With sand dunes cutting it off from the estuary beyond, it’s unaffected by tides and is wave free, and has great views of both the bridge to Ile d’Oléron and La Tremblade. And although it does not boast long stretches of golden sand, we found that the slightly muddier shade of sand is just as good for making sandcastles. In fact, the sand is cleaned twice a week, with rubbish collected daily. Fresh seawater is pumped in regularly to ensure the water quality stays good.
About 800 metres between its longest points – a good swimmer could swim across, unhindered by boats – the water is shallow for quite some metres from the beach, making it perfect for young children – and it is very much a beach for children although there are quieter areas at the southern end.
The northern end is where it is busiest, and here you’ll find the lifeguard station which is manned during the summer months of June – September. There’s also a café, as well as a children’s playground with trampolines, bouncy castles and other games (it costs €3.50 per child for unlimited time).
Heading south along the beach, cross the road to another café and toilets. Further down is the L’aromate restaurant (tel 05 16 84 97 00) serving traditional French food. There is a fair amount of parking on the road bordering the beach, with more around a bend and by the commune’s swimming pool at the northern end.
As with most beaches, it gets busy from about 3.30pm when many French families come for a relaxed late afternoon time – but not with their dogs, which are not allowed.
Plage de Marennes, avenue William Bertrand (D728E); it is signposted from the main roundabout on the D728.