Oleron is the vastest French metropolitan islands after Corsica (35 km in length, 12 km in its biggest width, 34 metres in its highlight (in saint Trojan's dune), 90 km of coasts, a surface of 175 km2, 19 000 permanent inhabitants). From XIXth century, connections between the island and continent were assured by steamers. From the middle of XXth century, tubs made the transport of the passengers and the vehicles, until the starting of the bridge in 1966, after two years of construction. Oleron's bridge was the first of this kind in Charente-Maritime. This long road bridge of 3027 meters is free since 1991. When Oleron was not an island, people of the Palaeolithic lived on lands which were not buried underwater. But in ice age, Oleron was separated from the continent. Thanks to the discovery of sites to St Denis and to St Georges, we can date the first occupation of the island in the Neolithic period. Several megaliths, like the most important of Ors: “La Pierre Levée”, testify of this environment.
[...] Fishermen's small isolated village besides of the island, Saint-Trojan was one of the first municipalities to benefit from debuts of the tourism at the end of the XIXth century. Then come the involvement phase: the sea swimming was then fashionable, the sweetness of the climate and the purity of the air of Saint-Trojan quickly make an appreciated station. Villas and chalets mix and compete in colours and in originality. The magnificent houses which still line the boulevard of the beach testify of the architecture of this time. [...]
[...] A qualitative policy and the chance to have a local market of consumption established by tourists can consolidate the future of the vineyard of the island. Transport attractions: The little train of Saint Trojan in the south of the island was built in 1963, essentially from military materials given up by domains after the dismantling of the works of the line Maginot partly and the war damages for the rest. Since, it transports a little less than passengers a year, between Easter and the end of September ( in 2003). [...]
[...] Little reserved roads allow you to travel from the south to the north of the island (see the map below). Maps extracted from www.Oleron.org (as at 26th April Military attractions: “Fort Boyard” which was originally builds to defend France against English attacks but at the end of the construction, war was over: it was never used militarily (just as a local prison). It became really famous since the television dedicated it a game which made the tour of the planet (22 countries). [...]
[...] The construction of the ‘Petit train de saint Trojan” in 1963 is a good example to show the interest for tourism by municipalities. Then the exemption from payment of the passage in 1991 modified the customs of the guests, more numerous for weekends and small holidays. Analyse of residences Renting, hotels, campsites, mobile homes, houses of hosts, multiple choices of residences of different classes coexist in Oleron. Without counting the multiple private plots of land, of more or less good taste, which shelter controversial residences, but appreciated by those who take advantage of it. [...]
[...] If the island becomes less beautiful, it will be less attractive If the proportion of tourists is reduced, it will let time to the municipalities to make more adapted equipments. And then in the future, the number of tourists can again be increased. A lot of tourists come for just one day on the island. They buy their food on the continent, then come on beaches, make sometimes degradations and let their rubbish on Oleron. Make them paying can lead them to spend more time on the island to make profitable their stay, and so buying products of the island. [...]
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