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Saint-Georges-de-Didonne: a practical guide

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May 5, 2024


Saint Georges de Didonne –  Things to see and do in Saint-Georges-de-Didonne


Looking for the perfect destination for your next holiday? Do you want to combine the pleasure of the sea, the beauty of nature, the richness of the heritage and the delights of gastronomy? Consider Saint Georges de Didonne, a charming seaside resort nestled in Charente-Maritime,  not far from Royan, on the sublime Côte de Beauté.


Gironde estuary St Georges de Didonne practical guide

Saint Georges de Didonne – view from the large beach

This little paradise will enchant you with its unique location : between the majestic Atlantic, the Gironde estuary and the splendid forest of Suzac. Its extensive sandy beaches, impressive cliffs, its emblematic lighthouse and its port full of character make Saint-Georges-de-Didonne a must-see place.

Come and explore its fascinating history, marked by the audacity of the port’s pilots, the tumult of the Wars of Religion and the prestige of the 19th-century villas. Treat yourself to the pleasure of tasting the local specialties: succulent crabs, juicy plums and traditional Charentaise tarts.

Through this guide, we invite you to discover all the charms of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne, a city that promises to captivate your heart. Let’s discover it together!

Discover Saint-Georges-de-Didonne: a historical and geographical overview

The city’s rich history

The town of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne has a fascinating history, dating back to the Neolithic period. The fortified camp of Boube is an eloquent remnant of this. The Gallo-Roman era saw the erection of villas in Vallières and Suzac, leaving its mark on the landscape. The Middle Ages then elevated the town to the status of an influential lordship of Didonne, with the lords even being granted the title of princes of Saintonge.

St George's Church in Saint Georges de Didonne

St George’s Church in Saint Georges de Didonne


The Château de Didonne, now in ruins, was the scene of decisive clashes between the English and the French, as well as between Catholics and Protestants. It was around the Cluniac priory and the imposing Romanesque church that the village of Saint-Georges took off, welcoming pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela.

The unique geography of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne

The commune of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne enjoys a privileged geographical position, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean, the Gironde estuary, and the Suzac forest. This location offers a panorama of diverse landscapes, from fine sandy beaches to steep cliffs, marshes and vineyard hillsides. The Pointe de Vallières, overlooking the mouth of the Gironde, is home to the Vallières lighthouse, erected in 1901, an unmissable symbol of the city.

The Suzac forest, covering an area of 400 hectares, represents a protected ecosystem of great richness in terms of fauna and flora.

The pleasant climate and its influence on tourism

The oceanic climate of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne translates into mild winters and temperate summers. The distribution of precipitation throughout the year favours peaks in autumn and winter. With an average annual temperature of 14°C, which can reach 26°C in August and 5°C in January, the local climate is an undeniable asset for tourism.

This mild climate, coupled with the natural, historical and cultural riches of the region, attracts many holidaymakers in search of relaxation, adventure and gastronomic discoveries.

The must-sees to visit in Saint-Georges-de-Didonne

The seafront and its beaches

Discover the charm of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne with its carefully landscaped waterfront, offering magnificent views of the ocean and estuary. The Grande Plage, stretching over nearly 3 km of fine sand, is ideal for relaxing, while the more secret beach of Vallières, surrounded by cliffs, promises privacy and beauty. These beaches, supervised during the summer, are perfect for lovers of water sports such as sand yachting, stand-up paddle or jet-skiing.

The Vallières lighthouse and the port

Erected between 1898 and 1902, the Vallières lighthouse stands proudly above the port and the Gironde estuary, offering a breathtaking panorama. This historic monument, 36 m high and with 144 steps, is a must-see in the city. In the surrounding area, the port of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne is a real picturesque corner where you can watch the comings and goings of the boats and discover the remains of the pilots’ houses.

Vallières Lighthouse in St Georges de Didonne - guide to discover the city

Vallières Lighthouse in St Georges de Didonne

The Pointe de Suzac: a natural setting

The Pointe de Suzac, located on the border with Meschers-sur-Gironde, is a haven of peace for nature lovers and hikers. Protected and rich in biodiversity, it offers landscapes where Mediterranean and Atlantic species rub shoulders, as well as vestiges of its military past such as the Fort de Suzac or the blockhouses of the Second World War.

