From La Rochelle there is a very impressive three kilomtres toll bridge that sweeps you on to the island at Rivedoux Plage. The Island has a season, half of Paris comes here in August, the other half go to Provence, so the place can be posh. It is mainly about bike riding, a path goes all round the island, horse riding, sailing, walking, beach combing, and eating oysters or in French huitres.
- Half of Paris comes to Ile de Re in August
- A path goes all round the island
- Stay at the Hotel Le Richlieu
The whole island is nineteen miles long and three miles wide at its widest with one main road through it. There is a leeward side and a wild windward side. It’s the Atlantic so the leeward side has the capital, Saint Martin De Re, a very pretty village. Surrounding the harbor are the hotels, bars and restaurants all with umbrellas and tables on the quay side. To my mind the food here is better off season than La Rochelle and a glass of Rose on a sunny day on the quay side is hard to beat. Again far enough South so even in February when the sun is out you are outside basking in the warmth of the winter sun. Storms do come in from the Ocean and when it rains, boy can it rain.
La Flotte between Rivedoux Plage and St Martin is also a very charming village very similar looking to Saint Martin with its small port full of sailing boats surrounded by restaurants and hotels. I like to stay at the Hotel Le Richlieu. In the summer it is four hundred Euros a night in February it is a fraction of that. The restaurant is good and it also has a Thalasso Spa.
To my mind the food here is better off season than La Rochelle and a glass of Rose on a sunny day on the quay side is hard to beat.
It is always worth finding a Church spire to climb in France, one gets great views and you can see the lay of the land, check the time so you are not there when the bell strikes the hour.
To get here from London you can fly into La Rochelle airport, check schedules as flights are often summer based and either don’t happen or you are limited as to from where you can fly. From Paris TGV to La Rochelle. You can either rent a car or take a taxi to the island from the airport or the town. Basically you need a car.