Le Galion Hotel Saint Martin
Allee de la Guyane, Ile de Re, France
More about Île de Ré
The Staircase in the Lighthouse
The Bridge in misty weather
Sailing boats on the beach, le Bois-Plage
Fortifications, St-Martin de Ré
Travel Tips for Île de Ré
A gate in Saint-Martin ...
UPDATE JUNE 2005: Yes, it is Porte de Toiras !!! --> Still can't say exactly the name of this gate. I have a doubt but I think it is Porte de Toiras. It's either "Porte de Toiras", either "Porte des Campani". The difference... La porte des Campani is an entry to the Western area of Ré (towards La Couarde) whilst La porte Toiras enables you to head to Eastern area (whose main town is La Flotte). Check my scanned map of Ile de Ré...
I doubt it still serves its initial design. Looking at it, you could understand (without explanation of a guide) it was an important element protecting the access to the territory.
Look at the following pic, this was taken from the cobblestone paths in front of the gate. This seems to be a simple gate but backside is quite impressive... with a kind of grill and huge screws... again, because I was sent back in old times, imagining the past, I didn't take any picture of those elements.
Now, enter the gate and you will find again the Saint-Martin picturesque villages... white chalk houses with green shutters and doors.
We parked our cars near the gate and went seeing it. I think there was a plaque.
Also pay attention to not making too much noise, seems like we were there at 6 pm, but a lady in pajama opened her shutters to see us parking our cars. Was she sleeping already? Anyway, the village was really calm.. quite desert.
I felt the serenity of the place... I was taken back in time looking at it and seeing the remparts in St-Martin area, seeing the "fosses" in following picture.
Pineau des Charentes, Cognac wineries
Still hesitating building this since I couldn't visit any winery... They close at 6pm, that we didn't know.. so we were too late for the visit.
Pineau des Charentes, Cognac being products specific to the Charentais region that includes Charentes and Charentes- Maritime departments.
However, a local who could visit told me about where is worth the (guided) visit, with comprehensive information. It's:
Vignerons de l'Ile de Ré
Pineau des Charentes - Cognac
Le Bois Plage 17580
Visits of wine storehouses in July- August: 10.30 and 3.30 pm
All year around: group visits on demand;
Reception and tasting, in the storeroom of the vine growers. Advice of oenologist and professionals.
I missed the visit (because we couldn't find the access easily) so I found it useful to give you the opening hours.
- July- August: mon- sat; 9am - 12.30pm and 2.30pm - 7pm.
- April, May, June and September: mon- sat; 9am - 12am and 2pm - 6pm.
- October- March: mon- fri; 9am - 12am and 2pm - 6pm.
Now, you wouldn't miss anything!! Ooh! in case you miss it, you can always return to St-Martin to experience the restaurants and spend a cool evening à table (check my restaurants tips!!!).
To know more of the products and their histories, see below website.
I knew it!
Ile de Re in low season must be more heavenly.
In November, I talked to my cousins in La Rochelle. They were just back from a week-end on Ile de Re. And yes, it pleased them. They talked about villages in Ars area. They talked about the isolation, they were pleased to be able to hear locals chatting while sitting in some bistrots.
You know, conversations about fishing, the catch of the day... those kind of stuffs. Something you would not often hear in summer, for places being packed with tourists. Like deserted villages, no tourists just locals.
For that, I think it would be something to experience .. laid back, intimist, serene. Lovely
The port at Saint-Martin de-Ré still recalls the great sail ships of the Royal Navy, and the departure of convicts such as Henri Charrière – better known as Papillon - to the penal colonies of Guiana and New Caledonia.
Le phare des baleines
Personnally, I am not excited to see a lighthouse, whatever old it is.
However, I recommend this one for the view you would have from top of the lighthouse.
Le phare des Baleines is located west coast of IR. It inheritated its name from the wales that stranded on this side of the coast. By the way, it is in the commune of Saint-Clément-des-Baleines
The lighthouse, that was built in 1854, replaced the Old Tower (la Vieille Tour) that dates back to 1682. The latter is a bit norther to the lighthouse.
It's a lighthouse, so be ready to climb the 257 steps, with the round staircase, to reach a height of 50 m at top. Light can be seen at 50 km around and is at 57m above sea level (high tide).
From the top of the lighthouse, a panoramic view on IR, the coasts, l'île d'Oléron and the Ocean. Also, on la conche des Baleines, reportedly to be the most beautiful of IR beaches.
Le phare des Baleines is open for visit, all year.
Jan- March: 10.30 to 17.30
Apr- June: 10.00 to 19.00
Jul- Aug: 9.30 to 19.30
Sep: 10.00 to 18.30
Oct- Dec.: 10.30 to 17.30
It's also nice to relax on the beach, either by going through the park either by following the path at your left. Yet, beach is of sand and stones.
Here is a pic of the Old tower. And click here to see a picture of the lighthouse that replaced the Old tower.
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Le Galion Hotel Saint Martin
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Le Galion Hotel
Address: Allee de la Guyane, Ile de Re, France