On the way to the green road between Royan and Bordeaux, here you are at the southernmost point of the Royan area. Next to Mortagne sur Gironde, Floirac is made up of several hamlets. It extends between hillsides and marshes on the banks of the Gironde estuary. Between land and sea, the village has 2 main towns: Floirac and Saint-Romain-sur-Gironde.
The 2 municipalities, crossed by the Fontdevine river and separated by Baujats valley, merged to become one. The curves of the hillsides contrast with the flat marshes. The green of the vineyards blends with the ocher of the fields. Far from the arrowed straight lines, at the bend of a bend, you have to accept wandering to be rewarded with landscapes and buildings hidden in the heart of rurality.
Floirac on the slopes of the Gironde
You are on a plateau made up of cereal fields and vineyards interspersed with valleys. The promontories at the top of the hills are as many balconies on the estuary offering sublime panoramas. Depending on the season, the time of day, the light, nature provides a unique and different spectacle each time.
From Mageloup, the point of view is remarkable. We guess in the distance, the silhouette of the conical structure of the beaumont tower...
Throughout its history, Floirac has been able to benefit from natural resources to develop: the sun for the vineyards or the cereal fields and the wind for the flour mills. The landscapes around the village bear witness to this. Three wind mill are restored in the town: Clopilet, Champagne and Sablière.
In the hollow of a valley, we arrive in front of theFloirac church. The building, listed as a Historic Monument since 2006, is flanked by an old cemetery on sloping ground. The presence of tombstones in cenotaphs completes its picturesque side. If – original fact – its bell tower does not dominate the village, it is no less remarkable with its columns-buttresses and its sculpted corbels. Look carefully… at the apse of the church, hides the sculpture of a musician angel.
Saint-Romain-sur-Gironde, in the heart of the marshes
At the foot of the Terrier de Beaumont hill (protected as part of the Natura 2000 network), the town of Saint-Romain-sur-Gironde opens onto the parched marshes. These flat and extensive landscapes are intended for cereal growing and livestock farming. Of the tonnes, ponds equipped with hunting huts, punctuate this “little Camargue”.
Rue Charlemagne leads to the church. Such a street name is unique in the country of Royan. Legend has it that he and his companions would have passed through the village on their return from Spain. Charlemagne would have ordered the construction of a "chapel of Saint Roman at the well of Beaumont" to bury his companions who died during the battles. Of the Merovingian sarcophagi at the base of the church tower could attest to this history. Here, one legend hides another…
Until the middle of the 60th century, the village was called Saint-Romain-de-Beaumont, in reference to the hill which dominates it. From the top of its 360 meters, you can enjoy a unique XNUMX° panorama. The most beautiful of Destination Royan Atlantique? The gaze goes from the city of Blaye to the "Most Beautiful Village of France®" Talmont-sur-Gironde.
At the top, we find this conical shape which appeals to walkers from afar: the beaumont tower.In this ancient bitter was a beacon. This fire tower signaled the shore to boats going up the Gironde estuary.
For the legend, Rabelais tells that Gargamelle, the mother of the giant Gargantua, wanted to step over the water of the Gironde, carrying stones in her apron. The stones would have overturned and would have formed the tower of Beaumont.
Floirac is crossed by the marked hiking trail GR® 360, the Canal des 2 Mers by bike® et the Route of the Cardinals on horseback. Something to satisfy all lovers of slow tourism !