except Oléron. The fortress of Castrum Allionis (the castle of the Eagles) was then the capital of Aunis, but in 1130 the Duke of Aquitaine forced the last lord to surrender. Sometimes French, sometimes English over the course of the wars of the Middle Ages, Châtelaillon became a commune at the French Revolution, but faced with a decline in population it is attached for a time to Angoulins. But the end of the 19th century was a time of change. The arrival of the railway transformed the town. Sea bathing enthusiasts flocked to the seaside resort to discover a 3 km long beach of fine sand. It was a real renaissance for Châtelaillon, which became a full-fledged commune in 1896. Thanks to several hundreds of 1900's style villas, the small seaside town has resisted concreting and kept all its character. Everyone can admire the architecture born of the "desire for the shore", from the chalet to the seaside castel and cottage while eating an ice cream or going to the beach
The largest beach in the area
With its exceptional panorama of the Charente archipelago - Aix, Ré, Oléron - the jewel of Chatelaillon is often taken by storm. Here children are spoiled, having fun in the shallow sea and finding their way around the animal totems, while adults relax in the thalassotherapy or the casino. Dynamic and lively, it has all the necessary services: shops open all year round, cultural and sports facilities accessible to all... The 3 km long beach of fine sand awaits you: sporty and zen in the north, tamed and comfortably arranged in the centre, wild and vegetated in the south. So, lazing around, jogging, contemplating or taking a gourmet break? Take your pick! Unless you are a rider at heart and want to start or improve your kitesurfing skills. Because Chatelaillon-Plage, capital of kite around the Easter weekend, during the festival of Kite and Wind, is one of the great spots of kite in France. Notice to the amateurs!
A family destination
And children are lucky in Chatelaillon, the seaside resort offers a host of activities, most of which are obviously related to the beach. To get off the beaten track a little, head for the National Nature Reserve of the Marais d'Yves, a protected area where many migratory birds are found. From 6 to 10 years old, children can go on a junior safari by solving 10 mini challenges to unravel the mysteries of the reserve. The little detectives will go in search of the tracks left by the wild rabbit, the shore birds, the little creatures of the water, the owls..
Your charming little ones can also enjoy one of the most pleasant aquatic centres in Charente-Maritime. Here, there is no question about the temperature of the water, it does not go below 29°C! It's easy to see why this is the ideal place to enjoy swimming, both in summer and on cold winter days. The whole family can be found here, from a very young age
If when arriving at Chatelaillon-Plage, your children will surely have only one desire: to tread the sand and swim, the seaside resort also has a municipal park that allows to spend a nice moment with the family. The advantage is that it is located right next to the beach and includes both a playground for children, but also this miniature golf course. To find it, keep your eyes open, it's opposite the cat totem pole. In the shade of the trees, you will launch yourself in wild games
Châtelaillon-Plage seen from the sky
Châtelaillon is obviously discovered by walking along the boulevard de la mer and treading the fine sand of its long beach. But the seaside resort can also be discovered from above. For this, we advise you to book your helicopter flight with theTourist Office. You can discover the coast of light by flying over the Pointe du Chay in Angoulins and discover Fort Boyard and the island of Aix. You can also choose between a 7 minute or 20 minute flight. The activity is ideal for those who wish to discover the city through a unique point of view. From the airport of La Rochelle-Île de Ré, you can also climb into a plane to enjoy a parachute jump, alone or in tandem, over Châtelaillon-Plage, but also over the islands of Ré, Aix and Oléron. An exceptional panorama awaits you for this unusual activity. Thrills and great memories guaranteed!
Long live the oysters!
Finally, don't forget to make a detour to the village of Boucholeurs. With its low houses, its narrow streets and its oyster port, it offers a real touch of authenticity. Long before seaside tourism, this hamlet lived from fishing, taking advantage of its position south of Chatelaillon. Today, the "peasants of the sea" still play with the tides and continue the exploitation of 240 hectares of oyster beds. If you are not familiar with this activity, this is the opportunity to discover it by visiting the oyster park. We advise you to take part in this visit which takes place in the Boucholeurs district whose promenade has been embellished with pergolas and benches to contemplate the ocean. This is the district of the shellfish farmers who raise oysters and mussels. You will learn all the secrets of this culture before going through the tasting with the inevitable glass of white!
When can you go? You can go there all year round, although the arrival of fine weather is obviously more pleasant. The Indian summer, in September, is certainly the best time of the year
How to get there. By car, take the direction of La Rochelle. Châtelaillon-Plage is located 15 km from the centre of La Rochelle. By train, it is also necessary to go to La Rochelle.
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