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10 places to visit on the Île de Ré

One of the jewels of the Charente Maritime of the Atlantic coast. The Île de Ré is 30 kilometres long, its 10 villages and its varied landscapes make all its charm: sandy beaches, salt marshes, forest...

Each village is a pearl: small lanes lined with hollyhocks, seaside restaurants, fresh and colourful markets for oysters, fish and other local products. White and low houses, shutters in gradients of green, blue or grey, roofs in red tile, hollyhocks, narrow alleys. Each village looks the same, and yet they are all different.

10 places to visit on the Île de Ré - Île de Ré

Saint Clément des Baleines

The village of Saint-Clément-des-Baleines is located on the westernmost point of the island. The villagers say that a long time ago, whales trapped by sea currents ran aground on its shores.

Five hamlets together, the village of Saint Clément is probably the quietest village on the island. Life is organised around the church. Gentleness and calm seem to be the only slogans of this delightful village. A detour by the lighthouse of the Whales, 57 metres high, imposes itself: 257 steps to climb to finally contemplate an extraordinary panorama stretching as far as the eye can see.
Every year, the Jazz au Phare festival takes place for a few days of festivity in August. The long strike of La Conche, paradise for lovers of flamboyant sunsets and picnics stretches for several kilometres until Portes. This beach was where they filmed the movie "The longest day" in 1961.

To discover: the lighthouse of whales, the Tower of the Whales, the lock of the Moufette

Ars en Ré

Surrounded by vineyards, fields and very close to the wild coast, Ars en Ré is located South-West of the island of Ré near St Clement-des-Baleines and its lighthouse. Classified among the most beautiful villages in France, Ars en Ré is easily identified thanks to the white and black belfry of its church Saint-Etienne, visible from far away. The church serves as a point for navigation in the pertuis and announces your arrival in the country of "Casserons", the name given to the inhabitants of the village.
Charm and authenticity are revealed in the places within the village: the house of the Governor...

Its small commercial port is a popular place for summer visitors. Set in a natural area, protected by the Fier, it has two large pools and accommodates nearly 500 pleasure boats. It is the island's first shipping port.

The bike path that crosses the marshes is an enchantment for the eyes. They allow you to discover the salt marshes and birds, a place still wild and a little magical, where the colours play with the light.

The Sauniers cooperative, recognisable by its large black carapace, proposes in its Cabane des Sauniers, the direct sale of coarse salt, fleur de sel or salt with spices. Many shops welcome you in the village centre, in the artisan area and in the area of ​​"Carré d'Ars" which brings together an organic grocery store, a decoration shop, furniture, clothing store...

To discover: Saint-Etienne church, Le Martray

Loix

The key word that describes this village is authentic. Loix is ​​in the middle of the salt marshes, almost entirely cut off from the rest of Ré. Only the small bridge of the Feneau still connects it to the Île de Ré. The salt, the walls... everything is of a brilliant white! The village, very small, is massed around its church with the square bell-tower.

The Ecomusée du Marant Salant proposes to introduce you to the history of salt production. Guided tours are organised to allow you to better know the fauna and flora of this exceptional place.

This end of the world is a privileged place, it is favourable to the breeding of young oysters and many oyster growers reside there.

To discover: the pointe du Grouin, the ecomuseum of the Marais Salant, the tidal mill, Esprit du Sel, the Rhétaise, the battery of Grouin

La Couarde sur Mer

It is a seaside village and very festive. This town has many advantages: the beach is one of its major assets, a long and blonde stretch of sand. From the beach of Les Prises to those of the Little Folies, a magnificent sandy path takes place under your feet for five kilometres. It is also the meeting point of many bike paths, leaving for the most beautiful places of Ré. The Bois Henry IV, extends from the beach of La Pergola, and has become a surf spot referenced by surfers from all over the world, up to the dam of the Martray.

On the North side, the Goisil road, flanked by its small port, has an indefinable charm. As at the end of the world, the nautical base with its large body of water, allows you to learn to sail in peace. The market is held on the square every weekend and it is difficult to resist its stalls full of local and regional specialties.

La Couarde has another attraction, located near the centre and well known to the Couardais,  there is a second market, open from October to March. It overflows with delicacies and fresh produce. Throughout the Mail there are restaurants, decoration shops and the intercommunal culture house, La Maline, a must-see place of life where concerts, shows and most importantly a cinema are offered.

