Côte de Beauté

The region around the Gironde has a Mediterranean-like microclimate created by the Islands and the Gulf Stream and has about 2500 hours of sunshine per year which is about 90% of that received by the Cote d'Azur. In addition, the Atlantic breeze makes it an invigorating place for a beach holiday.

Travel: Portsmouth to St. Malo is the longest crossing but involves the shortest drive ( quoting my Brittany Ferries' membership number gives a 10% reduction on all of their crossings); London to Royan takes about 8 hours by train;  Stanstead to La Rochelle is about 80 minutes.

The complex is approached by a private entrance and drive which lead to the under-cover parking area. A dedicated large parking space at the Residence Pasteur makes this an ideal location to visit the beaches and eat out without having to drive.  Daily or long-term parking in the centre of Royan is  very difficult to find  during the holiday season.  

[If still needed in the spring or summer there is a Covid-19 testing clinic at 39 Avenue Daniel Hedde, which is about about a ten minutes walk from the apartment.



The apartment is situated on the top floor of a small complex and has views over Royan towards the Gironde. It is surrounded by many mature trees and is in the green hub of the town :  "Being so central was great - we walked everywhere, when we weren’t sunning ourselves on your balcony - it felt like we were living in the treetops ".

The following photographs show views from the terrace looking south,east and north. A large umbrella can be opened on the terrace but in the late afternoon and evening the surrounding trees give shade.

The central market , constructed in the form of a shell, can just be seen through the trees and is a four minute walk away and via the steps of rue Monmartre. Parking next to the market is possible  during the summer but usually needs to be before 10.00 am.

The new 1950s Church of Notre Dame replaced the neo-gothic building that was destroyed during the War. It still gets mixed receptions but the interior is classic .  Firework displays on the 14th July and the 15th August can be seen from the terrace.


Large sliding doors from the sitting room and a single door from the kitchen lead to a  terrace ( 12 sq.m) which is  spacious enough for outside dining and sun bathing. The balcony is of a firm metallic construction, about a metre high with narrow gaps.

The stairs leads to a mezzanine, a small separate bedroom  leads off from the mezzanine.
There is a TV with FreeView, CD and DVD players.
The following photographs give views of the apartment which has an internal surface area of about 90 sq.m.

The bathroom has a long  sink surface, a large enamelled  bath with a shower, a macerator WC and  there is a separate WC next door.

Roads around the apartments leading down to  Boulevard Colonel Briant, the Marche and the Bar du Marche. There are at least 75 restaurants, brassieres and bars within a comfortable walking distance of the apartment, many of which are close to the beaches and marina. 

The Cote de Beaute constitutes the seaside  resorts of  Merschers- sur- Gironde,  Saint- George- de- Didonne,  Royan, Vaux- sur- Mer  , Saint- Palais- sur- Mer,  La Grande Cote  and La Palmyre.  Beaches also extend to  the south and west of the Presqu'ile d'Arvert (peninsular) and include  Pointe de la Coubre, Le Cote Sauvage,  Pointe Espanole and Ronce- les -Bains. The beaches ranges from safe family beaches of Royan, Saint Palais and Ronce  to the more exposed Cote Sauvage.  The following images show the variety of beaches. 

There is an almost continuous cycle path around the peninsular from Royan to Ronce-les-Bains  which is often close to the sea.  Along the south and west of the peninsular, from La Grande Cote to Ronce, are extensive  forests  mostly of french pines and ever green oaks.

The are many  places of interest in the region. The small towns and villages along the  Charente River  are picturesque. Corn- and  sun flower  fields, vineyards and  extensive  forests make  an enjoyable  contrast to the coastal areas.   There are many websites  but a good starting point is
www.bernezac.com  (English version). 

Some of the places to visit  would be:  , Blaye,  Brouage,  Fouras,   Ile d'Aix,  Ile d' Oleron, La Tremblade,  Mornac-sur -Seudre,  Mortagne,  Rochefort,  Saintes, Talmont. The following images  highlight some of these places. 

There are great opportunities  for sports in the region.   Surf Schools in Royan and La Palmyre provide transport to the best beaches for surfing.   The bay in La Palmyre is an ideal  location for  wind and kite surfing.   Canoes and yachts can also be hired.   The cycle paths around the  Presqu'ile d'Arvert are extensive. There are several bike hire depots and 'Bikehiredirect' will deliver bikes to the apartment. There are  wooded, picturesque nine and eighteen hole golf courses at Vaux sur Mer.  Parking is easy and the restaurant is open to all and excellent value.  Horse riding is popular and there are stables for all levels of expertease.  Details of  these activities can be found on line. 

Exploring the region is an opportunity to  visit the  restaurants. Some favourites:  

Auberge du Moulin near Saujon;  
Chez Gaby on the port at La Tremblade;

Chez Christine et Jean-Luc at L'Eguille-sur Seudre ( sea food only).  
Domain du Seudre at Mortagne-sur -Seudre;
La Jabotiere at Pontalliac;

La Maison Blanche on the beach at Nauzan;  

Le Comptoire de Nouveau Monde at Brouage;

Le Cardinale des Mers, between Royan and St .George, overlooking the Gironde;

All these restaurants have a website. There are several Logis Hotels with restaurants in the region and are worth investigating.