Aix Island, pearl of the estuary of the Charente

Head to the last island only accessible by boat in Charente-Maritime, off the coast of Fouras. Discover it on foot, by bike and horse carriage.

Aix Island, a little paradise !

Come and discover the only island in Charente-Maritime accessible by boat 

Aix Island deserves a stop for a day, the time of a weekend to relax and even longer for people looking to return to the bare essentials. This small crescent of land of 129 hectares is located near the coasts of Charente-Maritime. It offers a 360° panorama with an impressive view on Fort Boyard to the west, with in the background the Ile d'Oléron (Oléron Island) and the Ile de Ré (Ré Island) is to the north, and Madame Island to the south.

Aix Island concentrates all the diversity of the coastal landscapes of Charente-Maritime. It is discovered only by foot, by bicycle or in a carriage ...

Pearl of the estuary, where time stops

On this little crescent of paradise of 3 kms (about 1.86 miles), time seems to have stopped, with its houses with white facades and colourful shutters, its hollyhocks that reach the height of the roofs and the near absence of vehicles !

With only a few residents year-round, its population increases during the weekends of spring and during the summer season... As small as it is, Aix Island offers everyone something to enjoy with five beaches, a dense forest that covers half of the island and a fortified village.

Aix Island :

  • 234 Aixois (name of people living on the island)
  • 3 kms long - 0.6 km wide (about 1.86 miles long - 0.37 mile wide)
  • 1 town hall - 1 school - 1 post office - 1 cinema - 1 library
  • 5 beaches
  • 4 museums
  • Accessible by boat in 20 minutes - 365 days/year
  • Tour of the Island in 2 hours on foot
  • 45 minutes on foot from the port to the Fort Liédot

Your adventure on Aix Island starts in Fouras-les-Bains

From Fouras, embark for a 20-minute cruise towards Aix Island, a wild and preserved land... You will come close to Fort Enet and Fort Boyard in the open sea !

Go for a day, a weekend or a week on this island classified as a remarkable natural site, place of withdrawal out of time. Marshes, forest, vineyards, sandy coves, cliffs, beaches... Take time to explore these wild landscapes and the "Aix-ceptionnal" heritage of the island.

The island is yours, start your adventure on this 3 km long and 600 m wide crescent of the sea !

 Without a garbage can, the island is more beautiful ! 

The Aix Island is a small, very fragile territory and you are invited to take the greatest care of it during your stay. We want to thank you for respecting the protected areas by avoiding cycling, walking on the dune cordon and bringing back and sorting out your waste.
Enjoy your vacation on our island ! 

The rich heritage of Aix Island

Cross the drawbridge and you will find yourself on the Place d'Austerlitz, the biggest square of the fortified village imagined by Vauban, according to a fan-shaped plan. Stroll through the rue Napoléon, rue Gourgaud... See the small streets where low houses are spread out with multicolored shutters and their assorted hollyhocks - A real postcard!

Places to visit : 

  • the Napoleon Museum, where the Emperor spent his last days before going to exile in Saint Helena.
  • the African Museum and its vast zoological collections brought back by the Baron Gourgaud 
  • the House of Nacre : Discover the work of the Gallet family, one of the last families of pearl craftsmen in France. It is the ideal place to bring back beautiful holiday memories.
  • Fort Liédot : guardian of the island, north of it, a true architectural treasure. 


Beaches of Aix Island

To walk or to sunbathe on the “Grande Plage” is to take advantage of the best sight in Charente-Maritime of the Fort Boyard, emblem of the department, but also located on the commune of the island. That's why in Rochefort Ocean, you are in the Land of Fort Boyard !

Do not forget to take a break on the other beaches: the uncrowded beach “Sables Jaunes", perfect for sunbathing (no swimming allowed), the Mediterranean beach-like “Baby Plage” (no swimming allowed), the long “Plage des Coquillages”... So, which one will you go to ?

At low tide, why not try fishing on foot at the Grande Plage ? And if you fish elsewhere, stay far enough away from the oyster parks to respect the work of the oyster farmers.

Access to Aix Island

No cars allowed, you'll access to Aix Island by boat : all year round, it is from Fouras-les Bains that you'll take the ferry, at the Pointe de la Fumée. Find the schedules for the Maritime Service.

From April to September with Croisières Fées des Îles

- departures from Rochefort, from the pontoon of the Corderie Royale, every day at 9 am.

- Departures from Saint-Nazaire sur Charente (Fontaine de Lupin)

From February to November:

- Departures from La Rochelle: Depending on the period, the Cruises Inter-Iles or Navipromer offer 2 to 5 departures from La Rochelle with a stopover on Aix Island

- Departures from Boyardville with 30 minutes crossing

- Departures from Saint-Martin-de-Ré from 1h30 to 2h30 crossing

In July and August:

- Departures from Saint Denis d'Oléron and La Tranche sur Mer.

Check out all the information on the Inter-iles website or Navipromer website.

Ile d'Aix : The Pearl of France's Atlantic Coast

Jennifer Dombrowski came to visit the island of Aix in June 2021. She tells her discovery with this island : a history, landscapes, a return in time, nature and proposes its "drop points".