A must is the daily morning market located right in the town centre in a retro 1950’s building. Its dozens of stalls sell everything from fresh fish and seafood to cheese, fruit, vegetables and charcuterie. It’s a cook’s dream.
Best table on the coast go to Chez Bob, a Royan institution, right by the beach at chic Saint Palais. Book ahead.
For ice cream, try Chez Lopez, another Royan institution. There’s one right on the seafront in the centre of town and another at Pontaillac. You can either scoff straight away or take them home for later.
Fancy some fun at the tables? Have a night out at the Casino located right on the beach in Pontaillac. There’s a good restaurant, two cafés and a cool bar. Buy some chips and get playing.
Have a beach day at the Maison Blanche on the cute beach at Nauzan. It’s good for dinner too.
Go wine bar dining at Le Cave 1950, housed in one of Royan’s iconic post-war seafront buildings.
Stop off for a spot of shopping at the lovely In Design & Lifestyle at Vaux-sur-Mer.
1 impasse du Brandon, 17640 Vaux-sur-Mer
tel: +33 5 46 05 57 14
Do what the locals do and rent a boat, pack a picnic (don’t forget the rosé and the corkscrew), put on your best bathers and head to where the estuary meets the ocean at the historic Phare de Cordouan. This is where the ‘cool’ set hangs out, on the big sand banks under the gaze of one of the most beautiful lighthouses in France.
Shoot the breeze on the Cote Sauvage, a stunningly beautiful, long, wild Atlantic beach with great surfing. Though if you’re sensitive watch out as many parts of this beautiful beach are naturiste. Of course, if you feel so inclined, that means you can tan without lines. Just please swim with care – and in lifeguard-patrolled areas only – as these shores have rip tides.
Dance through the night at Le Rancho, a jumping weekend hangout that plays 80s music until sunrise. Best of all there is a mini bus service that drops off late revellers around Royan and its neighbourhood all night.
56 Avenue de la Ganipote, 17420 Saint-Palais-sur-Mer
tel: +33 5 46 23 13 29