Fort Boyard, Charente-Maritime’s treasure

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Treat your kids, take them to Fort Boyard, Charente-Maritime’s emblematic « vessel of stones ». Live an unforgettable experience booking at a campsite on right now !

Do you know where exactly Fort Boyard is ? It is located in Charente-Maritime between Ile d’Aix and Ile d’Oléron.

Passe-Partout or Père Fouras are famous characters linked to Fort Boyard, one of France’s most beloved game shows and probably the children’s favourite.

Crack Fort Boyard’s riddles – take the opportunity of staying on the Atlantic coast to go visit the fort thanks to the cruises taking off from Fouras, La Rochelle or Ile d’Oléron.

Fort Boyard can’t be visited and its secrets will only be revealed in the eponymous game show broadcasted by the French public channel.

You can admire this military architectural marvel from the outside though, closing in aboard a cruising boat that will take you around the famous « vessel of stones » to take some pictures.

If you’re prone to seasickness, you can still admire the « Fort of Uselessness » as it was once nicknamed, strolling along Charente-Maritime’s coastline, stopping over at Fouras, Chassiron’s lighthouse on Ile d’Oléron, Boyardville obviously, the village that served as a base when the fort’s building started in 1803, but also La Rochelle, Ile d’Aix’s western coastline or even the small Île Madame accessible by a walk from the town of Port des Barques.


Before it was turned into an internationally popular game show, Fort Boyard was a fortress built under Napoleon in 1801 to protect the gate of the river Charente estuary and Rochefort’s arsenal.

Fort Boyard now belongs to the Charente-Maritime department council. It was built with stones from Crazannes’s quarry upstream. It was originally imagined under King Louis XIVth in the XVIIth century but work only started in 1803 and ended in 1866.

First a military building, then a prison, Fort Boyard lived several lives. Very few people know that it was used as a tide gauge observatory between in the 1870s until 1919 for instance.

It was then abandoned during several decades – which led to the nickname « Fort of Uselessness ». It rose from its ashes by the end of the 1980s and was totally rehabilitated to start the famous Fort Boyard game show on television. It was broadcast for the first time in 1990.

Nowadays, everybody in France and in many countries abroad, knows « team Fort boyard » i.e. Père Fouras, Passe-Temps, Passe-Partout, and the tiger coming from la Palmyre zoo near Royan.

Treat your children, take them to the famous « vessel of stones », Charente-Maritime‘s symbol, and experience the unforgettable during your vacation. Book at a campsite on now !

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