Île de Ré Travel Guide

  • Sailing boats on the beach, le Bois-Plage
    Sailing boats on the beach, le...
    by egonwegh
  • The Bridge in misty weather
    The Bridge in misty weather
    by jakiline
  • Le port, le phare
    Le port, le phare
    by jakiline

Île de Ré Things to Do

  • Fortifications St Martin, Île de Ré

    Fortifications of the town of St Martin-de Ré. Designed by Master Vauban, whose work we'd already admired at Neuf-Brisach (Alsace), Vezelay &c

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  • Still more fortifications

    Still more fortifications - apparently, Vauban never grew tired of designing them! In this particular case, they ended up with an island that was entirely fortified, so that no one could even think of approaching the few remaining landing sites without the consent of the French authorities.

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  • Harbour

    Harbour scene, St Martin-de Ré. What could be more relaxing than just watching the boats sail in and out of the harbour?

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  • Just the sea...

    Being just a few days on this island next to sea I have understand who I am...the child of the sea. Living for more than one year in Burgundy in the centre of the France I missed the sea and this feeling seems so clear for somebody who got used to live next to the sea (I mean Riga and the Baltic Sea). So Lilasel left to search for a place where she...

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  • Phare de la Baleine

    There are two famous sentries on the site : the presents-day 'Grand Phare' (tall lighthouse) (1854) and the 'Vieille Tour' (Old Tower) ordered by Colbert and built in 1662.The 'Grand Phare' can be visited all year round. For its ascent, you will climb 257 steps to reach the height of 60 m with a panoramic view at 360°.

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  • Abbaye des Chateliers

    In the 12th century, Cistercian monks founded one of the largest abbeys in central and western France. Unfortunately, it was subjected first to attacks by the English and then to the ravages of the religious wars. After that, most of its stones were taken to construct the Fort de la Prée one kilometre away. The little that remains is nevertheless...

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  • La Flotte

    In the 19th century La Flotte was a tuna-fishing port. Every spring around a hundred boats would gather for the year’s harvest from the sea. It seems a little difficult to picture nowadays, the village being so peaceful. La Flotte presents an interesting contrast between the grand houses along the quays and the maze of terraced cottages behind...

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  • Donkeys

    These donkeys are like a symbol of an island but most of them are founded next to Saint-Martin-en-Re. They transfered the sea salt but today these donkeys are the folklore of the island

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  • Ice-Cream...

    In Saint-Martin-en-Re there is a great shop La Martiniere. They sell incredible ice-cream you have to try for sure. I've tried caramel fleur du sel with Chantilly cream! mmmmmm....

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Île de Ré Hotels

Île de Ré Restaurants

  • Mouclade charentaise, of course

    It is a mussels dish, that has been de-iced with Pineau des Charentes wine. Then poured on it, a curry creamy sauce. The whole set is put in oven for some minutes afterwards. Then served.Another way to experience mussels. Mussels breeding is mostly done in neigbouring Brittany area. I love curry sauce!

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  • Les galettes

    Galettes are a kind of whole-grain pancakes. Though it is not local dish of La Rochelle, rather originating from Bretagne area, we easily found it. There was a place where we nicely experienced it, it was in a small eatery in Gabut area. Its name was La Licorne, in LR. And we easily found it in Ile de ré area too.A galette can have many variations...

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  • Good food in a boat

    Well, after the experience in La Marine, this couldn' t be better. Yet, I was very satisfied.The setting is amongst reasons to go there. All reminds you of Le Belem and marine decoration. It's even possible to have your diner in a wooden ship-shaped bench. Every corner of the room is filled with marine trinkets, especially models of Le Belem.Good...

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Île de Ré Transportation

  • The (toll) bridge

    Built from the trading port of La Pallice, le Pont de la Rochelle liaises the mainland to l'Ile de R?.The bridge is 3 km long and was built in 1988. If I recall it well, there was a tollgate before entering the bridge. Though, biking is toll-free. Since l'Ile de R? is do-able by bike, renting a bike in la Rochelle may be a solution then visit l'Ile...

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  • First.. to La Rochelle then to Ile de...

    *** at least we did it like thatBy road, from Brussels to LR Towns of the Atlantic region are served by the A10 motorway. It crosses the area from North to South. Most towns are only a few kilometres away from the entries/exits of the A10 motorway, exits n°33, n°34, n°35, n°36, n°37, n°38.From the A10, the French and European network of motorways...

