From walking to fishing, picnics and the beach, there’s no boredom. There’s no time to lose, just a full vacation.
Nature & Health
It’s been proven: interacting more with nature keeps us healthy and in good shape. Breath the fresh salty air of Fouras.
Tennis is a huge trend in the region. Take advantage over the countless courds spread around for miles. Stay fit.
The Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in France is famous for its spectacular beauty and its rich history that attracts thousands of visitors every year. Many tourists come here for the famous Bordeaux wines and the beautiful landscapes that dominate the southwestern area of the country.
Just 30km away from the maddening crowds of tourists that visit the historical site of La Rochelle you can find small family resorts established on the Atlantic coast. One of them is Fouras la Presqu’île, a tiny town with no more than 4,000 inhabitants that enjoy the simple life typical to small French communities.
Fouras’ rise to popularity
In recent years, a small Nouvelle-Aquitaine commune by the name of Fouras has attracted a particular type of attention that does not include breathtaking scenery or tasty beverages. The small settlement that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean has become an unofficial capital of sporting activities for all ages. Every year, people come here from various lengths to attend or participate in tennis tournaments, beach soccer competitions, and volleyball contests.
Favorite sports in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
The locals are very passionate about sporting activities and games that bring together the best contestants in the region. Therefore, it is no surprise that almost any street in town has a sports club that teaches tennis, football, volleyball or martial arts among others.
There are many tennis courts available in the city, and they represent an excellent mean of income for the residents. Tourists can try their hand at an hour-long game of tennis for reasonable prices. This pastime brings a bit of exciting action to their vacations in western France. More than that, a little physical effort boosts the appetite for a lovely dinner that they can enjoy at one of the many seaside restaurants in Fouras.
Historical heritage in Fouras
Fouras is famous for the Vauban fortress established over 700 years ago as a strategic point that served the defensive system of western France for more than seven centuries. A visit to the old fort will only take you a few hours and leave you with a full afternoon to enjoy the sunny beaches of Fouras.
Join the seaside sport activities
If you get tired of lazy sunbathing, you can always attend one of the many sports events that take place in the city. In the summertime, many locals challenge tourists at games of beach volleyball, football or table tennis. You do not have to be in top physical form to join these contests, as the competitions are governed by the good spirit and fair play.
Why is tennis so popular in Fouras la Presqu’île?
Tennis is played officially in France since 1920, but English travelers introduced this engaging sport since the end of the 19th century. Many French people enjoy this game for its similarity with medieval duels that put two contestants in a face-to-face battle, but with less fatal injuries implied.
Nowadays, tennis is played all over France, and each community has at least two or three clubs that are separated by a fierce rivalry that was built over many decades. Fouras makes no exception from this reality and boasts a large number of tennis associations that enjoy testing each other in annual competitions.
The island of Olèron is a beautiful patch of land just off the southwestern French coast. The place has been a holiday destination for thousands of tourists that come here annually ever since the 19th century.
Being only 3km away from the mainland, Ile de Olèron is connected with the continent by a road bridge that was once considered the longest construction in France when it was inaugurated in 1966. If you are vacationing in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, or just enjoying the sunny beaches of Fouras, you should not miss the opportunity to visit Olèron on a short afternoon trip.
History of Olèron
The island of Olèron is the perfect holiday destination for history buffs. It is the second largest islet governed by France, after Corsica and it boasts a rich cultural heritage that dates back to the Roman age. Some of the most outstanding accounts regarding Olèron date back to the 7th century when the island was part of the Vacetian Islands, which were under the influence of the nearby Basque population.
During the Second World War, the island of Olèron played a significant part in the defensive line of the German occupation. The French army finally took back the islet in 1945 following a massive artillery attack on the Nazi troops.
The natural splendors of Olèron
The best thing about Olèron is that you can visit it all year long. Due to the Gulf Stream current and the temperate climate of Western Europe, the island enjoys a pleasant weather regardless of the changing seasons.
A trip around Olèron can take you from the sandy beaches in the west to the center of the island where small hills of green grass offer a breathtaking imagery. Further venturing across the beautiful French island can reveal large oyster beds at low tide and majestic sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean.
A fertile land and a bestowing sea
The inhabitants of Olèron have been thoroughly rewarded by the island’s natural richness over the centuries. Besides the large fishing areas located on its shores, Olèron also benefits from a fertile land that produces abundant crops every year.
Like in many other French regions, the vineyard is the primary culture on the island of Olèron. The local wine is a delicious, tasty version of the Bordeaux liqueur and it is one of the many reasons of local pride for the residents. A visit to Olèron should also include a circuit of the local distilleries where they produce one of the best assortments of cognac in the world.
A holiday on the island of Olèron
The island of Olèron has little over 22,000 inhabitants. However, that number triples in size during the high season when tourists from all over the world come to relax on its shores. If you are traveling around western France, you should not miss a short trip to this lovely island, even if it’s just for a few hours.
Long-term leisure holidays in Olèron are a great way of exploring the Nouvelle-Aquitaine area. Daily trips to nearby Fouras, La Rochelle, and the Fort Boyard can offer a delightful escape from your usual daily routine.
St Palais sur Mer is the ideal destination if you want to spend your holiday as far as possible from your hotel room. The small resort is located on the southwestern coast of France and basks in the pleasantly warm weather for almost eight months every year. From the sandy beaches to the natural parks and from the long promenades to the small, romantic terraces on the waterfront you have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
How St Palais sur Mer became popular
People started visiting St Palais sur Mer in the early part of the 19th century. Back then, the settlement had no more than a few hundred residents, but the new habit of sea bathing was attracting more and more tourists every year. Even today, the registered inhabitants of St Palais sur Mer are less than 4,000 people, but that number increases rapidly during the high season when thousands of tourists disembark on its shores.
More than two centuries ago, St Palais sur Mer was merely a customs office named Bureau St Palais. It wasn’t until the 1920s that the small village adopted its present name and officially became a tourist destination. Nowadays, the commune is famous among European travelers and North American visitors alike. The majority of people who choose to spend their vacations here come from the UK and Spain.
Sports activities on the beach
St Palais sur Mer sports four large beaches that offer visitors various opportunities of having fun. One of them is overlooked by restaurants, cafés, and small boutiques. You can linger on this sandy strip of land if you like to mingle with tourists or enjoy some live music from one of the nearby terraces.
However, if you want to relax and enjoy some tranquility under the summer sun, you should head to the most northern beach of St Palais sur Mer. Here, the land is a bit rocky, which makes it difficult for families to bring their children or for local vendors to practice their business. Nevertheless, it is the perfect setting to take a peaceful nap and tan your body away from the noisy crowds.
The other two beaches are ideal for sports activities. People from the entire region gather here to test their skills at volleyball, football or badminton. If you can dribble past the weekend athletes and the sand castles built by their children, you can take a refreshing swim in the sea, far from the ski jets and windsurfers.
A walk around St Palais sur Mer
If you want to get away from the blistering sun, you can take a short hike around St Palais sur Mer. The most used alley in the region is rue de ocean. It starts in the city and continues through the nearby forest revealing the beauty of local fauna and vegetation. The path is guarded by old holm oaks that have been bent by the strong sea winds and thus create an arch over the traveler’s path. At the end of this circuit, you can admire the famous Pont du Diable, a rocky formation that resembles a natural bridge over the invading ocean waves.