The fashionable resort of Royan bustles with life and has many attractive shops, bars and restaurants. A well know seaside resort since the late 19th century, it was completely rebuilt in the 1950's (uuhhh.... following a little spat between "a few" Germans retreating from the D-Day advances and the Royal Air Force)
Its stunning modern architecture will be appreciated especially around the sea front with its boutiques and lively side-walk cafes, and the surprisingly modern market.
Royan has over 2Km of fine, pale, pampered sandy beaches (known as "conches") backed by forests of maritime pine and oak. Grande Conche is a paradise for bathers, Conche Foncillon is a little beach near the marina and Conche de Pontaillac is at the western tip of the town and is quieter and more select.
Church de Notre-Dame is notable because there is nothing
Romenesque about it, built of concrete you will either love it or hate
it. The nave is 150ft high and the vaulting is as high as its namesake
in Paris. Like many concrete structure of its period, it is falling to
Near to Royan is Palmyre Zoo, by far the finest in France, and from our experience a must see - a big thumbs up from the kids and grown ups too.
Set in over 35 acres with 16,000 animals and birds including giraffes, tigers, lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses and more monkeys than you thought could possibly exist.
You can buy bags of popcorn at the entrance to feed the giraffes (trust me, you just have to see it!) and oodles of other critters. Here is a few pics from our visit.