Visit of the oyster farming village of Fort-Royer on the island of Oléron

Saint-Georges-d'Oléron
Visit of the oyster f ...

Gulls, oysters, sandy beaches as far as the eye can see. Here, scoured the island of Oléron. Do you think you know it inside out? Get off the beaten track. Change angles. Let's set off together to discover a unique and unusual place near Boyardville, on the west coast of the island. Nestled in a postcard setting, the century-old oyster-farming village of Fort-Royer in Saint-Georges d'Oléron and its multicolored huts are a centerpiece of local heritage. Still in activity, this small picturesque and timeless hamlet forms an island of peace and deep conviviality. The island of Oléron has not finished revealing its secrets to you!


oyster village of Fort-Royer
oyster village of Fort-Royer

The bohemian charm of Fort-Royer!

Artists, painters and photographers come from far and wide to immortalize these multicolored huts placed at the edge of the water, in the heart of a large mudflat colonized by carpets of glasswort, obione and other marsh plants. Between land and sea, around forty oyster huts stand proudly in the middle of clearings and channels shaped by generations of men. Facing the oyster beds, these authentic huts are today the last witnesses of traditional oyster farming which was practiced in the past on the island of Oléron and is still perpetuated today to the delight of oyster lovers.

Read our article on Oysters from Charente Maritime, so that these iodized delights have no more secrets for you.


oyster village of Fort-Royer
oyster village of Fort-Royer
oyster village of Fort-Royer


The preservation of oyster culture: the soul of Fort-Royer

Oyster farmers have been the masters of the place here since 1920. Originally, a few families of “peasants of the sea” spotted this territory of barely 10 hectares in the heart of a natural area surrounded by dune ridges. Faced with the exceptional potential of the site to develop an oyster farming activity, the oyster farmers of the time embarked on laborious work and dug the channels and the clears with the strength of their arms! Today, there are only 8 family and artisanal oyster companies operating the site. All professions are represented: breeders who work at sea, refiners who guarantee the gustatory excellence of the “Marennes – Oléron” appellation and shippers responsible for washing the oysters in accordance with regulations. On the site, a few huts offer oyster tasting and 4 huts offer take-out sales.

In Saint-Georges d'Oléron, the 5-star Les Gros Joncs campsite welcomes you for family holidays!


oyster village of Fort-Royer
oyster village of Fort-Royer
oyster village of Fort-Royer

Oyster farming, living heritage of the island of Oléron

What a pleasure to stroll among these brightly colored huts and breathe in the iodized air of the Atlantic . Previously painted with the remains of boat paint, some huts seem to serve as a “catch all” for oyster farmers who store their equipment, their lockers, their bags of oysters and a number of essential odds and ends in their trade. Other cabins come alive after the tide: a table, a few chairs, friends, a few oysters and the sound of the ocean… it doesn't take much to turn a few planks of wood into a corner of paradise. If you look at the roofs of the huts carefully, you will notice that they are almost all topped with a finial or a hallmark: bird, starfish, sundial, map of the island of Oléron... rustic shipwrecks complete the picture of this unique place.

Read our article on the wine of the island of Oléron to have good ideas of gastronomic accompaniment!


oyster village of Fort-Royer
oyster village of Fort-Royer
oyster village of Fort-Royer


Another particularity of this site hidden in the heart of a protected reserve (Natural Reserve of Moëze-Oléron), Fort-Royer is a popular stopover for migratory birds that come to feed and nest in the middle of the mudflats: sandpipers, oystercatchers, curlews, little egrets… Bird lovers, don't forget your binoculars!

Read our article: Where to watch birds in Charente Maritime to find out more and plan your next birding outing.


Discover the places with a local guide

Access to the site is free and you can explore the entire oyster port freely by strolling between the cabins. On the other hand, if you wish to learn more about the traditional oyster farming of Fort-Royer, various guided tours and workshops are offered all year round by the association of the Site Ostréicole et Naturel de Fort-Royer. This local association works to preserve and enhance the site and its volunteers passionately share their knowledge with visitors. The breeding of this strange mollusc so appreciated by gourmets will no longer have any secrets for you!


oyster village of Fort-Royer
A magnificent beach awaits you on the coast of Fort-Royer!

Useful information:

Natural and oyster-farming site of Fort-Royer

La Perrotine (near Boyarville)

17310 Saint-Pierre-d'Oleron, France

Such. +33 (0)5 46 47 06 48



Did you like our report? Find more on the Guide Charente Maritime blog. Connect to the Charente Maritime Guide Facebook page to be kept up to date with our news. We are also on Instagram @guidecharentemaritime


Article and photos prepared by Lesley Williamson for the Guide Charente Maritime


Back to "Culture and Heritage"

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