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  • Île de Ré Hotels

    9 Hotels in Île de Ré

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Île de Ré Shopping

  • Salty marshes products

    The shop is located in the salty marshes area, in Ars en Ré, still in IR. This stall on the picture is dedicated to salty marshes products. Centuries ago, for many years, the area had been the main supplier of salt. Le sel du Ré was not only for local consumption but was amongst common commodities exported to the Nouveau Monde (i.e America, see in...

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  • Phare des baleines area

    Phare des baleines area is one of must visited of Ile de Ré. A real touristic place, with its snack that serves waffles in summer, ice-cream too. With a huge parking lot along the alley to the shopping area.As well as your "Ile de Ré" shirt or navy jumper. They look nice without the golden logos and inscriptions. :) Materials are nice, though.Shops...

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Île de Ré Local Customs

  • IR, oyster farming

    Oyster breeding has been a long tradition of the island.In Ars en Ré area, you can visit the oyster farms, they have some guided tour with video, in situ tour..etc... Also, don't forget to visit the stalls packed with the oysters. The women there are very helpful, would give you all information. I remembered having asked sthg without any intention...

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  • 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...

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Île de Ré Tourist Traps

  • Norali's Profile Photo
    Phare des baleines

    by Norali Updated Jan 6, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I've never been there in summer, hence my full satisfaction regarding beach. But my cousins told me Ile de Ré was kind of "awful" (in my sense, that is) in summer, especially in touristy places: le phare des baleines where it is nice to stroll around the shops when there are few persons. I imagine the crowd in summer, who want to buy those ice-creams, the whole Ile de Ré merchandising (postcards, "I love Ile de Ré" T-shirts...).

    Especially the southern beaches are crowded in summer. Many camping sites are in the area, offering holidaymakers the beach, the pool, the beach activities, bicycle renting.

    Unique Suggestions: Skip le phare des baleines (?)... :)
    or go there in early morning, before hungry, thirsty tourists flock there after sunbathing in southern beaches.


    Fun Alternatives: It doesn't please me to go to crowded places. My only recommendation is then to go there in low season. Yet, is it like visiting Venice in summer? I don't think so. Much less crowded.

    Or probably, plan excursions in pinewood, salty marshes since everyone would flock in the beach, wineries.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Wine Tasting

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Île de Ré What to Pack

  • Norali's Profile Photo
    sea, beach activities, cycling... under the sun

    by Norali Written Mar 14, 2004

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: swimwear, hats

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: High SPF lotions

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: For camping, check, for instance Interludes website (accomodation tip) to know what they offer, what they don't !

    Miscellaneous: Your bikes.. unless you plan to hire some on the island.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Camping
    • Cycling

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Île de Ré Off The Beaten Path

  • Norali's Profile Photo
    sailing, sipping drinks on terraces along the quay

    by Norali Updated Mar 14, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Road Trip

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Île de Ré Sports & Outdoors

  • Norali's Profile Photo
    Abbaye ND de R�� or des Ch��teliers

    by Norali Updated Mar 14, 2004

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Be it for visiting the whole island or for some parts, bicycle is the most appropriate transportation means.

    By bike, you can discover everyhting: the vineyards, the beach, the salty marshes, the alleys, moonuments, ruins.

    Of course, there are enough cycling paths on the island to cycle along the beach. It is eventually a sport tip for the island. I read there are some 100 kms of cycling path.

    Equipment: It's possible to rent a bike at La Pallice area, just before riding the bridge. Park your car, hire the bike and go. If you do that, I think you don't even have to pay the toll.

    As for the bike, renting from there is recommended since even your pet won't be left alone. Bikes there are equipped with basket/ box for the pets. :)

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

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Île de Ré Favorites

  • 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...

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  • More of Saint-Martin portes ?

    Probably time to tell you about the whole military architecture in Saint-martin.The portes, Toiras and des Campani, were in fact the entries to the territory in the past. They are part of fortifications that had been built centuries ago. Because he knew about the English authorities' intention to invade La Rochelle or Rochefort from Ile de Ré,...

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  • IR, location

    This would be the only scanned postcard in my pages. I found it important to locate Ile de Ré.It is a small group of islands that is linked to La Rochelle mainland thanks to a bridge. The bridge is 3 km long and was built in 1988. The bridge is built from the trading port of La Pallice. I drew in fuschia pink the link between the two regions....

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