This is not a region I get down to that often as it is about two and a half hours drive from my house. My closest bit of coast is between La Rochelle and Rochefort so I prefer Fouras. However if you can get to the beaches south of Royan then they are well worth a visit. South of St Georges de Didonne there is a massive sandy beach, very wide although a bit too open and lacking the intimate for my taste. However, sand is sand and there is plenty of room. I prefer the smaller beaches which are a bit further south such as the Plage de Suzac, Plage de l’Armeche and Plage des Vergnes.
Recently I spent time on both the Plage des Vergnes and the slightly smaller Plage de Suzac. Both have beautiful fine sand and are backed by pine woods, although these are protected by a fence to prevent excessive erosion. You can walk or cycle through the woods along proper paths.
Both beaches have restaurants/cafes close by but the one at the southern end of the Plage des Vergnes was closed when we visited notwithstanding that this was a Monday in August during the school holidays when the beach was quite full. Either they are making so much money they can take a day off in the short but busy season or they have no business sense! I think the latter is more likely. Luckily we had taken some baguettes and cold water in a cool box. The restaurant on the Plage de Suzac, on the other hand was open, busy and looked quite tempting.
What I particularly liked was the limestone cliffs and wooded surrounds which made the beaches look almost Mediterranean – Greek or Spanish. OK- the trees are Pines and Holme Oak not Olives but at a distance a Holme Oak is not that different to an Olive!