Beautiful wild roses at every street corner, lovely white houses with blue, green or grey shutters, charming little villages, long sand beaches, sea and sun: today I am taking you to the charming Ré Island, off the French Atlantic shore!
The lovely Ré Island is nicknamed “the white island” on account of the color of its traditional houses. The island’s picturesque villages and long sand beaches attract many visitors each year who enjoy strolling around the little streets, looking at the windows of the lovely boutiques, admiring the island’s wild roses, breething the sea air… The Ré Island is the perfect destination for a getaway by the beach!
About the Ré Island
This charming island is located 2 km away from the continent, not far from the French city of La Rochelle, on the Atlantic coast. It can be reached via a bridge. You will spend no less than 18€ to use this bridge during high season!
With its modest dimensions (the island is 26 km long and 5 km wide), the Ré island is nonetheless the 4th biggest island in mainland France, after Corsica, the Oléron island and Belle Ile Island.
EXPLORING THE ISLAND BY BIKE
The best way to discover the island is by bike! Everything is organized for visitors to ride bicycles. You will find many bike lanes all around the island as well as many bike rentals.
If you are staying a few days on the island, you will definitely enjoy riding a bike to make the most of your stay. However, if you are just there for one day and wish to discover several villages, the car will be your best option.
But watch out for the bikes if you are on foot or by car: you will be on THEIR territory!
BREAKFAST ON THE PORT OF SAINT-MARTIN-DE-RE
Saint-Martin-de-Ré is the historic capital of the island. This lovely fortified town listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site is bursting with buildings designed by famous French architect Vauban back in the days of King Louis 14th. We enjoyed strolling around the little port and even stopped at the terrasse of one of the many cafés to have breakfast.
SHOPPING IN THE LOVELY BOUTIQUES IN SAINT-MARTIN
After breakfast we continued exploring the charming town and strolled around its little streets and enjoyed its lovely boutiques. Decorative objects, clothes, souvenirs: there is something to suit all tastes. Trying to resist the temptation to buy everything is the hardest part…
STROLLING AROUND ARS-EN-RE
Ars-en-Ré is another typical village with its lovely blue shutters and wild roses.
LUNCH AT THE MOULIN A CAFE IN BOIS-PLAGE
One of the most beautiful beach of the island is located in the town of Bois-Plage. You will also find many restaurants and hotels there.
Do not miss the Moulin à Café, located right in the center of the town, a few steps away from the church, on 18 rue Jean Moulin. Marie-Pierre and Patrice will warmly welcome you. Sit back and relax on their very pleasant terrace and enjoy their tasty dishes.
I tried the Italian salad and loved it! I highly recommend this place!
After a pleasant lunch break, we continued exploring the lovely city of Bois-Plage. Do not miss the animated market that is hold there everyday.
We loved all the villages that we explored on the island but the little town of Loix was our favorite. We particularly enjoyed its tranquility and its charming little streets. More than anywhere else, the wild roses were the queens.
BREEZING SEA AIR
After strolling around the little streets of Loix, we walked by the beach to breeze in some sea air.
GOING UP TO THE TOP OF THE WHALE LIGHTHOUSE
We ended this lovely day with a “must-see” site of the Island: the “Whale Lighthouse” (le phare de la baleine), located at the west end of the island. After going up the 257 steps and fighting our fear of heights, we enjoyed this breathtaking view on the island and the sea.
Bye bye lovely Ile de Ré…