The Gironde Estuary, King of Estuaries
Covering an area of 600 km², the Gironde estuary is the largest in Europe and the best protected. Born of the confluence of the Garonne and Dordogne, this estuary stretches between islands and marshes while bordering the prestigious wine estates in the Médoc and the Girondin vineyards. The entire estuary bears the hallmark of the most famous architect of the 15th century, Vauban, whose talent can be seen in the construction of the BLAYE Citadel, Fort Pâté and Fort Médoc, built to protect Bordeaux from invasions by sea. These three sites are listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO under the "Verrou Vauban" designation.
A protected natural environment, the Gironde estuary is also a great place for catching migratory fish (shad, lamprey, sturgeon, eels, elvers and white shrimp) and a big wine-growing area.
There are ferries between the two shores of the estuary several times a day, all year round, between Royan-Le Verdon and Blaye-Lamarque.
For an unusual sight on the estuary, come during the equinoctial tides (April/September) and admire a long wave, the Mascaret (“tidal bore”). Travelling inland up the estuary at a speed of nearly 30 km per hour, this breaker is enjoyed by brave surfers as well as the spectators who gather in front of the small ports of Vayres and Saint-Pardon, in the Dordogne.
Just a few steps from the Camping de l'Estuaire ****, enjoy this majestic waterway and its protected fauna and flora!