The Ile de Ré keeps many secrets and discovering them will be part of your adventure in this destination. However, we want to tell you some of the most curious facts that will further awaken your desire to visit this picturesque place. Sure that many of them will surprise you, others will bring you a smile and the rest, simply, will provide you with more information about the chosen destination, which is undoubtedly one of the best options to enjoy a vacation where calm and tranquillity are the great protagonists. Did you know...? We tell you everything!
On the Ile de Ré you will see bicycles parked on the doors of the houses as if they were part of a story decoration. And it's here that it is the most used means of transport since the plain of the place and the idea of maintaining a natural environment favour its use.
In addition, you will find 110km of lanes to discover the island on two wheels. You will be able to reach the most remote places, cross salt flats and vineyards and, in short, live to the rhythm of this island that holds legends and stories that are worth knowing.
Kilometres deep, oblique bottom seas originate from each other and, influenced by factors such as the wind, create a swell that travels distances greater than normal. Thus a natural phenomenon appears, at least surprising: the square waves. In some of the beaches of the Ile de Ré you can witness how the waves align and create a kind of chessboard, you will be speechless! However, do not take advantage of this situation to take a bath because, although the appearance is really beautiful, it is still dangerous.
The island produces its own potato whose taste is somewhat sweet, but its skin is salty, since it is grown in an environment in which sea air is unavoidable. It is characterised, mainly, because it is harvested before it finishes ripening and the starch is formed. This "early" potato must be grown in a sandy soil and has received the Controlled Denomination of Origin. Do you intend to miss the opportunity to taste this unique product?
If there is something that you will not find on the Ile de Ré, it is the tedious slopes. You could say that the island is practically a plant, since its highest point, the Peu des Aumonts, is only 20 metres high. Therefore, discovering this destination becomes a pleasure and this is also one of the reasons why the bicycle is the star transport on the Ile de Ré. There are no excuses not to explore every corner of this wonderful destination!
When you reach the Ile de Ré, the white of the facades of the buildings and the harmony of colours will attract your attention. All houses must have doors and windows that are made of wood and are grey, green and blue in colour. On the other hand, white is the common colour in each and every one of the facades. This standard contributes to the charm of the place where the bougainvilleas stand out, falling subtly through the buildings.
In addition to producing the famous salt flower, on the Ile de Ré they also create their own beer. The so-called "Blanche de Ré" perfectly represents the identity of this destination. It is handmade, 100% natural, authentic and with a flavour that will remind you of the sea. You can choose between white, blonde and other types, but what is certain is that it will delight you completely.
In this extraordinary destination you will discover a tradition that will bring you a smile: you can see donkeys with pants. They are of a unique breed (Poitou) and what will most attract the attention of this charming animal will be its long coat, one of its most distinctive characteristics. Because in the past this donkey was used as a mule in the salt pans, pants were the perfect solution to prevent mosquitoes and other insects from stinging the legs.
For many years they have been in danger of extinction, but now you will have the privilege of admiring them in the Asitie du Baudet de Poitou. Children will enjoy like never before!
If there is anything that characterises the Ile de Ré, it is its salt flats, in which many of its inhabitants work and have made their way of life. Although not all are actually used to extract salt, what is certain is that they occupy 20% of the total surface area and produce hundreds of tons per year. You can go through them and admire the fauna and flora that you will find there, as in the rest of the natural areas, it's a spectacle! Do not forget to bring back a jar of the so-called flower of salt because it will be the perfect ingredient to give a different touch to your dishes.
Many say that the sea is life and, probably, they are right. Seawater and its elements have numerous health benefits. In the Ile de Ré this is an idea that they have clear and therefore thalassotherapy has managed to develop naturally in the region. Here you will find several centres dedicated to providing treatments of all kinds (with seawater, algae, mud, sand...) in order to improve health or with a purely aesthetic objective. Be that as it may, do not hesitate to enjoy a session that will make you feel like new!
Before 1988, the Ile de Ré could only be accessed by sailing. But during this year it was decided to build a fascinating architectural work of almost 3 kilometres in length: the toll bridge that connects this destination with the continent. If you are lucky you can see how its central part rises to allow access for boats. You can also go by bike or walk, as any effort will be worth it when you see this little hidden paradise for the first time.