ILE D’OLERON Located off the beautiful southwest Atlantic coast near La Rochelle. Known as the 'Island of Light' Oleron annually records more sunshine hours than the Mediterranean but enjoys a more temperate climate.

LOVE NATURE LOVE OLERON

*
Renown for 3 things:  sunshine, oysters, and it's restorative air*
The great thing about islands is that they are completely surrounded by sea.
With a 360 degree coastline you are never far from a beach and on Oleron, the second 

 largest island in France, you can find a different spot for yourself every day of the year.

 

La Hune has now been 

SOLD 

 

 

 

 LA HUNE (The Crow's Nest)

Built on the west coast dunes of Ile d'Oleron with spectacular views out on the Atlantic.

 

 

(click here to go directly to house details)

Searching for a truly peaceful  holiday home where the only roar you'll hear is the sound 
of the surf and the only cries from the seagulls overhead?  
Look no further, this is it.

 

 

LA HUNE, (the Crow's Nest was)

featured in French Property News magazine March 2014 to represent
 Ile d'Oleron in a selection of the 10 top islands in France.
( link to article on Home page)

 


Discover more about the island of Oleron 

 

Where it is and how do I get there:

* Flights from UK to LR 1h- 8hr drive from Calais * 4h30 drive from St Malo *

 

Car:  Ile D’Oleron (the Island of Light) is located in the region of the Charente Maritime on the Atlantic coast 2 hrs north of Bordeaux and 1h30 south of La Rochelle.  Its an 8hr drive from Calais, 6h from Cherbourg or 4½ hrs from St Malo. The island is connected to the mainland at Marennes (famed for its oysters) by a 3 km toll-free bridge. 

 

Flights:  There is now a choice of cheap flights to La Rochelle airport from the UK and most flights are just over an hour long.  The tiny airport is serviced by Ryan Air from Stansted and Dublin, by Flybe from Southampton, Birmingham and Manchester, Edinburgh with Jet.2.com  and most recently from London/Gatwick by Easy Jet. There is a courtesy coach from La Rochelle airport to the old Port. Ferry service in season from La Rochelle to our nearest port at St Denis for those travelling without a car.

 

Car rental: All the usual international hire companies are represented at La Rochelle Airport Following the curve of the coastline it’s a little over an hour’s drive south to the bridge that now connects the island to the mainland.  Local car hire on island (at Super U) from 5E per day. 

 

By train: the TGV (fast train) from Paris to La Rochelle is less than a 3 hr journey and now with the new fast link services from England (by Eurostar change at Lille) the whole journey should be achievable in under 6 hrs.  So if you prefer trains to planes, its no problem there is  a frequent bus service (Les Mouettes) car hire or taxis from the train station in La Rochelle.

 

Ile d'Oleron by ferry from the port of La Rochelle:   In season there is a scheduled ferry service direct to the port of St Denis with a follow on taxi service (approx 2Km from La Hune. It's only a 5 min ride by airport courtesy coach or by taxi from the airport to the port of La Rochelle. 

 

Free local bus service: inaugurated 2 years ago the NAVETTE buses are in operation over the summer months offering a pickup drop off service to residents and holiday makers alike. Various circuits cover the island's beach resorts and pass every 10 minutes.


Some of you may already know me if you’ve stayed at one of the AccessibleFrance holiday cottages I used to manage near in the Pas de Calais near Le Touquet.

 

8 years ago we sold our farmhouse in the Vallee de la Course  and moved  further south to the stunning little island of  Oleron set 3 KM off shore on the southwest Atlantic coast near La Rochelle.   We knew little about it ourselves  until we ‘discovered’ it the year before while on a brief visit to the Charente Maritime. 

 

 

                                                                 La Hune on far right

 

For me it was love at first sight.  A nostalgic mix of my early childhood years on Florida's  Gulf Coast  (wild and natural it was then) and the old fishing port of St Tropez and before the rest of the world rushed in on the footsteps of Brigitte  Bardot to change it forever.  This magical island, only 33kms long, has well repaid our impulsive decision to sell everything up north and move here quickly. 

 

Of course, our great haste also had a little to do with our tremendous luck in finding  LA HUNE (the crow's nest) - a  bijoux beach house splendidly perched on the dunes with an 180 degree view out over the ocean (next stop New York as the Oleronaise like to tell you).  

