Welcome to a magical little island on the French Atlantic coast. My perfect place to just be! I have visited many times so why do I keep going back. From the colourful La Rochelle it is reached by a great arching bridge to tranquility, a stylish and perfect French experience along with the refreshing Atlantic sea breeze. Dotted about this little island are ten stunning villages all with something different to offer. If you want buzz then it’s St Martin or La Flotte, if you want beach then it’s Le Bois Plage or La Couarde or the smaller pretty village of Ars en Re.
I’ve cycled all over this island… a bicycle completes this perfect french coastal life experience! Coming over the bridge from the mainland I breathe deeply and feel that familiar salt smarting in my nose and on my face. I know that my time here will be filled with charming markets and huge beach walks searched out on two wheels with bread and patisserie in my bicycle panier for tea. This perfect island is stuffed full of chic little shops, cafes and restaurants. Every age group imaginable criss crosses the island on a bicycle to discover as many villages as possible, then makes a choice. Which village do I feel at home in? The most popular is St Martin de Re. Stay at La Baronnie Hotel & Spa or La Maison Douche or if you want an independent house for a week I stayed at Maison D’Aquitaine at Ile de Re holiday homes. An authentic place for food is Bistro Marin and for coffee and lunch I love Une Air de famille. A walk to the small beach is the stylish La Cible for dinner .
Outside St Martin lies my favourite hotel on the island in Bois plage called L’Ocean. With the atlantic close by this little gem has a warm heart and a perfect atlantic stylish vibe. The food is truly amazing! I love visiting whether to stay or for dinner and it never disappoints.. and there is a little pool if you tire of the waves. On my last visit I cycled to the market in Ars en Re and ate at O de mer. What is find! On my last day I drove north past Saint Clement des Baleines and discoverd La Conche beach, a ten minute walk through the pine forests. Atlantic peace and serenity!
This place is truly satisfying in every way… even my teenage girls liked it and that is saying something. My goal for next time is to cycle round the whole island (mybikeguide) with a friend.