The Castle of Oleron

The Citadel

The Citadel of the Château-d'Oléron, the construction of which was ordered by Richelieu in 1630 on the remains of the former castle.
From 1689 onwards, the construction of the horn structures on the marsh side led to the expropriation of part of the city: all the houses, public and religious buildings located in the area concerned were razed to the ground.
In 1700, a new town was structured within the new fortified enclosure, according to a checkered plan and around the Place d'Armes. A fortress with a defensive function, the citadel also housed disciplinary bodies, civil and religious internees during the terror, and political prisoners in 1870. On April 17, 1945, an aerial bombardment destroyed many elements of the citadel. From 1959 to 1970, a first restoration began. The stronghold will be refurbished from 1988 onwards. Today, it houses exhibition halls and hosts cultural events.

The port

The port of Château-d'Oléron is an important transit centre for oysters, the municipality being one of the major components of the Marennes-Oléron basin (with Marennes and La Tremblade). Already practiced in Roman times, oyster farming was revived in the 17th century, but only fully developed in the 19th century. Many oyster farms have been built on the site of former salt marshes, forming a true mosaic of land and water. In these basins (or "clear"), oysters grow and acquire a unique colour and taste under the action of a microscopic algae, the blue navicle. More than 100 companies make a living from this activity and most of them are located in the port and on the Ors channel.

Ors Channel

The Ors channel, with its multicoloured huts, is on the left as soon as the viaduct passes. It flows into the Maumusson pertuis near the viaduct. It is the longest oyster farming channel and one of the most beautiful on the island of Oleron over a length of more than 1.5 km.

The beach of the Château d'Oléron

The beach is a family beach, with no waves or currents. Swimming is only possible at high tide. Located in the Moëze-Oléron nature reserve, dogs are not allowed and fishing is prohibited (on foot and by line).

Water body of the Phibie

The Phibie seawater body, next to the beach, is accessible during the summer school holidays. Swimming is supervised from 11am to 7pm during this period. A tiralo is available free of charge on request to the lifeguards. Access is facilitated by a grating. The supervised swimming area is delimited. A diving board is installed.

The little train of the castle

Since 1992, the Petit Train has been taking you on a journey to discover the characteristic places of this city: the interior of the Citadel fortified by Vauban with its ramparts, moats and royal gate, a few typical streets of the city, as well as the oyster port to tell you about oyster farming. A 5 km circuit, completed in nearly 35 minutes, during which the many stories and anecdotes perfectly complement the walk.
Immediate boarding for a pleasant and informative trip!
For families, elders, children and all others.


There is a market all year round from Tuesday to Saturday from 7:30 to 12:30 and every day in July and August. It is a mainly food market during the week in and around the covered market. You will find: bakery, butcher's shop, delicatessen, wine and pineau, cheese maker, fishmonger, primeur, oyster farmer...
And a large market on Sunday mornings from 7:30 to 13:00 in the covered market and in the city centre, a large food market in and around the covered market with many shops in addition to those of the week and a fairground market throughout the Place de la République: clothes, jewellery, hardware, leather....
Nocturnes in season on Wednesdays in town and on Fridays at the port.