As in all good fairy tales it was  a dream come true,
but alas, time goes by and lifestyles change.  For us it has now become the right time to move on and pass it over to the next lucky people who will come to live the life and love it as we did.

 

 

 

                                                                   

 

 

ABOUT ILE D'OLERON

 

Known as the Ile Lumiere (island of light), we have come to understand why.  The island of Oleron  officially clocks up more sunshine hours each year than the Mediterranean.  Not a day goes by without some sunshine and when it does everything shimmers.   Living on the west coast also comes with the added  bonus of truly spectacular sunsets as the sun goes down on the Atlantic.

 

The island’s western coastline, is called La Cote Sauvage.  Our beach house is located here on the narrow northern tip of the island not far from the historic 18thC  lighthouse of Chassiron. We are also just a few minutes walk from the sandy beach of  Les Huttes, the first of 3 in the horseshoe bay that extends for miles directly from the back garden of La Hune.   Whatever your water sport you will find it here along with miles of uninterrupted coastal trails along the top of the dunes out to Chassiron .

 

Miles of coastal footpaths leading to the Chassiron Lighthouse

 

This end of the island always reminds me  a little of Cape Cod or maybe Nantucket.   It’s quiet, but that’s all to the better when the summer crowds start to arrive at the south of the island near the bridge connecting us to the mainland.

La Cote Sauvage  

 

Many of the island's beaches incorporate shallow locks known as ecluses hand built of rocks centuries ago by fishermen who up until 40 years ago were the main inhabitants of the island.  From these rocky pools you may take for your own consumption what you find:  crabs, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters, and a variety of other small shell fish in season.  A veritable plateau de fruit des mer – I kid you not!

 

The East Coast with glimpse of Fort Boyard and La Rochelle in the distance.

On the nearby eastern coast of the island, facing Ile de Re, La Rochelle and Fort Boyard the sea is a little calmer.  Here the wide, sandy beaches slope into the sea making them ideal for young children or for those who prefer a gentle float to riding the waves.  

 

Ile D’Oleron is a haven of natural sandy beaches lapped by the Atlantic and warmed by the Gulf Stream.  Being an island, every beach has a different aspect best suited to a different type of water sport - from credible surfing and snorkeling to deep sea fishing, sailing or paragliding.  And unlike its glitzy neighbour Ile de Re, where it is de rigueur to dress up to walk the poodle, the by-word on Oleron is informality.

 

There are facilities and snack bars at most beaches and all have surveyed and guarded sections.  Not surprisingly blue flags fly over nearly all the beaches on the island.

 

 

 

 

A lot has changed on Oleron over the past 40 years.  In the 1970's the old ferry boats were scrapped and a smart new bridge, the Viaduct was built spanning over the valuable oyster beds that surround the island and attaching it to the mainland at Marennes -  THE oyster capital of France.  Here the tiny producers guard their reputations as zealously as the famous wine growers in other regions of France 
or The Continent as the Oleronaise prefer to call it.

 

                                                                            La Cotiniere

 

Of course plenty of fishing still goes on – La Cotiniere is the most commercial of the pretty fishing ports dotted around the coastline.  Others have transformed themselves into smart marinas with adjoining shops and restaurants. 

 

 

The island’s small white-washed villages largely retain their character but have evolved to provide the commerce and facilities required by today’s visitors.   

 

The tiny capital of St Pierre has long been one of the island's gems as is now also St Denis at the northern tip facing Ile de Re.    In recent years this old fishing village has transformed itself from a sleepy outpost into a charming village community featuring a new arts centre,  a bustling daily market, smart restaurants and a colourful marina that's the perfect setting for an evening meal or a leisurely drink.  

 

Le Chateau with it's star-shaped citadel and thriving arts & crafts colony that sets up shop near the port during the summer months in primary-coloured cabins is another.   Large supermarket chains and a variety of other essential shops now line the main road that cuts through the centre  and sit cheek by jowl with countless cycle, boating and surfing shops.   

