Description: Generally considered to be the most attractive of the Vendeean islands, the Ile de Ré has much to offer including amazing beaches on the western side, lovely towns and villages as well as excellent cycle routes.
Location: Situated off the Vendéean coastline across the toll bridge from La Rochelle.
General Info: Tourist information Website.
Our recommendations: It is rather expensive to cross the toll bridge so we would recommend planning to spend a day on the island. The main town St Martin de Ré (pictured above) has a beautiful harbour with lovely shops and excellent fish restaurants (or Pizza restaurants for the less adventurous! At the far end of the island the Phare de Baleines lighthouse can be climbed for splendid views.
For the children: As the island is very flat it is easy to cycle around it and there are plenty of cycle tracks (see the tourist info website above). The Arche de Noé (Noah’s Ark) animal farm is worth a visit.
Here’s more information to make the most of your visit to the Charente Maritime: