From the campsite Royan is the closest city on the coast. But there is quite a bit more to do and see than a day at the beach. On the way to Royan you hardly have to make a detour to visit Talmont-sur-Gironde or take a ride on the "Train des Mouettes" at Saujon. And of course there is also the famous "Zoo de La Palmyre". Below you find the links to these and some more site worth visiting.
Our personal favorite is a visit to the lighthouse "Phare de Cordouan". Many lighthouses can be visited and quite a few are in the sea, but there is only one worldwide that is in the sea and that can be visited. It would be wise to check the sailing schedules on the website of Phare de Cordouan since they depend entirely on the tides. Arrival at the lighthouse is at low tide and the last few hundred meters are through knee-deep water. During your visit to the lighthouse the sandbank will fall dry, so afterwards you could have a nice picnic. Anyhow we had a beautiful day out and took lots of pictures of which you can see some below.
From Royan it is roughly one hour sailing to the Phare de Cordouan lighthouse after which a small landing craft will drop you off at the edge of the sandbank. Anyway, we believe the pictures speak for themselves.
Talmont-sur-Gironde is high in the top 25 of most beautiful villages of France (90 inhabitants; 500,000 visitors yearly)
Meschers-sur-Gironde; Matata and Regulus caves, trogloscope (mini cinema in a cave)
Le Train des Mouettes in Saujon just north-east of Royan is the oldest steam train in France. From early May until early October it takes you along a 13 mile long traject to La Tremblade where you can for example visit the oyster port.
Zoo de La Palmyre is one of the biggest zoos in France and very popular with young and old.