The Roadtrippers I A taste of island life on île d’Oléron

03/06/2021 de La Rédac' Huttopia

“We board a ferry with Rosalie in Verdon-sur-Mer. About a twenty-minute crossing separates us from Royan in Charente-Maritime. Foreign lands and epic voyages seem to be beckoning to us on the wind.”

Arrival on Île d’Oléron

“It’s our first time setting foot on the island. We had been told that there was a lovely atmosphere on this small piece of land separated from the mainland by just 3km of water. When we arrive at Huttopia Oléron Les Pins campsite, we’re keen for some recommendations and suggestions for walks. And we’re in luck, as the managers of the site seem to love their island. Swimming in the campsite’s pool, walks and bike rides through Gatseau forest to the beach, shore fishing at low tide, oyster tasting, horse riding on the beach, visits to colourful huts converted into artisan shops or hip restaurants, a canoe trip in the marsh, a visit to Chassiron lighthouse, surfing… We’re spoiled for choice!”


Our Van Set-Up

“For this stop on Île d’Oléron, we’re in van life mode. We park Rosalie on a camping pitch, in the shade of the pines. First of all, we make sure we’re not too far from a toilet block, we’re hooked up to electricity, we’ve got our little fridge set up, the van is level and we have a wooden table beside us. Perfect! And as it’s already time to start preparing our dinner, we also get out our camping stove. On tonight’s menu is spinach and ricotta ravioli with cashew nuts, cherry tomatoes and soy sauce. Then we just sit back and enjoy our meal, with the joyful sound of birdsong in the background.”

Gatseau Beach, an Unspoiled and Vulnerable Natural Site

“The sun rises over the campsite. We planned to take some photos of the site this morning. Our attention is drawn to the brand-new Arizona cabins. Their large decks under canvas with sides that can be rolled up are perfect for enjoying the outdoors in privacy. Once our photo shoot is finished, we cycle to Gatseau beach on the southern end of Île d’Oléron, an unspoiled and vulnerable natural area bordered by a huge forest and facing the Arvert peninsula. The colours of the sky are incredible and make the setting even more beautiful. It’s low tide, so we can make out some figures searching for clams and razor shells in the soft, wet sand.”


Fish & Chips Time in La Cotinière

“Le Merluchon Fish & Chips in La Cotinière is one of the places the campsite staff recommended to us. When our order is served, we settle down on one of the benches on the harbour to enjoy our dinner. A cone filled with chips (homemade, of course) and battered fish. Between forkfuls, we talk about which of the boats moored at the harbour might be ours one day or which of the houses we passed in Saint-Trojan-les-Bains could be our future second home. It’s easy to imagine a life for ourselves on the island. A life full of bike rides, evenings on the beach and mornings spent surfing or doing our shopping at the harbour. For now, we are making the most of these few days on the island and our Huttopia campsite. It’s a great base for exploring the island for the first time.”


Written by The Roadtrippers

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