Regulus, the troglodyte cliff

Main town and chief town of the canton of Saintonge Estuaire, this former small fishing village of Royannais was transformed into a famous seaside resort at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, at the time of the great vogue of sea bathing.

Meshers is today an active commercial and tourist center and a residential commune of the large suburb of Royan.

The town, located on the Côte de Beauté, has several beaches, all of fine sand, overlooking the Gironde estuary, and often surrounded by pine forests.

It has for other particularity to present imposing limestone cliffs, in which were dug true troglodyte cities: the caves of Régulus and Matata are the only ones opened to the visit.

Originally dug by nature, these "holes" were enlarged by man to become real troglodyte dwellings in the 19th century.

Hollowed out in the white limestone cliffs, they were used successively as grain stores, hiding places for smugglers, shelters for Protestants, housing for the poor, and taverns.

The municipal troglodytic site of Regulus was opened to the public in 1986.

From November 2002 to June 2003, important works allowed to propose to the public a new reception, new terraces with a breathtaking view on the largest estuary in Europe and a new direction for the guided tour.

The name "Régulus" comes from a French warship, a splendid 2-deck, 3-masted ship, scuttled in front of Meschers to avoid falling into the hands of the British in 1814.

Legend has it that the Regulus burned for 3 days and 3 nights. It is since this night of April 7 to 8, 1814 that the people of Michel have taken the habit of calling this group of caves by the name of the Regulus.

Some caves are still occupied today.

In 2022, the municipality carried out important works of security and requalification of the caves. That same year the site was enriched with a new museography.

The Fountains and Regulus caves welcome, in an exceptional environment, more than 75 000 visitors per season. They have become one of the key players in tourism in Charente Maritime.

During the visit, several themes are discussed: refuge site for the Protestants during the Wars of Religion, geology, estuary, fishing, tourism in the 19th century, "carrelet sur ponton", history of the "Régulus", legend of Cadet the shipwrecker and troglodyte habitat. During the visit, children can help the little shrimp Minidik who has many questions about the habits of these strange two-legged animals that live in the cliff of the Regulus.


Grottes du Régulus

81, boulevard de la Falaise

17132 Meschers-sur-Gironde 

Tel : 05 46 02 55 36



Meschers Town Hall

38, rue Paul Massy, BP 6,

17132 Meschers

Tel : 05 46 39 71 00


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