On the border between the Grand-Ouest and the South East, Royan is situated in the Charente-Maritime region, more precisely in the Arvert peninsula.
This town, of around 18,000 inhabitants, is one of the principal seaside resort towns on the Atlantic coast, attracting no less than 700,000 visitors each year.
Cultural and Historical Heritage
From a cultural point of view, Royan offers numerous possibilities by virtue of its rich and varied heritage. Firstly, the Museum of Royan offers you a historical journey by tracing the great events of antiquity up to the Second World War, with the biggest collection of 1950s furniture as well as other exhibitions. Numerous châteaus are also worth discovering: The château-fortress of St Jean d’Angles, a relic of the Middle Ages and listed as a Historical Monument, that you can visit as a family as part of an amusing game; the Château de Beaulon, a historical monument from the Renaissance, surrounded by vineyards, parks and fountains, offering the chance to sample their cognac produced on site; the Château des Enigmes, also a Historical Monument from the Renaissance, which offers a pirate-themed family treasure hunt. Afterwards, you can discover the seaside architecture of Royan.Regional character, English or exotic inspirations stand alongside Neobaroque, Cubist or Classic styles... You can therefore find an interesting mix of styles, dating from the end of the 19th century.
Its religious heritage is just as important: five parishes are present in Royan. Among them, you can discover the Saint-Pierre de Royan Church, the oldest in the town and listed as a Historical Monument, which was bombed in 1945 and partially rebuilt. But also the Notre-Dame de Royan Church, the largest building in the town, dating from 1958, which is considered a masterpiece of post-war architecture. Both churches have survived through time, and bear witness to history and past wars.
As for cuisine, Charentes’ food is between land and sea. You can taste the oysters of Marennes-Oléron throughout the year, farmed mussels cooked in Mouclade (a local speciality with cream and white wine), or many other types of seafood. Depending on the season, you will also have the chance to try Charentes melon, which goes perfectly with Pineau des Charentes, typical of the region.
As for activities, you can, among other things, practise water sports: from the sailing dinghy to the catamaran, passing by fly-surfing, jet-skiing and windsurfing... Or other sporting activities like golf, horse riding or parachuting, there’s something for everyone! For those who enjoy the sea air but prefer leisure or walking, the marina or one of the numerous inlets and beaches such as the Grance Conche or Chay will charm you. As for nature, the botanical and zoological garden Planet Exotica, stretching out over 7.6 hectares, will enthral young and old with a multitude of activities and animal and plant species: a collection of orchids, 250 reptiles from all over the world, butterflies and exotic plants, acrobatics...
The surrounding area
Don’t hesitate to explore the surrounding area, accessible thanks to the ideal geographical location of Royan, which allows you to discover numerous sites in a short time: historical towns such as La Rochelle, Saintes or Rochefort, islands of Charente-Maritime such as île d’Oléron or île de Ré, forts such as the Fort Boyard, the grottos of Matata or Regulus, the lighthouses of Coubre, Courdouan or Chassiron, leisure parks with the Zoo de la Palmyre or the Cep Enchanté, or vineyards to practise wine tourism through the vineyards of Charentes, the coasts of Blayes and Bourg, or Médoc...