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Guide to Île de Ré

The Île de Ré, a jewel of the Charente archipelago, attracts thousands of visitors every year from around the world.

With its varied and spectacular landscapes, from sandy beaches to rocky cliffs and oyster farming areas, it offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Its picturesque villages, with narrow streets and ancient buildings, bear witness to its rich historical past. Endowed with remarkable religious heritage, with churches and chapels of various styles, as well as lush vegetation and abundant wildlife, including a wide variety of birds, the Île de Ré is a must-visit destination for France and nature lovers.

Must-try Beaches

La plage de Trousse-Chemise The Trousse-Chemise beach is located on the western tip of the island, in the municipality of Les Portes-en-Ré. Wild and authentic, this beach has the advantage of appealing to everyone. Adjacent to it is a large forest bearing the same name, and the famous French singer Charles Aznavour even dedicated one of his songs to this little haven of nature and serenity. On the beach, you will maybe hear the locals talk about "faire le Mao". The "Mao" is a powerful marine current that returns from the Fier d'Ars and forms not far from the shore when the tide rises. A little local game consists of letting oneself be carried in the opposite direction for several hundred meters. Try it!

La plage de la Conche des Baleines

Located at the western end of the island, Saint-Clément-des-Baleines, renowned for its lighthouse, is also known for the Conche des Baleines beach, which stretches to Les Portes-en-Ré. Lined with wooded dunes, the beach, which served as the backdrop for the landing scenes in the feature film "The Longest Day," is considered the most beautiful on the Île de Ré.

Le Bois-Plage-en-Ré

Located on the southern coast of the island, Bois-Plage-en-Ré, bordered as its name suggests by the sea on one side and a pine forest on the other, is the main seaside resort on the Île de Ré. In addition to its magnificent 7-kilometer-long sandy beach, perfect for swimming, water sports, or beachcombing, the village also hosts the largest market on the island every morning during the summer months.

La plage des Gros Joncs

The Gros Joncs beach is situated in the southern part of the island, in the municipality of Bois-Plage-en-Ré. This vast expanse of fine sand is the most frequented in the village, notably due to the numerous activities it offers. The beach is particularly popular among families because it is secure and has a nearby children's club, as well as a sailing club where one can learn windsurfing, kayaking, surfing, and paddleboarding.

Île de Ré - Best Restaurants

L'Ecailler is a beautiful, elegant, and welcoming restaurant located in the city center of La Flotte. It is housed in one of the most historic buildings in the port, dating back to 1652. The restaurant consists of various spacious art deco spaces, including a patio and a terrace - featuring a magnificent wooden framework and stunning views of the port. The restaurant offers fresh and local cuisine, specializing in seafood dishes: the menu includes, among other options, tuna steaks, oysters, yellowfin tuna, wild turbot, roasted mullet, monkfish, and oysters.

La Cabane du Feneau is a rustic beach restaurant. The Palvadeau brothers run a fresh and gourmet table there, with a "guinguette" atmosphere, in the heart of the island's marshes. You are immersed in the scenery of Île de Ré with the feeling of being in a world of your own. Here, you can enjoy delicious seafood dishes, but also place your own order for oysters: they are delicious!

La Cible is the coolest beach restaurant in Saint-Martin! It's hard not to find the place charming, as it's a holiday postcard all by itself. The cuisine is simple yet gourmet, focusing on fresh and local ingredients.

The Café du Commerce is an iconic spot for regulars in Ars-en-Ré, drawing people in not only for its peculiar mix of western and art nouveau ambiance but also for its large sunny terrace facing the port. Whether for breakfast or an aperitif, the Café du Commerce is unbeatable for immersing yourself in the Rétais way of life.

It is impossible to leave the Île de Ré without tasting an ice cream from the legendary artisan glacier La Martinière. It is located on the charming port of Saint-Martin-de-Ré. There, La Martinière has been offering dozens of flavors for over forty years, from the classic salted caramel to the most surprising oyster-caviar. You must pay a visit!

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