Make the most of your camping holidays on the Ile d'Oléron to fulfil a child's dream, that of discovering Fort Boyard! From the port of Saint-Denis d'Oléron or Boyardville, treat yourself to an unforgettable cruise and contemplate the colossus of the seas from every angle. Amazement guaranteed for young and old alike!
How to visit Fort Boyard?
Unfortunately, Fort Boyard cannot be visited, at least from the inside...You can however sail in the Pertuis d'Antioche and get very close to the impressive walls of the fort. From April to the end of September, the company Inter-Iles offers different formulas to admire the Fort Boyard from the sea: a short one-hour stroll, a cruise with a commented approach to the Fort and a one-day stopover on the island of Aix or La Rochelle, a walk with a tour of the Fort Boyard and the island of Aix? If you have a seafaring spirit, you will be spoilt for choice!
From the campsite Airotel Oléron,
All you have to do is reach the port of Saint-Denis d'Oléron or Boyardville / Saint-Georges d'Oléron :
- Ticket office in Boyardville : on the port car park (behind the market) - Ticket office in St-Denis d'Oléron : next to the Harbour Master's Office (departures in July and August only)
The little story of Fort Boyard
In the seventeenth century, Colbert, minister of Louis XIV, plans to build a fortress on the sea to strengthen the defenses of the roadstead of the island of Aix and the arsenal of Rochefort. Faced with the magnitude of the task, the project is constantly postponed and even the great Vauban remains totally baffled by this pharaonic challenge.
It was only at the beginning of the 19th century that the idea resurfaced under the impetus of Napoleon Bonaparte, then First Consul. Work began in 1804 and was completed in 1857 during the reign of Louis-Philippe. Ironically, due to the progress of artillery allowing crossfire between Oleron and Aix, Fort Boyard soon became obsolete. The Charentais then called it the "fort of the useless".
After a few years of service, it was finally transformed into a prison, notably for communards and prisoners leaving for New Caledonia . At the beginning of the 20th century, it fell into disrepair and became the object of covetousness of many looters (bronzes, cannons, pieces of wood and framework, doors, windows, shutters... everything goes there!).
At the end of the 1960s, it was used as a set for a few films before finally reaching posterity in 1990 thanks to the broadcasting of the famous television game show, now exported to some thirty countries. A fine revenge for the "fort of the useless"!
Fort Boyard in figures
- 2,400 m: distance between the fort and the Ile d'Oléron - 68 m long - 31 m wide - 20 m high - 30 years of work (cumulative duration) - 160,000 m3 (total volume of the building) - 80,000 m3 of ashlar extracted from the Crazannes quarries