 

Life on the island tends to be low key.  It  has a kind of barefoot, beachcomber style but you would be wrong to translate that as ‘roughing it’.  Ile d’Oleron, like Le Touquet and our neighbouring islands of Re and Aix, is a treasured haunt of the French and that means good food, fashionable shops and lots of creature comfort are never hard to find.  As well as owning second homes here many inhabitants also run seasonal businesses returning every Spring with the warm weather from elsewhere in France to re-open their shops and restaurants.  Outside of the French community Ile d’Oleron is relatively little known  but the actor Johnny Depp was spotted secretly holidaying on the better known Ile de Re recently so – can it be long?

 

At the port of Boyardville on the east coast you will have a splendid view of (THE) Fort Boyard which can be visited by scheduled boat along with the islands of Re and Aix and of course the stunning town of La Rochelle with it's own medieval port.  Foot passenger-only ferry boats make frequent daily crossings throughout the spring and summer months 

 

                                                                           Boyardville Port
On the mainland to the south lies the beautiful and cosmopolitan seaside resort of Royan located at the mouth of the Gironde the gateway to the Medoc wine chateaux region only a short car ferry ride away.  
Meanwhile back on Oleron the preferred mode of travel is the cycle. 

 

 

Crisscrossing 33 flat kms is a vast network of dedicated off-road trails taking you from the coastline through pine forests and hollyhock filled  villages, past inland oyster farms (where you can stop for a degustation and a glass of local wine), marshlands with salt basins still mined in the traditional way with donkeys and vineyards selling the island's newly produced Sauvignon wines along with their version of the region's Pineau
 
This tasty drink blended from local grapes and Cognac is served over cracked ice and is the  islanders' preferred choice of evening aperitif.   The Cognac region itself is just inland across the bridge to the mainland in France.

 

ILE d'OLERON is truly a paradise for those seeking sun and sand in peaceful, natural surroundings. Surprised first time visitors often exclaim they didn't  think beaches like  these 
still existed today on France's over-populated coastline.  Just another reason why the French have contrived to kept Oleron all to themselves.   

Ile d'Oleron has been reclassified as a Conversation Area.  It's forests and countryside are now officially protected from future urban development.
 
No longer will the building of houses will be permitted on the dunes this close to the sea!

 

                                                                         Les Huttes Beach

                                                                     

 

________________________________________

    
La Hune (The Crow's Nest)  .  

Has now been sold.
Thank you for your interest.

    

 


Rare opportunity to purchase one of the last homes to be built on the dunes of Oleron overlooking the Atlantic

             * private pool   *   access to beach  *   imaginative interior design that takes  full
                            advantage of the stunning sea views from first floor living area
                             

 

ILE D'OLERON is synonymous with nature now thankfully protected for the generations to come.  Our  
seemingly endless sandy beaches, pine forests, salt marshes, clean sea and sparkling fresh seafood are just what the doctor ordered to recharge your batteries
.
 

In a near perfect temperate climate we enjoy a long summer season of warm sunny days and comfortable nights cooled by the ocean breeze.

 

Treasured by the French for it's abundance of sunshine, clean air and mild climate the island of Oleron has long been the destination of those in the know seeking its restorative powers as well as for those who simply have an affinity with nature.

 

 LA HUNE is located in a quiet residential turning of individually built homes on a non-through road with mains drainage and full services.  There is off road parking for 3 cars on a graveled forecourt and a single garage.  Access to the  beach (approx 50m) over the dunes at the back of the house just past the two WW11 German bunkers now listed historic sites.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                      LA HUNE

 

 

 

  

           Perched on the dunes of the west coast near the spectacular Chassiron lighthouse
                                       the beach house enjoys far reaching views out to sea. 
            Here you will find a place to come and slip into the laid back rhythm  of island life. 

 

  La Hune is located in the curve of the bay formed by Les Huttes, Chaucre & Domino beaches
             climaxing at one end at the historic Chassiron lighthouse overlooking Ile de Re. 

                           

               The 3 connecting beaches  of the bay combine to offer miles of walks 
            and uncrowded personal space to lay down a towel.     
As dream getaways go 
                                            this is  pretty much a beachcomber's paradise.

 

        

In keeping with it's beachside surroundings the villa has been decorated in a natural style using sun bleached neutral colours.  It is bordered on one side by open fields and on the other by the gardens of a neighbouring villa.  

