Passage on the Passe aux Boeufs between Port-des-Barques and the Madame Island
On the left bank of the Charente river, in Port-des-Barques, a peninsula "at the end of the world", you will find a wide panorama on the Madame Island. You are between land and sea, facing the sumptuous setting of the “Grand Site”.
At low tide, with water resistant shoes, follow the Passe aux Boeufs, a one kilometre long natural tombolo. It is the start of your discovery of the island. Around you spreads a gigantic foreshore covered in sand, pebbles and seaweed... And add to this, a 360 ° perspective on Fouras, Aix Island, the entrance of the estuary and on Port-des-Barques !
That's it, you're at Madame Island for a 100% nature outing !
Tour of the Madame Island on foot, by bicycle and by a horse-drawn carriage
Let yourself be disconnected for the time of a tide on Île Madame, the natural protection of the estuary of the Charente. On foot, by bike, and even in a horse-drawn carriage, take a break in nature on one of the most enchanting sites of Rochefort Ocean !
While touring the island, discover the casemates of the Fort, protector of the Naval Dockyard of Rochefort. The Coastal protection agency exhibits superb retrospectives on the fauna and flora, geology and history of the Madame Island.
The island is home to the imposing "Croix aux Galets", which has become a summer pilgrimage for the memory of refractory priests deported during the Revolution.
Further away, stop at the Aquaculture Farm for lunch, a snack, an oyster tasting ... or a guided tour of the farm.
Fishing on foot on the Madame Island
Île Madame, a listed natural site, undoubtedly offers you one of the best views of the coast of Charente-Maritime. From there, you can clearly see Port-des-Barques, Fouras-les-Bains, the islands of Aix, Ré and Oléron, not to mention Fort Enet and Fort Boyard.
At low tide, become a foot fisherman, pick up shellfishes, scallops… a peaceful moment in a fragile environment to respect. From the beach, do not forget to admire the elegant “carrelets”, the fishing pontoons, the pride of Île Madame.
Access to Ile Madame
It's the tide that decides ! The locals prefer to go there on foot... there’s nothing better to take a good breath of sea air.
It is as if the Charente estuary has become a real playground. The whole foreshore is uncovered. Consult the tide hours in our "Ile Madame timetables" section and find your day to know precisely when the pass is accessible or not.
In a remarkable natural site, the Aquaculture Farm
At the aquaculture farm, meet Elizabeth and Jean Pierre. They will tell you everything about their island, the salt marshes, the traditional salt harvest, the aquamarine farm, the imperial shrimps, the oysters, the culture of salicornia without forgetting the breeding of sheep in salt meadows.
On the terrace, in the sun, sheltered from the wind, taste the farm products and enjoy the dozen oysters on its bed of salt, the crispy galette Charentaise accompanied by an old-fashioned fresh cheese curd.