Visit to Fort Boyard

A visit to Fort Boyard during a stay at our La Rochelle campsite is not to be missed! Fort Boyard is at the end of a short boat ride from La Rochelle, Saint Georges d’Oléron or Saint Martin de Ré in the former Poitou Charentes region. If you leave from Fouras, the sea trip will be even faster and will last only 25 minutes. The landing stage for the visit of Fort Boyard is 30 km south of La Rochelle, following the coastline via Châtelaillon-Plage and Yves.

fort boyard a la rochelle

Presentation Fort Boyard

Before being a successful TV game show since 1990, Fort Boyard is above all a military building erected on a riprap in the middle of the Pertuis d’Antioche, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. This fortification of the Napoleon era, was intended to protect the mouth and the estuary of the Charente, the island of Aix as well as the arsenal of Rochefort on the Atlantic coast. It took more than half a century to complete the construction of this impregnable defensive fortress.

The visit of Fort Boyard is not possible from the inside, but getting closer to this major building of the department of Charente-Maritime during a commented cruise will delight young and old. Many ports in Charente-Maritime and Vendée offer this kind of maritime excursions, including Fouras, La Rochelle, Boyardville on Ile d’Oléron, or Rochefort. The crossing is often the occasion to visit the island of Aix after the visit of Fort Boyard, which is very close and whose history is closely linked to that of the Charente bastion.

Ways to visit Fort Boyard

The visit of Fort Boyard is, unfortunately, impossible, because it is not open to the public. Visible from the coast of Oleron and the Pointe de la Fumée in Fouras, it can be approached from the sea or from the air. The cruises, excursions and sea walks proposed from La Rochelle, the island of Ré, the islands of Aix or Oléron are the solution of choice for vacationers. These boat trips will give you the opportunity to admire this mythical former prison up close, with a stopover on the island of Aix depending on the tide and your departure point.

You can also opt for a boat rental from a service provider in the harbor. If you don’t have a boat license yourself, you can hire a skipper and sail around the building in a catamaran.

To visit Fort Boyard, there is also the solution of a local service provider such as Cap Adrénaline which proposes to fly over the Charente coastline and Fort Boyard during a helicopter tour.

Finally, if you are the lucky owner of a boat, you can sail within a reasonable distance of Fort Boyard to contemplate it from the sea. After boarding your sailboat, aim for the open sea in the direction of the fort and maintain a good distance before returning to the old port of La Rochelle.

fort boyard en bateau

Top 6 things to know
on the Fort Boyard

  • Quickly becoming useless, as it was overtaken by the progress of artillery, the famous fort was almost demolished in the middle of the 19th century.
  • Fort Boyard was used as a prison at the end of the 19th century for Prussian soldiers from the 1870 war and communards in transit to the prisons of New Caledonia.
  • The fort is built on a sandbank: a technical feat for a construction that began at the dawn of the 19th century.
  • The game show company Jacques Antoine does not own the site, but has negotiated the exclusive use of it with the Charente-Maritime General Council, to whom it had sold the fort for a symbolic euro.
  • Annual contests organized by the department allow the winners to visit Fort Boyard !
  • You can participate in one of the mythical treasure hunts of Père Fouras.
Other activities to do
around La Rochelle