Ocean vs Sea: what is the best beach ever on Oleron island?

Are you more sea or ocean person? Wild waves or quiet water? On Oleron island I had a chance to find out if I am more into ocean energy or sea kindness. As I’ve mentioned in my previous post about Saint-Torjan-Les-Bains village, a place which we we chose for our stay on the island, it was ideally located in the forest between the ocean and the sea. So we just needed to check the tide’s schedule and decide whether we go to the beach on a sea shore or bike to the ocean. If only this type of decisions we could make every day the life would be just great!

The Grande Plage

1.The shore of the island, which faces Atlantic ocean, is about 45 km long. Although, deeper to the north you go the worse the beach area becomes at the time of low tides. This happens due to the relief of the bottom. If on the Grande Plage it is sandy and flat, than at the other end of the island there are rocks and pebbles and the sandy line is much shorter. Therefore even at the low tide it is possible to jump on the waves and enjoy the ocean on the Grande Plage. 

2.This is the low tide and look how many people are in the water!

3.Due to the enormous power of the ocean which constantly throws water on a beach, there is always thick kinda fog above the shore. It becomes even more visible in sunny days. 

4.Quick photo session while little one sleeps in a tent. 

5.This photo was taken on Saturday, the first sunny day after almost a week of rain and fog, so both locals and tourists came to the beach. Although the parking is pretty big it couldn’t accommodate all visitors. Therefore if you have possibility to come by bicycle – do it! Otherwise come as early as possible. 

6.I don’t know what is more beautiful: cloudy July sky or gigantic waves of the ocean. 


8.Those waves look very nice on a picture. However, in reality they are very dangerous and may catch away in to the deep even a strong adult. 



11.The Grande Plage is under supervision of guard team from May to September from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The supervised area is marked with two flags and guards ask people do not go beyond the limits. Very often there are underwater strong currents or even whirlpools. 

12.Saint-Trojan-Les-Bains is separated from the ocean by a big forest which transforms into huge dune. The dune is protected by the government and it is forbidden to walk there since we may destroy a fragile flora of the dune which holds the sand where it is. 

13.Although, who needs dunes when where is long sandy beach and the ocean with big waves?

14.Sunsets on the Grande Plage beach are simply amazing! Just be aware of mosquitoes. They are real monsters!


16.The weather wasn’t perfect at least during the half of our vacations. However, it wasn’t a reason to stop bathing and going to beach. Contrary, when the temperature of water is the same as air (22-23 C) it was more comfortable to go out of the ocean.

17.In addition, long walks along the shore was our daily routine during those grey days. 

18.There is no bad weather for surfers: they are always in their hydro costumes and ready to ride a wave. 

19.When the water is on its minimum you may see a sunken remains of a barge. It is completely covered with water during the high tide. 

Gatseau beach

20.This beach is on the south end of the island, facing the continental France and just few hundred meters away from the ocean. It is bordered by a forest and is a real haven of tranquility. However, swimmers should be aware of the inshore strong currents.

21.Beach is also sandy, supervised and has parking nearby. If you prefer to stay in shadow then don’t forget to bring your own umbrella or a tent, as there is nothing of this kind on the beach.


23.On the way to Gatseau beach, if you choose to go by foot from Saint-Trojan-Les-Bain, there is another beach pretty nice and quiet. The beach itself is not wide so you may hide yourself from the sun under pine trees nearby. At the low tide the water goes far away and the bottom is covered with seashells and ooze. For the rest it is ok. 



La plage du Soleil

26.This beach is just at the end of the promenade of the village and next to the port. Therefore it is not the best place to swim. What is not good for swimmers is perfect for sailing school. If you have time and desire you may take lessons in this school and then rent a sailing boat to make a tour around the island. 

La Petite Plage

27.Not really a beach but a sandy line visible during low tides. Goes along the promenade of the village.

28.As you may see we played frisbee while others were in seashell hunting mood. 

Now, back to my question at the beginning of the port. Are you ocean or sea person? As for myself, I am definitely ocean one. It is impossible to forget the energy and power of the ocean and this is the best place to recharge my batteries!

My other posts about vacations on Oleron island:

Saint-Trojan-Les-Bains of Oleron island and its surroundings 

Things to do in Oleron island

Oleron’s must visit attractions