45.8238° N • 1.1040° W

Immerse yourself in the local fishing culture of Marennes-Oléron


For us Marennes-Oléron was beautiful and relaxing. For those of you who love oysters, it’s going to be more than this: it’s going to be paradise!

Marennes is a nice little village with a fishing tradition. At the harbour you can spot colourful boats and small old cottages. This creates a special atmosphere and it will make you feel like a time traveller. The island of Oléron is situated close to Marennes. It is the second biggest French island in Europe (after Corsica). Oléron is home to French sailors and to… oysters. That’s right,  oysters play a big role in the local fishing culture.

For fishermen who worked their entire life out in the sea, it’s hard to find any other job when life forces them to. The Atelier des Gens de Mer ( also known as the Seafarers’ workshop) is there to give these people new opportunities. Fishermen who had to quit the sea because of injury, illness or disability are hired at the Atelier to repair boats and fishing equipment.

Knowing that in this area all people are highly valued makes it even nicer to pay this place a visit, right?

Hearing the stories of the fishermen was touching. It is so cool that this workshop exists and brings them back into society! Oh and: I love oysters, so the smell there was awesome for me!

Practical Information

To get to the Oléron Island (coordinates: 45.9°N 1.3°W)  you do not need a ferry – the island is connected to the mainland by a bridge. If you are not moving around with your own vehicle, to get to Oléron you can also take a bus from the cities of Surgères, Saintes or Rochefort on the mainland.

Once on Oléron, it is easiest to move around with a bicycle. Rental shops are available around the island.