Rochefort: Corderie Royale, once a Royal Ropery.
The famous Fort Boyard, at the mouth of the Charente.
Discover the beauty of this French coast that does deserve its name. The Coast of Beauty also has a number of small beaches, some beaten by the violent breakers of the Atlantic Ocean, others well sheltered and surrounded by forests. The historic cities, such as Rochefort, La Rochelle or Brouage and the famous Ile d'Oléron and Ile de Ré are a must-see.
On the northern side of the Gironde estuary begins the Saintonge, with its "Coast of Beauty": 70 kilometers of pine- and oak-covered littoral where a number of pretty resorts enjoy a mild, almost Mediterranean climate. One of them, Royan, was entirely rebuilt after being destroyed by bombing in 1945 and offers an example of good modern town planning. The Coast of Beauty also has a number of small beaches, some - such as Saint-Palais-sur-Mer - beaten by the violent breakers of the Atlantic Ocean, others well sheltered and surrounded by forests. Adjoining the Coast of Beauty in the North are two popular offshore islands, the Ile de Ré with its long sandy beaches, white houses with hollyhocks, and the Ile d'Oléron. The main holiday centres in the Ile d'Oléron are Saint-Trojan-les-Bains and the pleasant port of La Cotinière. Le Château d'Oléron, the chief port, facing the mainland, is surrounded by 17th century fortifications. The famous "Fort Boyard" can be seen from the lovely Côte des Saumonards....
Near Brouage, Rochefort, a town built ex nihilo in the 17th century offers typical mansions of this period, a picturesque arsenal with its Corderie Royale (Royal Ropery), the "Porte du Soleil" and an old transporter-bridge. This is where a replica of L'Hermione, the frigate that took LaFayette to America, is being rebuilt.
Read the whole article and enjoy the photographs here: http://france.knoji.com/frances-coast-of-beauty-from-royan-to-la-rochelle-and-rochefort/