The long sandy beaches of Chatelaillon-plage and Fouras, both near the beautiful port of la Rochelle, are less than an hour away and the idyllic islands of Ile de Re, Ile d'Aix and Ile d'Oleron are well worth a day trip if you can spare the time.
Situated on a peninsula facing Ile d-Aix and Fort Boyard (north-east of Rochefort), Fouras is the nearest beach to St Pardoult and accessible within the hour. There are a number of sandy beaches available; one is extremely shaded with trees and benches running along the top; another has a saltwater pool in it and between these two is a stunning fort. Fouras also has a lovely pedestrianised shopping area and some fantastic seafood restaurants along the seafront.
Only five minutes south of La Rochelle, Chatelaillon-plage is a beautiful, incredibly long white sandy beach with volleyball, football, a beach club for children, shows and games. Great beach for flying kites too. Chatelaillon-plage also has a Centre Aquatique, where rides include a giant water slide, aqua aerobics, sauna, gym room and water babies.
Ile de Re
Though the €16.50 bridge toll may put some off, the Ile de Re is a beautiful, unspoilt island with stunning long, sandy beaches, pretty harbours with seafront villages, attractive hollyhocked villages with whitewashed houses and green shutters. The chic harbour of Saint-Martin, with pedestrianised boutiques, is a must-see and their wonderful ice-cream a must-try.
This is the largest of the islands and accessible, via a bridge, from Rochefort, no toll charge for this one though. More beautiful sandy beaches, pine forests and pretty whitewashed villages. Plenty of activities for children with a bird sanctuary and wildlife park, a nature reserve and folk museum and there is a fun little train which runs hourly between St-Trojan and Maumusson too.
Royan is the seaside resort of reference, with its beaches, sea front and port. The beach of Large Conche is characterized by its fine sand and striped beach tents. It is said that on large Conche, you will never be bored.