The île de Ré, Charente Maritme, on the west coast of France, to the south of Brittany and the Vendee, is a finger of land 30 kms long but only 3 kms wide, with all the charms of a quiet traditional seaside holiday retreat and much more....
It has a remarkably varied coastline with sand dune backed surfing beaches on the Atlantic side at La Courade sur Mer; long sandy beaches and small sandy coves on the east and south coasts; wild windswept beaches beneath Phare des Baleines, the light house on the northern tip of the island, and charming harbours such as La Flotte
On ile de re you will find all sorts of seaside activities - from swimming and surfing to wind surfing, water skiing, kite surfing, kite boarding to sailing and fishing and crabbing. .
Take a boat out to visit the oyster beds from Ste Marie or visit the salt museum at Loix.
Hunt for oysters washed up on the sea swept rocks and shells on the windswept beaches to the north. Add to this cycling, tennis, horse riding, sailing schools, mini golf and childrens' clubs - and there's plenty to do..
Ile de re is a charming, unhurried island where you are never far from the sea, with small tidy villages of white houses with blue or green shutters and pink and purple hollyhocks and narrow winding streets.
There are 10 villages in all; Ste Marie is the oldest, La Flotte, with its medieval market and busy harbour, its quaysides lined by restaurants and cafes, grassy promenade and sandy coves.
Les Portes-en–Re is the islands most sophisticated resort
and La Courrade sur Mer, a pretty village on the surfing coast ideally situated for visiting the other parts of the island. Rivedoux a picturesque village at the gateway to the island has two long sandy beaches , a small port and a promenade.
- in tune with the unhurried pace on Ile de Re, cycling is a favoured way of travelling around. There are 100 kms of bike paths, the island has no hills of note and the roads are remarkably traffic free. There are modern cycle hire shops in the villages.
It is rumoured that the rusty old boneshakers that you may occasionally see are all owned by trendy Parisians "going native".
The 12 mile cycle ride along the Chemin de Marais crosses the salt marshes near Les Portes-en–Re to one of the largest nature reserves in Europe, where you may see white stork or Barnacle goose and where the salt pans are the home of the thriving trade in Ile de Re sea salt
- With fish and seafood catches.being landed daily and the increasing popularity of Ile de Re with Parisians - French celebrities such as Gerard Depardieu, Jean Reno and Juliette Binoche have holiday homes here, you begin to understand why the restaurants are so good. Food styles vary from the simple to the gastromonic.
- Ile de Re has a sunny microclimate with 2800 hours of sunshine a year (that's an average of 7.67 hours per day!), freshened by Atlanic breezes.
- It is connected to the mainland at La Rochelle.by a 2 mile bridge Please click here for map and is only 4 hours from the ferry port at St Malo. For driving details from either channel ports or other ferry ports - St Malo, Roscoff, Cherbourg, Caen etc please click here
Please contact us as we often have special deals on ferry crossings.
Alternatively fly Ryanair to La Rochelle, or combine a week or two on Ile de Re with a visit to Paris or EuroDisney and catch the TGV as Parisians do. There is a regular connecting bus service to the island.