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Just before we left, another motorhome, similar size to us, turned up, so we weren’t the only ones to think this was a viable spot.
En route to Ile d’Oleron, we passed through Marennes, a pleasant little town, with a generous Park4night just outside. Then, after an essential Lidl trip, we crossed the bridge onto Oleron.
We both wondered why we’d not been here before, but we put it down to only having shorter trips in the past and probably on those occasions having just visited Ile de Ré we likely assumed it would be more of the same.
To summarise our view of the island, we’d say that it is worth a visit, and there are some interesting little towns and places to see. If you’re keen cyclists then this flat island with its extensive network of cycle paths will suit you. However, if you’re a wild-camping motorhomer then you will find it a challenge. There are plenty of paying aires and campsites, but the former involve being tightly racked up with your neighbours, which is not to our taste.
There is a free aire, but that was really busy, and it’s alongside the local dump. One reviewer suggested that asbestos waste is buried there. Another mentioned that the trucks start at 6am.
Where the island is helpful is in its use of barriers and clear signs telling you where motorhomes can park or drive, but if you’re a wild-camper, and prefer to overnight on you’re own, then it’s much more tricky.
I think I researched every possible and viable Park4night option on the island, and visited my shortlist. I believe that some may be accessible off-season, but we were unfortunate enough to find ourselves over there on a 4-day long weekend in May. I left my favourite to last, and after drawing blanks with every other, we’d decided that if the last one didn’t meet our strict criteria, then we’d just head for the mainland, never to return.
The last stop was the most unusual in that it was the small wooded parking area for a coypu park, that only opens in July and August. It was an excellent find, and we had it all to ourselves, with the sounds of the birds from the neighbouring wildlife reserve giving it an almost jungle feel. We were delighted that we’d managed to wild-camp on Oleron.
*** Just to mention that our blogs can be up to a few weeks behind reality, as we’re always in catch-up mode ***