                                          

                                                        

    At the rear of the garden is a gateway directly on to the dunes leading down to the sea.  

 

 

    The house is flanked by twin lawns and is backed by raised flower beds landscaped with 
     mature Moroccan style-planting that requires little maintenance - a welcome consideration 

     for any second home owner.

 

                                                                  External staircase to first floor 

 

                                                                       St Denis village

 

 The villa  is located in the community of St Denis d'Oleron which extends to  both west and east  coasts at this narrow northern tip of the island.  LA HUNE directly overlooks the beach of  Les Huttes and lies between the dunes and the newly planted vineyards surrounding St Denis village.  A few year's ago the majority of the island's old discarded vines where replanted with  Sauvignon grape stock.  It's reputation is growing meanwhile offering  locals the chance to profit by buying vrac from the producers @ 1.40E a litre - remember to take your empty water bottle!

 

 

                              The garden backs on to the western dunes of the 'Cote Sauvage'


The heated swimming pool is entered by roman steps fitted with jacuzzi jets.  It also features underwater lighting and a counter current exercise stream at the deep end for endless swimming.  The pool is surrounded in teak decking with ample room for dining and sunbathing.

 

There is an independent BBQ/dining pavilion in the garden with a fully functioning summer kitchen.   A separate wooden cabin houses both the pool and the garden equipment.  There are a further two internal storage areas in the garden.

 

The villa has been fitted throughout with pull down insect screens  for summer and full gas central heating plus a log burner for winter.  It is well insulated and has been awarded just under a B energy efficiency rating.   There are painted wooden shutters to all windows and doors with electric roll down shutters fitted to  the rear first floor veranda.

 

There are front and rear entries to the ground floor and  an external staircase for access to the first floor when the ground floor is in separate use.

 

The villa has been carefully maintained and is presented in very good order both inside and out.    

The interior has been cleverly redesigned by its current architect owner with maximum flexibility to be used either as a spacious family home or - by simply locking a set of doors at the top of the central staircase - divided temporarily into two separately accessed self contained units.  The second option is also ideal  for visiting family and friends or for seasonal  lettings, as needs be.  

 

 

Those who have spent a lot of time house hunting will recognise LA HUNE as  an exceptionally 
equipped  holiday home.



SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDED:

       .   Prima Gaz fired central heating throughout.  

       .   Log burner.
  
       .   Full C.T. CAM (Credit Agricole)  security  alarm system with cameras connected 
           to central headquarters for peace of mind when not in residence.
 
        .   Electric roll down shutters to veranda.
  
         .  Pull down mosquito screens to all windows allow in the sea breezes at night.
      

         .  Double sealed and insulated non-corrosive windows and doors.

 

         .  WIFI

         .  English channel satellite TV to ground and first floors.

         .  Heated swimming pool with jacuzzi and jet stream.

         .  Fully equipped BBQ pavilion.
 

 

         .  Bespoke fitted cupboardry in kitchen, master bedroom, master  bathroom,
            and office
.

 

          .  Designer lighting throughout.

 

         .  Schmidt kitchen  units.  NEFF/Bosch appliances. 

FLOOR PLANS AND PROFESSIONAL ADVISE OFFERED TO BUYERS WISHING TO MAKE STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS.
                                     

 

 

FIRST FLOOR:

 

                   First floor sejour with adjoining  veranda for additional sea-view dining

                                          Fully fitted corner style kitchen in the first floor

 

                                                                  View from the first floor sejour

                                  First floor master bedroom with sea and lighthouse views

                          First floor master bedroom with bespoke island-style fitted wardrobes

 

                                                                   En suite first floor bathroom 

 

The en suite bathroom has been constructed in natural materials of stone and wood.

 

 

Full size bath with glass enclosure and overhead & hand showers.

 

The bathroom is fully tiled in stone with sculpted marine-inspired frieze inserts.

 

Mirror faced concealed storage cupboards line two walls.

 

Full height electric radiator/towel rail.

 

The window looks across to the Chassiron lighthouse just over a mile 

away.

 

The bathroom has dual access to 

both the master bedroom and the 

study or 5th bedroom.

 

                 Study/5th bedroom with fitted workstation and full height storage cupboard.

