Fort Boyard is closed to the public, but you can take one of the many cruises available that leave from the Ile d’Oléron (Port Saint-Denis d’Oléron or Boyardville) to get as close as possible to this majestic stone edifice. With the various options of boat rides available, you can admire the Chassiron lighthouse or stop on the Ile d’Aix.
Located halfway between the Ile d’Aix and Ile d’Oléron, Fort Boyard was built to protect the harbor of the Ile d’Aix and the royal arsenal in Rochefort. The cannons’ range at this time was not long enough for cross-fire between the fort and the harbor to Aix and the Saumonards battery on Oléron. Fort Boyard is located between the two islands. The Dutch mapped this place and called it “Banjaert”, which means sandbank, which became its current name, “Boyard”.