If we took the road? What if we made our way? Alone, as a couple or with the family, we try the adventure for a stay of escape and roaming. We're embarking on a road trip by van, in a van or motorhome…

It's not the destination that matters, it's the path you take!

This well-known phrase has become a real phenomenon that insiders call the “vanlife”. That's life (or at least vacation) in a fitted out vehicle completely independently. We decide “here” and “now”. Just turn off the hum of the engine, unfold the chairs and land. There is only the silence of nature. We disconnect from the superfluous to reconnect with the essential. We are free to stay or go. Between mop and get by, it's up to everyone to go their own way.


So, we leave the daily grind for our side roads!

Where to go by van?

With its mosaic of atmospheres, Destination Royan Atlantic adapts perfectly to this pleasure of simple things. Between secret corners and “wow” effect spots, we make several trips in one. Along the way, the landscapes parade. We travel the roads according to our desires or even by chance. Sometimes, the encounter becomes a guide. At a road trip in a van or converted van, the hazard is an opportunity that turns into a stage. We take the next bend and here we are on the edge of the beach, in the forest, in the middle of the marshes, on the hillsides or even elsewhere... Come on, let's go! We are tempted by a weekend in van. We will go there by four paths.

Day 1: the Wild Coast and the Coubre Forest

We turn the van key and head for the Arvert peninsula! There Wild side, it's our end of the world. It faces the Atlantic Ocean (and also a little to the island of Oléron). With its 20 km of dunes and fine sand beaches, it displays spots with renowned names: the bay of Bonne Anse, the lighthouse of La Coubre, the Pointe Espagnole, the Galon d'Or... The waves are powerful and their buzzing punctuates our stopover. It's the conquest of the west and wide open spaces near our seaside resorts. Welcome to surfers paradise!

If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, you are always in the right place. The forest of La Coubre extends over nearly 8 ha. Ideal for feeling alone in the world, in the shade of the pines. Here, we are in the middle of the green lung of the Royan area so we can breathe! It houses several hiking trails cyclists (or even pedestrians) as well as a portion of the Vélodyssée®.

Day 2: the Seudre Estuary

Here we are in the north of the peninsula of Arvert. At Mus de Loup, at the foot of the Seudre bridge, you leave the beaches and the forest to enter the oyster marsh. The clear ones, like water mirrors, as well as the channels transform the place into a natural labyrinth. In this natural maze, the Chemins de la Seudre lead us to the most confidential places and the most atypical places:

  • The port of La Greve
  • The Coux and Orivol channels
  • The hill of Beauregard
  • The port of Chatressac
  • The marsh of Coulonges
  • The village of Mornac-sur-Seudre, among "the Most Beautiful Villages of France"
  • The port of Eguille

From port to port, the Paths of the Seudre, shared lanes, also allow you to take back the bikes. Each road can lead to another or end in a cul-de-sac at the foot of the estuary. Even if all roads do not lead to Rome, you can never go wrong here! But for any good "vanlifer", the best compass remains curiosity. You have to dare to go off the beaten track with perhaps the reward of tasting glasswort on the ground or observing the flight of a gray heron.

Day 3: the Gironde Estuary

On a whim, we change course. We are not going to stop on such a good path. Come on, let's pack up for the largest estuary in Europe. We take the “Route Verte”: head south! For stops, it's up to you:

  • Port-Marans
  • Talmont-sur-Gironde, among “the Most Beautiful Villages in France”
  • Chandorat Bay and La Garde Tower
  • Port des Monards and the Chauvignac river
  • The port of Saint-Seurin d'Uzet
  • The port of Mortagne-sur-Gironde

Whether along the squares, from the top of the cliffs, in the middle of the marshes or on a port, each walk has something unique. Nomadic travel allows you to be as close as possible to the immensity of this estuary. Everything is more true. Everything is stronger.

Any last advice for the road? We put down the van, we take the picnic basket and we go up to the beaumont tower. There, we dominate the Gironde estuary for one last sunset. And then the time has come to get back on the road and leave our territory.

By van, van or motorhome, we make a trip that looks like us. A trip as close as possible to Destination Royan Atlantique as close as possible to ourselves. So when are we leaving?

Where to park with a van during your road trip?

Pratical information

A converted vehicle belongs to the category of M1 vehicles which includes vehicles which are designed for the transport of passengers and include, in addition to the driver's seat, a maximum of eight seats. It is therefore related to the classic vehicle. According to the highway code, the rights and obligations in terms of traffic and parking are the same as a car.

What is the difference between camping and parking?

The owner of a van has the right to park according to the rules of the highway code and even to stay inside the vehicle. It should not show signs of camping. Do not take out tables and chairs, place chocks under the wheels or install any other object. “Wild” camping (outside specialized structures) is authorized but very limited. Be careful not to park:

  • within a radius of 200 m around a water point captured for consumption
  • on the seaside
  • close to a listed or protected site or close to a historical monument
  • in classified forests, estates and parks
  • on areas previously prohibited by a municipality (order)

Did you know?

  • Uninterrupted parking for more than 7 days is considered abusive and is therefore punishable by a fine (Article R.417-12 of the Highway Code)
  • By decree, a mayor can prohibit access to certain roads or certain sectors, regulate access with time conditions or restrict parking (Article L2213-4 of the general code of local authorities)
  • Camping on public roads is prohibited (Article R111-37 of the town planning code)

Where to sleep in a van during your road trip?

This is THE question we ask ourselves the most when traveling by van. Find a safe and authorized place to spend the night. If you haven't taken the time to scout ahead, on Destination Royan Atlantique, there are multiple parking areas in tourist areas near places of interest. Interesting also to fill up with water.

The van when it rains

Traveling by van also means living to the rhythm of nature and the elements. When the rain makes its appearance, we also want a little more comfort. And what could be more comforting than a good hot shower in one of the campings of the destination?

Was this content useful to you?


Share this content