Known as "Re the White", Ré Island offers a mosaic of landscapes whose charm is magnetic. This beautiful island of the Charente archipelago has everything to please, with its natural salt marsh areas, vineyards, pine forests or golden sandy beaches, and its small streets lined with typical white houses, featuring shutters in shades of green or blue, decorated with hollyhocks. On the island, the bike is king, and you can admire its beautiful natural areas on 110 km of safe cycle paths.
Its ten villages, each one a gem, are located within a territory 30 km long and 5 km wide, off the coast of La Rochelle. After crossing the majestic bridge of nearly 3 km, you reach Rivedoux-Plage, before heading towards Sainte-Marie-de-Ré, one of the oldest villages on the island.
Then comes Le Bois-Plage-en-Ré with its long beach, vines and pine forests. Next, you reach the centre of the island, at La Couarde-sur-Mer, one of its leading seaside resorts. To the north, Le Martray, the narrowest passage, leads to the Fier d'Ars, a bay of 800 hectares that is home to many bird populations at the heart of the Lilleau des Niges Nature Reserve. La Maison du Fier, a museum managed by the French League for the Protection of Birds, presents the natural heritage of Ré Island.
In Ars-en-Ré, listed as one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France, the famous black and white bell tower is the star of the place. The Phare des Baleines lighthouse, in the municipality of Saint-Clément-des-Baleines, is one of the most powerful on the Atlantic coast. From the top of its 257 steps, at a height of 57 metres, you can enjoy an exceptional view! You then cross Les Portes-en-Ré, where you will find some beautiful beaches and the Trousse-Chemise wood made famous by a Charles Aznavour song, before reaching Loix, at the heart of the salt marshes.
The historic capital of the island, Saint-Martin-de-Ré, has a citadel and 14 km of ramparts, built by Vauban in the 17th century and now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lining its scenic harbour are shops and boutiques, as well as the Ernest-Cognacq Museum telling the story of the island. La Flotte en Ré, an old fishing village full of authentic charm, is also very characterful. Its harbour, winding streets and medieval market are lovely places for a leisurely stroll.