Ile de Re
ILE DE RE – WHY GO?
Known as the St Tropez of the Atlantic, chic Ile de Ré – beloved by Parisians during summer – lies just off the coast from La Rochelle. Come here for the beaches and sand dunes, miles of cycle trails and some of the best oysters and seafood on the French coast.
MUST SEE, MUST DO
Hop into the saddle – Ile de Ré has over 100km of cycle track especially for you and your rental bike. You really get a sense of nature along the island's untamed, wild beaches and peachy sands. You'll also find plenty of old villages to call into for a cooling beer or citron pressé.
Check out Saint-Martin's eye-catching harbour and enjoy its summer-resort buzz. Historic houses surround café-strewn terraces and are ideal locations for a refreshing drink after exploring the Ernest-Cognacq Museum, Citadel and La Place de la République.
Quirky, yet traditional, Ars-en-Ré is a small village of hollyhock-lined streets featuring whitewashed houses with green shutters, all based around an attractive square. Check out the black and white church spire – painted to warn boats that they were nearing land. Surrounded by saltpans, Ars-en-Ré has a lively daily market where you can buy some of the local salt and also purchase fantastically fresh seafood.
Water-babies will love making a splash along this 7km of beautiful sandy coastline and sun worshippers can top up their tan alongside fashionable Parisian holidaymakers on the beach. Lush vineyards and fertile vegetable gardens surround the nearby picturesque village.
Visit the island’s last tide-mill at Loix and look out for flocks of birds flying over the attractive se-front in this peaceful village. Join in a game of boules with local men in the square next to the church of Sainte-Catherine.
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Yachties from around France arrive to take part in the colourful Tour de L'ile de Ré.
Cavalcade in La Rochelle marks the onset of summer with two days of fanfares, parades and music.
Literature rules: the book festival hits Ile de Ré.
ILE DE RE ROMANCE
Catch a horse-drawn carriage to explore the back streets of Saint Martin de Ré.
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