It was back in 1966 that the two-mile bridge connecting the French island of Oléron to the mainland was built (the longest bridge in the country at the time). Before that it was a gorgeous, Biscay ferry journey that took you out to the isle, crossing the pearly blue sea and passing Naploenic Fort Boyard of 90’s TV fame. Admittedly the bridge does make holidaying on the island about ten times easier and has led to a wellspring of excellent campsites popping up in the area. Among them is Huttopia Oleron les Pins , a wooded, 12-acre campsite with a pitch for every type of camper.
Though shrouded among a shady maze of tall, slim trees and thick green shrubs, the campsite feels more like a sandy dune-scape than a forest. Sand under-foot makes it easy to pitch your tent and lends itself to all the activities on site; beach-style volleyball, boules and a children’s playground that also acts as one giant sand pit. The other facilities are built on sturdy wooden platforms – a pizza wagon and terrace, a heated swimming pool and a second paddling pool area. The decking is a perfect spot to laze away the evening after you’ve returned from the beach.
For those without their own tent or campervan, there are some pre-pitched ‘glamping’ options too. These include safari tents, kitted out with kitchens, proper beds and extra furnishings, of which there are around 50 on the campsite. For the best of the tent spots, meanwhile, tuck yourself away in the most wooded areas at the back of the campsite and you’re sure of some extra privacy.
Rent bikes from reception if you haven’t brought your own. It’s an easy pedal through the St Trojan forest to Petite Plage beach, just a kilometer away, while larger Gatseau beach is a few hundred meters further. Elsewhere, touring the pretty harbour villages and tasting the freshest of seafood is a must. You can also still take boat tours out from the island if you want to visit smaller isles and catch a glimpse of Fort Boyard for old time’s sake. Between bridge and boat you get the best of both worlds.
The campsite owner says
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