Find out what you can do and where to go if you decide to spend your next vacation on the Ile de Ré. Here are some of the things you can not miss during your stay on the island to make your vacation unique and unforgettable. Discover all about the charm of this coveted destination for an exciting experience!
The Ile de Ré markets are a way of life because it's not just a place to shop. You can stroll through the colourful streets, meet people, buy oysters and shellfish, fish, salt, wine, vegetables, seasonal fruits... but also clothes, decorative items, jewellery, beach items, and everything you can imagine!
The Flotte, Rivedoux and Sainte-Marie-de-Ré markets are open daily in the morning and throughout the year. During the tourist season, some markets adapt to the new rhythm and operate even at night. It is interesting to visit all the markets, because each one of them has a different atmosphere and represents the soul of the place. The most complete is that of Bois-Plage, while the most famous is located in Ars-en-Ré. One could say that the most familiar is that of La Couarde and the most intimate is that of Loix.
Please note that schedules change depending on the season of the year that you visit this destination. In autumn, markets open on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Saturdays and all Easter holidays. On the other hand, in summer, you will have the chance to go there every day. In winter, however, it will be Tuesday and Friday.
On the beach of Rivedoux, the red and white tones of the Chauveau lighthouse will capture your attention. This building was built between 1839 and 1942 to warn of the existence of a rocky bank and guide the various users of the port of La Rochelle. It is accessible only at low tide, since it is more than 1,200 metres from the coast. You can go fishing on foot, a perfect activity to enjoy a different family day out.
Hidden in the forest of Lizay is the famous "Amer de la Rivière" at the top of a dune. This lighthouse which culminates in a kind of pointed hat and a window was built to guide the sailors and avoid any danger. It is a whitewashed building dating from the nineteenth century and measuring more than 9 metres high.
If there is one thing that characterises the port of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, it is undoubtedly its lively atmosphere. No matter what time of day you decide to wander through this city, you will always find entertainment and a variety of people involved in the port's life. The port has a recreational area protected by a dam and fortifications classified World Heritage by UNESCO. Her nickname "Little Atlantic St. Tropez" is proof of the success she has achieved in recent years. However, it retains the charm of the old world and the appearance of a small town.
On the coast of the Ile de Ré, in Saint-Clément-des-Baleines, you will find this lifeboat shelter built in 1869 because of the high number of shipwrecks that occurred there. This imposing building was used until the Second World War, when the Germans demolished part of it. Feel free to come here to admire a chapter in the history of this interesting destination.
An entertaining trip through the 1900s awaits you at the Maison du Platin, located on the Fleet. This cultural site tells the story of the Ile de Ré in a fun way and will show you the origin of the island and its strong maritime tradition. In addition, children will enjoy the games offered, which are not only fun, but also have a didactic purpose. Discover how they dressed in the past, the shape of the boats, the most curious customs, and so much more!
The famous comedian Donin discovered in 1983 that a carousel ride lasted exactly the time of a song. It is for this reason that he decided to accompany this experience with live songs that, to this day, conquer both children and adults. Take advantage of this experience at the Ars-en-Ré market and interact with a show that is as lively as it is fun for the little ones in the house.
Built in 1625 during the reign of Louis XIII, Fort La Prée became the oldest military fortress on the Ile de Ré. This historic monument is located on the Fleet and is open to free guided tours from April to September. Its walls, which are in good condition, have witnessed struggles between Catholics and Protestants. It also has three military buildings that, despite the passage of time, are still standing. It is fascinating to walk around here and imagine that it was the same place where, centuries ago, important historical events took place! In addition, the environment will amaze you because it is really beautiful. Indeed, it is the place chosen by many couples to celebrate their wedding.
If your goal is to discover the past of this historic destination, do not hesitate to visit the Ernest Cognacq Museum, located in the heart of the famous fortifications of Vauban, declared World Heritage by UNESCO. This place is located in a contemporary building where permanent and temporary exhibitions are held. Discover the tumultuous past of this destination, and how the French managed to keep the island!
The true nature of the Ile de Ré lies in this area located in the Lilleau des Niges National Nature Reserve. Grab your binoculars and immerse yourself in an experience where hundreds of birds fly nearby, surrounded by salt marshes and swamps. The exhibition "Ré île nature" will allow children and adults to enjoy unique moments in contact with an enviable nature. Walks are organised to discover the last corner of this natural heritage full of charm.
The historic landing of the English soldiers under the command of the Duke of Buckingham in order to seize the Ile de Ré was the reason why Vauban was chosen to build this square structure in 1674. This fort closed the tip of Sablanceaux (considered the most exposed point of the island), thus protecting the site from future enemy attacks. Visit this place to learn more about the history of the Île de Ré.
Nature lovers, this walk in perfect harmony with the fauna and flora will please you! Around a stroll orchestrated by an expert of the region, leave for a deep exploration of the forest: listen to the singing of the birds, familiarize yourself with Île de Ré by discovering the secrets buried in its preserved environment, and especially, apprehend the nature of a new way!
Created in 1987, the Atelier Quillet became an international reference in terms of conservation, heritage restoration and binding of ancient documents. After it got the label “Living heritage company”, the reputation of the local know-how of its artisans using traditional techniques is no longer to be made. During your stay in the island, discover the workshop through a guided visit! Available tuesdays and thursdays by booking, between 10 and 3, for 3 euros only (and free for kids under 10).