Long and narrow, Île de Ré extends 19 miles into the Atlantic, linked to the mainland by an elegantly curved bridge. The south side is a succession of long beaches; the north, sheltered from direct ocean winds, provides safe berths for yachts in several small ports.
Even in summer, when the main roads can be busy, it is possible to find a quiet spot, though you may have to seek it on foot or by bicycle, there are more than 60 miles of official bicycle tracks to explore.
Villages of Île de Ré
Each of the villages has its unique character. Watch yachts riding quietly at anchor in front of whitewashed houses on the quayside at La Flotte, or visit its superb medieval market hall. Ars, one of the prettiest villages in France, hosts a wonderful market with a range of high-quality produce.