10 km from Royan, on the north shore of the Arvert peninsula, Chaillevette is halfway between the towns of La Tremblade Ronce-les-Bains and L'Éguille-sur-Seudre. In the heart of the Seudre oyster marsh, the colored cabins with red tiled roofs line the Chaillevette and Chatressac channels. You are here at the “Cradle of the Oyster”.
The oyster port of Chatressac, from yesterday to today
To the northeast of the town, the port of Chatressac is both the center of activities and entertainment in the village. In the XNUMXth century, Colbert wanted to build the Grand Arsenal Maritime Royal for the Ponant fleet there. It will finally be installed in Rochefort. The huts, depending on their construction material, bear witness to different eras. They can be wood, stone, brick, cinder block or metal for the most recent ones. The activity is still very present; just observe the comings and goings of the barges to the rhythm of the tides.
Today the oyster establishments are also restaurants for the seafood tasting with their pontoons as terraces. The old tide mill houses cottages. The wedges allow you to leave by kayak or paddle on the channel and join the Seudre. Everything is calm and peaceful. You will find a fauna and flora typical of salt marshes. On the horizon, on the west side, the Seudre bridge announces the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean, still discreet with the presence of the island of Oléron. We stop paddling and we enjoy in all serenity.
Chaillevette, a village with a past still very present
Spread over several hamlets, Chaillevette varies the pleasures and landscapes whether rural, forest or rural. THE Paths of the Seudre, to practice in any dilettante by bike, are a good way to discover the town. Coming from Mornac-sur-Seudre, you first cross the vineyards of Coulonges in the town of Breuillet. Then, we arrive at the hamlet of La Poterie passing on the lock bridge of the Canal de la Mer. This watercourse once crossed the peninsula of Arvert to the Gulf of Barbareu, which has become a marsh of Saint-Augustin. Further north, the canal becomes the Chaillevette channel by joining the port of the same name, before flowing into the Seudre estuary. According to legend, travelers feared crossing the Sea Canal bridge. Close to the woods, it was the preferred target of attacks by looters and brigands.
Near the church square, the quereux recalls these rural courtyards, frequent in Saintonge. They are shared by several dwellings and often equipped with a well or a washhouse. Like many religious buildings close to the sea, the Saint-Pierre church hides within it an ex-voto representing a XNUMXth century merchant ship, the Saint-Victor.
At a place called La Brousse, at the level crossing on the route of the Seagull Train, between the town hall and the Protestant temple, the Chaillevette station has been transformed into a railway workshop for volunteers from the "Trains & Traction" association. They renovate and maintain rolling stock such as steam locomotives. The facade of the temple reflects the importance of Chaillevette as a Protestant home. It is the highest in the country of Royan with a sculpted Bible which adorns the tympanum of its pediment.
The hill of Beauregard
The road to Chassagne, before leaving Chaillevette and joining Shoulders, brings to the heights of the hill of Beauregard. At the edge of the road, a small standing stone marks the highest point of the Seudre marsh. From there, we have a unique view of the estuary. THE Beauregard castle, known as the "castle with six towers", which dominated the entire town of Chaillevette and its marshes, is now destroyed even if some parts remain in re-use in Marennes. Legend has it that it was a den of pirates who caused shipwrecks... Still on the shared paths of the Chemins de la Seudre, an orientation table produced by the Communauté d'Agglomération Royan Atlantique helps you learn more about this single view.