Department : Charente-Maritime (17)
Region : Nouvelle Aquitaine
Name of the inhabitants : "Royannais"
Population : 19 107 inhabitants (70 000 in July and August)
Area : 19,30 km²
Climate : tempéré.
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Just north of Bordeaux and south of La Rochelle, the unique location of Royan along the Gironde estuary and the Atlantic ocean, has blessed it with an abundance of sunshine and sandy beaches.
Royan is also the gateway to discovering France's rich cultural heritage including Roman ruins, castles, fortresses and 17th century lighthouses not to mention its gastronomy: Cognac, pineau, Bordeaux wines, oysters in Marennes to name just a few.
Royan is a famous seaside resort that is one of the few cities reconstructed after WWII (after Le Havre and Lorient) to earn the coveted title of “City of Art and History” bestowed upon the city by the Ministry of Culture and Communication because of its avant-garde architecture and its unique historical background.
Lovers of modern architecture will enjoy strolling along the seafront with its animated boutiques and illuminated cafes or discovering Royan's other landmarks such as the church of Notre Dame, with its innovating and surprising design or the central market sheltered beneath an immense white seashell shaped parasol which never ceases to enthrall visitors.
Royan is also a popular French resort with its imposing mansions dating back to the 19th century built when Royan became one of the first cities to offer "sea bathing".
Photo credit : omt Royan_ph_Souchard.