Historical monuments and local architecture

Saint-Georges-de-Didonne is home to a rich historical and architectural heritage. Be sure to visit the Church of St. George, a jewel of the twelfth century and witness to the history of the pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. The ruins of the Château de Didonne, remnants of a powerful medieval lordship, as well as the charming streets of the town centre, lined with seaside villas and Charente houses, will also seduce you.

Activities and leisure activities in and around Saint-Georges-de-Didonne

Water activities for everyone

Saint-Georges-de-Didonne is an ideal destination for water sports enthusiasts. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced provider, you will find what you are looking for among the many offers offered by local clubs and service providers.

You can enjoy water skiing, jet-skiing, sand yachting, stand-up paddle boarding, surfing, kayaking or Polynesian canoeing. You can also take advantage of boat trips to discover the Gironde estuary, the Cordouan lighthouse or the
troglodyte caves
of Meschers.

Hiking, walking or cycling

Saint-Georges-de-Didonne also offers you the opportunity to discover its varied and contrasting landscapes on foot or by bike. You can take the coastal path, which runs along the beaches, cliffs, the port and the lighthouse of Vallières, and which will offer you breathtaking views of the ocean and the estuary. You can also explore the Suzac Forest, a protected natural area, which is home to a diverse fauna and flora, as well as traces of the site’s military past.

Finally, you can stroll through the narrow streets of the city centre, where historical monuments and seaside villas rub shoulders.

The covered market and local products

Saint-Georges-de-Didonne invites you to discover its covered market, open all year round under the covered market, offering quality local products . You can find seasonal fruit and vegetables , fresh fish, meat, cheese, bread, pastries, flowers and regional specialities, such as crabs, melt-in-the-mouth plums or Charentaise tarts.

In the summer, the market extends outside, on the market square, the market street and the rue d’Alger.

Cultural agenda and annual events

Saint-Georges-de-Didonne also offers a rich and varied cultural agenda , allowing you to enjoy shows, concerts, conferences, exhibitions, cinema or theatre throughout the year. In particular, you will be able to attend the Créa Cinéma Le Relais, offering films followed by debates or conferences, hosted by the Unipop association. You can also take part in the annual events that punctuate the life of the city, such as the carnival, the egg hunt, the Royan U Côte de Beauté marathon, the Comedy and Salt Water festival or the kite festival.


It is clear that Saint-Georges-de-Didonne has all the elements to conquer your heart. If you are looking for moments of relaxation, cultural immersion, adventures in the heart of nature or a gourmet getaway, this charming seaside resort will meet all your expectations.

Treat yourself to the pleasure of discovering its beautiful beaches, its iconic lighthouse, its lush forests, its rich heritage, its vibrant market, variety of activities and events available all year round. Don’t wait any longer, plan your visit to Saint-Georges-de-Didonne, a multifaceted place ready to welcome you!


Is it good to live in Saint-Georges-de-Didonne?

Is it good to live in Saint-Georges-de-Didonne? According to the feedback of its inhabitants and visitors, this city charms with its mild climate, its many sports and cultural activities, as well as its reputation for having the most beautiful urban beach on the coast of beauty.

However, its attractiveness is tempered by a high share of retirees and second homes, factors contributing to less dynamism and rising living costs.

What are the market days in Saint-Georges-de-Didonne?

The markets of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne enliven the city with their diversity:

  • The covered market and the outdoor halls, at the intersection of Rue du Maréchal Foch and Rue du Marché, are open all year round. From September to June, they welcome visitors from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • In July and August, these markets are open daily from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.
  • The night market, located on the promenade of the Boulevard de la Côte de Beauté, takes place every Thursday from July 1st to the last Thursday in August, from 4pm to midnight.
  • The arts and crafts market takes place every Sunday morning during the summer, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the Place de Verdun and in the Rue de la République.

How long is the beach in Saint-Georges-de-Didonne?

The splendid beach of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne stretches for more than 2 km. Close to the city centre, it is designed for the comfort of visitors, while towards the Pointe de Suzac, it becomes wilder and more natural.

Who is the mayor of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne?

The city of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne is led by Mr. François Richaud, elected in 2020 for a six-year term.

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