Saint-Augustin-sur-Mer, 5 km from Royan, is halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Seudre estuary. Its landscapes are both forest in the south and marshy in the north. The town borders the seaside resorts of Saint-Palais-sur-Mer and Les Mathes – La Palmyre. 10 minutes by bike from the nearest beaches, Saint-Augustin benefits from an ideal position to enjoy the seaside and the Côte de Beauté.
Saint-Augustin-sur-mer, in the heart of the Arvert Peninsula
Saint Augustine is:
- 40% forest
- 40% soft marsh
A limestone plateau separates these two natural spaces. There is also the town center of the town. It is protected from the two closest roads (Royan – La Palmyre and Saujon – La Tremblade) which do not harm it either by traffic or noise. Saint-Augustin-sur-Mer can endorse the famous maxim: "to live happily, live hidden" whether for weekend visitors or year-round residents. A main street then crosses the town center and concentrates in a short distance the activities and the essentials of the village. Around, the campings are numerous and punctuate the life of Saint-Augustin-sur-Mer over the seasons. With fine weather, the tennis court and the bowling alley come alive...
Near the temple, the most curious can then discover a unique funerary monument in the Royan area: the recumbent. It is dedicated to the young Justin-Élie Lecler, who died during the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. A statue represents him in soldier's uniform, semi-recumbent and expiring.
The forests of La Coubre and Combots, green lungs of the Royan area
This forest area is so important that during the French Revolution, the city took the name of "La Forêt". In the XNUMXth century, its reforestation made it possible to fix the dunes in motion.
Protected natural area
The forest offers a privileged discovery of nature. Holm oaks and maritime pines dominate the vegetation. Ferns are also very present along the trails.
The town center being on the edge of the forest, all you have to do is take a side step from the town hall car park to leave the town and take the cycle path through the woods to reach the hamlet of Papericaud and continue along the the D141 up to the Great Coast.
Borrow the Mountain bike circuit n°1 – Les Mathes for 22 km mainly in the forest. You will then be among the privileged to have approached the private pond of Combe aux Loups (also visible from the geocaching game route Terra Aventura). Still from the town hall car park, the short Papericaud hike allows you to enjoy a 1-hour walk under the pine forest. Wild life is not far away. Deer, roe deer and wild boar live in this forest, but squirrels are more easily encountered there.
The Saint-Augustin-sur-Mer marsh, Natura 2000 area
The marsh of Saint Augustin-sur-Mer replaces the former Gulf of Barbareu which covered a large part of the Arvert peninsula a few centuries ago. 3 reliefs thus recall the existence of ancient islands: the island of Paradis, the island of La Lourde and the island of Brèze. A former fishing and trading port, the town was then called Saint-Augustin-sur-Mer, a name that can still be found today.
Le Swamp is home to a rich and diverse flora and fauna. It benefits from protection at European level by the Natura 2000 network.
Channels feed wet meadows used in particular for grazing cattle. We leave the village by the roads going down to the marsh and in 5 minutes, everything is different. The wetlands then extend as far as the eye can see. On a territory that gives pride of place to seaside and oyster farming sites, they are conducive to a change of scenery for lovers of walks and bike rides.
We take paths lined with hedges made up of European spindle, hawthorn and also honeysuckle. We can then take advantage of a little shade for a break before entering the marshes completely. To smell their scent or for the pleasure of the eyes, look for marsh iris, loosestrife, St. John's wort... To be on the lookout for local animal life, it is best to equip yourself with binoculars.
If you know how to be discreet, you flush out the gray heron, the stork or the rush cisticola. If we listen closely, we note that amphibians and reptiles are also present.
The European pond turtle is a native species threatened in particular by the invasive presence of red swamp crayfish. Be on the lookout, nature always has something to offer in Saint-Augustin-sur-Mer.