In Royan, the port is a place apart.
As the third marina on the Atlantic coast, it serves as a refuge for many ships. It is also a dynamic fishing port, as shown by its auction.
For a little more than an hour and a half, discover the maritime history of the city and the operation of the auction. In the auction room, seen from a corridor, the fish pass in front of the customers. Sign of the times, it is no longer a crier who screams the prices of goods: the establishment is computerized. The tour includes a tasting of sushi at the end of the tour.
Find out more about the guided tour of the Royan auction
Martin and Gaëlle take part in the guided tour of the Royan auction.
This afternoon we visited the Royan Fish Auction Hall!
We reserved our places online a few weeks ago on the Tourist Office website. Just as well, because this visit is in such demand that it's full from one week to the next.
We had to be at the Palais des Congrès at 15.00. Our guide, Maribelle, introduced herself while we waited for the last to arrive before starting the visit. Five minutes later we were off!
Before reaching the site she told us about the history of the port and estuary. After this preliminary we went towards the port.
We entered the Fish Auction Hall. To the right we could see the auction hall itself where the fish was auctioned as it travelled along a conveyor belt. Buyers made their bids by pressing a button.
The cold rooms where the goods are stored was on the other side. There's no ice but cold water instead which is sprayed without interruption. The main species fished are sole, croaker and bass. But sole is the leading fish for the town.
So a fish grading machine has been installed to sort the sole into 6 different size categories. The Royan Fish Auction is open only to approved shellfish specialists and fishmongers.
At the end of our visit we were offered a sushi tasting session. An unusual way to taste the local fish!