Is Royan France’s best kept secret? Located at the entrance to the Gironde estuary, Royan is a seaside resort of unparalleled charm and beauty. Yet it lacks the renown of Nice, La Rochelle or even Bordeaux’s Archacon, which is only to Royan’s advantage. Even in the summer, the crowds remain manageable, allowing visitors to enjoy this splendid seaside town in relative tranquility.
Royan was developed in the 19th century as a fashionable bathing resort, although its history dates back over two thousand years. Rebuilt after the devastation caused during the Second World War, Royan is chiefly celebrated for its charming villas, built during the Belle Époque period. Notre-Dame de Royan was also rebuilt after the original Gothic church was destroyed when Royan was bombed in 1945. Today beautiful beaches, excellent restaurants, friendly locals and a surfeit of cultural attractions lend Royan a sophisticated, but very welcoming air.