Beyond the seaside resorts that make it famous, Destination Royan Atlantique is rich in villages and also in heritage, from the hillsides of the Gironde to the marshes of the Seudre, across fields or on the edge of forests. Often discreet, sometimes secret, these villages of character are therefore revealed to whoever deserves it, to whoever will step aside.
The Most Beautiful Villages of France®, a duo of character with Talmont and Mornac
Two villages of character on two estuaries, on two shores: Talmont-sur-Gironde et Mornac-sur-Seudre. Like the two lungs of a country in the shape of a peninsula: the Pays Royannais. Thus along the water and along the alleys, we go to meet two cities where the authentic meets the picturesque, where the vestiges of old stones reveal to us a history which has been enriched from century to century. The two villages on a human scale do not indulge people in a hurry and can be visited on foot to better understand them.
The past has notably modeled the shape of the towns of these villages of character: a grid at right angles for the military bastide of Talmont-sur-Gironde, a spiral for the old fishing district of Mornac-sur-Seudre. Each of the two communes is above all dominated by its roman church which has a part in the identity of the village. The alleys are made up of side-by-side dwellings whose shutter colors follow one another and alternate as desired. Talmont's coastline is made up of squares, that of Mornac, of oyster huts. The natural environment of Talmont is made of cliffs and vineyards. Mornac is surrounded by marshes and refining beds for oysters.
The two villages live, in particular, by the presence ofartists and D'craftsmen : painting, sculpture, pottery, glassware, leather… Each sign, each window invites you to push open the door of their workshops and stalls. Also, at the bend of a street, we meet the inhabitant who willingly shares the little stories and anecdotes that are transmitted by word of mouth, from generation to generation. They are today the salt of our guided tours.
Top 5 unmissable places in Talmont-sur-Gironde
- The Sainte-Radegonde church on the side of a cliff
- The ruins of the White Tower, former watchtower of the estuary
- Le centenary lime tree on the town hall square (priauty square)
- The marine cemetery and its cenotaphs
- The squares of the Caillaud cliff
Top 5 unmissable places in Mornac-sur-Seudre
- St. Peter's Church and his bedside
- The halls Medieval
- Le harbor channel and its colorful cabins
- Le medieval fire
- La saunier's hut on cut (dikes)
Mortagne-sur-Gironde and the "Villages of Stones and Water"
In the very south of the Pays Royannais, the village of Mortagne is therefore divided between the upper town and the lower town. The port is dominated by limestone cliffs and a belvedere thus offering one of the most beautiful viewpoints of the estuary. The old flour mills bear witness to the importance of trade in the past. the old monolithic hermitage notably gives a spiritual atmosphere to the place. THE postcard museum allows you to go back in time and learn the history of the village.
Mortagne is one of the main ports of the Gironde estuary for meager and pibale fishing. At the end of the port channel, an almost secret path, in the middle of the reeds, leads to the edge of the Gironde for a unique panorama of the largest estuary in Europe. Stage of Canal of the 2 seas by bike®, Mortagne is a village where you take the time to stop for the pleasure of simple things.
The oyster ports of the Seudre
Between the bridge of LEguille-sur-Seudre and the Seudre bridge, the small oyster ports one after the other. They are found on the left bank of the Seudre estuary. From the towns of L'Éguille, Mornac, Chaillevette, Étaules, Arvert, La Tremblade, ports multiply along the inlets that feed them: Chatressac, Orivol, Coux, La Grève...
At the rhythm of the tides, these channels, often dug by the hand of man, give life to ports. The barges leave the pontoons at rising tide to reach the oyster beds at the mouth of the Seudre. The egret and the heron take advantage of the low tide to come and peck in the mud. The colored huts become a pretext for walking, on foot or by bike on the Paths of the Seudre. All around, the maturing beds, where the oyster becomes “La Verte Marennes-Oléron”, reflect the light coming from the sky, like water mirrors. This mosaic landscape gives relief to our "flat country".
Along the walk, you will discover a local flora: salicornia (the green bean from the sea, which you can taste "natural" freshly picked) and santonine, with a powerful smell and which was used for local recipes. absinthe. We also come here for local tastings with quite simply the opening of a dozen oysters or the eclade : mussels placed by hand, one by one, and covered with pine needles which are set on fire. Here, each hut has its history, its identity. They are a reflection of their owners; women and men who have been able to adapt their activity to the times: from salt trafficking to green tourism.