To discover: Notre-Dame-de-l'Annonciation church

Le Bois-Plage en Ré

The town displays a natural side. It is a privileged place surrounded by a forest of maritime pines and holm oaks. A village between forest and ocean, bordered by a huge beach, protected by dunes that stretches for 7 kilometres, with Oléron and Fort Boyard as their focus. Each walk is like an adventure rocked to the rhythm of the waves.

On the programme: holidays and a relaxing stay! A market, the largest of the island, brings together more than 150 street vendors (even in low season: Tuesdays, Thursdays and WE). Take time to enjoy a terrace café on the sunny plots of the Church.

To discover: Le Moulin de Bellere, La Maison de la Tour Malakoff, the Coopérative Viticole

Saint-Martin-de-Ré

Capital of the Île de Ré, Saint-Martin de Ré is a village full of history. These fortifications are listed among the 12 sites of Vauban classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A great place for strolling through the narrow streets, the beautiful bourgeois houses and the mansions that make the charm of this village that is full of character.

The harbour hosts a few fishing boats and many sailboats. It is lined with cafes, restaurants and long terraces, where it is good to bask. The islet exudes an unique charm.

In a maze of alleys, some medieval wonders await you like this astonishing half-timbered house which is called "La Vitratière".

To discover: the citadel, the fortifications, the port, the Hotel de Clerjotte

Sainte Marie de Ré

The commune of Sainte-Marie-de-Ré, located at the extreme South of the Île de Ré, is an agricultural and viticultural commune which extends over several places. This village is rather unique since it regroups two different parts: Sainte-Marie-de-Ré and La Noue.
Much of the village's activity depends on summer tourism and agriculture. The Maritais have always worked in the vineyard, so do not hesitate to taste one of the wines of the region.

To discover: the church Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption, the chapel Saint-Sauveur, the ANCRE Maritais

La Flotte

Small fishing village in the past, La Flotte is classified among the most beautiful villages in France for its small typical alleys.
You will find a pretty fishing and pleasure port! With its rounded pier built in 1840, and its lanes suitable for strolling, La Flotte lives to the rhythm of the ballet of the boats that animate the wharves all year. Its medieval market, renowned for its conviviality and the products found there, remains a true landmark for gourmets. La Maison du Platin awaits you for a visit that admirably tales the island traditions of yesteryear.

To discover: the fort of La Prée, the Abbaye des Châteliers, La Maison du Platin

Rivedoux

Similar to a hyphen, the three kilometre bridge connects the continent to the Île de Ré. As a welcome, two large arms of fine sand open to mark the arrivals. Rivedoux, "Rives douces", bears his name well. This former fishing port is the first village on the Île de Ré if you go through the bridge.

To the South, its long beach stretches to the point of Chauveau, punctuated by its red and white lighthouse. You will find on one side, the pertuis of Antioch and the Lighthouse of Chauveau and its sandy beach and on the other, the bay of Rivedoux-Plage, the Fort de la Prée and the Abbaye des Châteliers. Many places that are full of character and charm, not to be missed.
On the other side, on the Northern coast, oyster farming has developed in this sheltered bay. A popular place for the breeding of oysters, one practices fishing on foot but it is also a reputed spot for kitesurfing.

The culture of oysters is transmitted from generation to generation on the Île de Ré. It is a real economic resource for the village, the Riveousais have devoted themselves to it for 33 years. You can enjoy a tasting according to your desires in the various cabins located all along the road.

To discover: the beauty of Rivedoux, the lighthouse of Chauveau, the manor of Hastrel

Les Portes en Ré

Nestled at the end of the island, facing the Atlantic and protected by the Pertuis Brittany, the village of Portes en Ré maintains a dream for lovers of travel.

Drowned in the greenery, the village of Portes en Ré opens on the sea on both sides. Trousse-Chemise, the Patache, the Bench of the Bucheron, all these places call for a bike ride or a walk and there you will feel a sense of freedom and appeasement. The natural reserve of Lilleau des Niches, created in 1980, is the crossroads of the major migration routes. Throughout the seasons, seabirds, ducks, geese, and waders come to take their catch and enjoy the abundant food that the ancient salt marshes provide them.

The centre of the village with its small colourful places gives you time to set on a terrace with a coffee contemplating the coming and going of holiday makers. Shopping is a great experience since everything is almost at hand.

To discover: the Reserve of Lilleau-des-Niges, the Redoute des Portes

Discover our selection of luxury villas for your next trip Île de Ré

Villa Orphée

4 Bedrooms

Villa Oxala

5 Bedrooms

Villa Offenbach

4 Bedrooms