Located on the Atlantic coast, the Destination Royan Atlantique is subject to the tides. On holiday in Charente-Maritime, it is therefore not uncommon to wonder what time is high tide to be able to swim! We tell you everything about this phenomenon and where to observe the high tides.

What is the tide?

Every day the ocean comes and goes every 6 hours. It is the phenomenon of tide. This variation in sea level is due to the positions of the Moon and the Sun and also to gravitational forces on the Earth. To this must be added the rotational movement of the Earth on its axis, its revolution around the Sun and the rotation of the Moon around the Earth. Thus, there is usually 2 full cycles per day : 2 high tides and 2 low tides, more or less important according to their coefficients.

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High tides at L'Éguille

During high tides, the water almost completely covers the clear marshes of the Seudre.

When are the high tides?

The amplitude of the tide is conditioned by the position of the stars (Moon and Sun) in relation to the Earth. During full moons and new moons, the Earth, the Moon and the Sun are aligned on the same axis. The gravitational forces of the Moon and the Sun combine and the tides are therefore stronger. We speak of “spring tides” (coefficients between 70 and 120). Conversely, during the first and last quarters of the moon, the stars form a right angle, the attraction is less and the tides are low. These are “neap tides” (coefficients between 20 and 70).

The attraction of the Moon being the strongest, we therefore observe the tides with the largest coefficients during new moons. Around a coefficient of 90, we speak of “high tide”. To know when the next ones will happen high tides in Royan, do not hesitate to consult the tide schedule.

Where to see the high tides?

To admire the waves breaking on the coast, we offer a selection of the best observation spots:

  • at the foot of the Coubre lighthouse in La Tremblade
  • on the Douaniers trail, at the Puits de l'Auture and at the Pont du Diable in Saint-Palais-sur-Mer
  • the Chay promenade in Royan
  • Vallières point, near the Saint-Georges-de-Didonne lighthouse
  • on the Caillaud cliff in the Gironde estuary

To also contemplate panoramas sublimated by the effect of the high tide, we advise you:

  • the channels of the Seudre at Mornac
  • Pointe de l'Eguille-sur-Seudre
  • the bay of Talmont-sur-Gironde

The bay of Bonne Anse in La Palmyre will also surprise you at low tide by revealing its immense expanse of sand and marshes...


So, whether you are an amateur photographer or a simple walker, you do not venture out alone and you remain careful. To make the most of the spring tides, plan your stay. THE autumn holidays and winter vacation are ideal times: few people and wild nature. We are thinking of reserving in advance a Hotel or an vacation location in Royan and the surrounding area.

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