First floor plan:

 

 

Ground floor plan:


   The property can be temporarily divided into 2 fully s/c units - each with private access 

                              by simply locking two doors at the top of the central staircase.

 

 

 

 

The ground floor features a summer day room incorporating a fully fitted kitchen/diner, 2 double bedrooms and a 3rd smaller double currently arranged as a TV room equipped with satellite TV for English channels.  There is a fully fitted  bathroom & separate WC.  Ground floor access to the property is via  front & rear doors with direct access to the pool deck & garden and to the dunes and the beach below.    There are telephone and internet connections on both floors.  This imaginative arrangement offers maximum flexibility for visiting friends or for paying guests allowing you the possibility of your own private accommodation at the same time. 

 

 

                                                     

 

                                  
                                 Ground floor salle de l'ete  (summer day room)                                                                                                                                           

 

                                         Ground floor Summer Day Room with corner kitchen

                                                 opens directly on to pool deck and garden       

            

                                            Ground floor master bedroom with en suite access

                                                      Ground floor second double with sofa bed.

 

There is a third ground floor bedroom currently used as a TV room which is suitable for bunk or twin beds.

 

 

   Ground floor en suite bathroom with bath & overhead shower.  Duel access to hall.  Sep WC.

 

 

                                                           

 

Garden:

 

                                                                      

The ground floor opens directly onto a deck with  heated swimming pool (9.5 x 4.5m) and garden 

                       

          Summer pavilion with outdoor kitchen/BBQ, power points, stone clad cupboards, 
                                   drinks fridge,  butler's sink and a gaz placha.    

                                                               

                                        A pathway over  the dunes leads down to the beach  below

 

                         

Just the other side of our garden gate: 

 

    Oleron is celebrated for it's seafood.  Shell fish gathering, or peche au pied, can be found
 
right at the foot of the dunes at the back of the garden or you can cast your line for sea bass. 

 

          

                                       Stand up paddle and kite surf is right at the foot of our dune.

 

                                                                                     Surfs up!

 

 

 

OLERON juste en face de NEW YORK

The locals will tell you that the island of Oleron lies (as the seagull flies) about 4000kms from 
the island of Manhattan - starting just the other side of our garden gate! 

 

 

Oleron boasts a vast network of dedicated cycle and walking trails criss-crossing its 33km length.  Trails pass along the coastline, salt marshes, vineyards, pine forests & villages truly making it a paradise for anyone who enjoys safe off road cycling through completely natural surroundings.  The dunes and coastline of the  island have now been officially classified by the Ministry of Environment as a CONSERVATION AREA and are protected by the National Forestry Commission  and that includes the dunes right at the rear of our garden.


                  
Miles of walking trails along the top of the dunes to Chassiron lighthouse 
                                               start  just the other side of  our garden gate.

 

There will be no more building on the dunes within 300 meters 
of the
sea anywhere on the island!

 

 

 

 

                                                     Surroundings

 

 La Hune is  situated at the northern tip of the island not far from the historic
18
Chassiron lighthouse and it's awarding winning marine gardens

It benefits 2 fold from its close proximity to both the west and east coast shorelines -
only a couple kms apart and easily  reached by cycle or walking paths 



   West coast 

 

 Over the summer months Les Huttes Plage plays host to a multitude of water sports.

 

All types of surfing, snorkeling and sailing activities are available along the sandy beaches 
of the bay.  Les Huttes, Chaure & Domino are life guarded and proudly display blue flags.

 

Its all waiting for you just a scramble down the dune at the back of La Hune.

 

 

In off season you can have it all to yourself!

 

Spectacular sunsets on the Atlantic included free of charge
with a front row seat on the top of the grassed bunkers behind our garden!

 

 

 

   East coast

St Denis beach (East coast) facing Ile de Re & La Rochelle

 

St Denis Port 

 

St Denis Marina

 

   
There is an excellent daily street market at St Denis (less than a mile by cycle trails or car) where you can buy everything from your morning
croissant to freshly caught fish (and of course oysters!)
.    Hypermarkets and major shopping are  only a 10 minute drive away at St Pierre, the island's bijou capital.

 

 

                                                        Saint Denis year round daily market

 The market also sells fish fresh from the boats along with our celebrated oysters and mussels.

 

For more photos and information on the island of Oleron  please click here.


                             




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