Located on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Ile de Ré is the fourth largest island in metropolitan France. Enjoying exceptional sunshine all year round, this island boasts very different landscapes such as the sandy beaches lined with dunes, pine forests, salt marshes, hidden coves and picturesque marinas. Ile de re has, above all else, an impeccable quality of life with kilometres of pristine beach to explore, indoor and outdoor markets, salt-pans and oyster beds. Cycle paths are everywhere, as the most convenient and leisurely way around the island is on two wheels or if you prefer by foot. Activities are endless and include sailing, fishing, water-sports such as kite surfing, wind surfing, jet skiing and snorkelling.
Sampling the local cuisine at the many bars, restaurants and cafes is a must, particularly if you enjoy fresh seafood and mussels. You can also explore the countless bric-a-brac and antiques store as well as the shops with goods produced by the local artisans such as espadrilles and beach bags. The quay at St Martin is particularly vibey at night, and it is here you will find some of the island’s best restaurants and bars. You could explore the fortifications, which were constructed in the 17th century, the citadel complete with moats and drawbridges. The ramparts have the most exceptional views looking out over the island and the ocean.
For a day trip you could go to La Rochelle, with its thriving port guarded by iconic towers, Tour de la Chaine and Tour Saint Nicolas. There are some lovely shops, restaurants and all the necessary services as well as historic sites and museums to visit. The maritime museum and large aquarium are fascinating and always a hit with children.
The island is easy to get to and conveniently located a few minutes from the airport of La Rochelle.