Tag Archives: Cycling

A week on the Ile de Ré

Usually I tell a story about something happening on the Ile de , this time I thought I would share a few pictures all taken in one week at the start of this summer.

Our holiday home in St Martin de is extra busy this year but there is still space for a last minute break if you are interested.  Check availability here.

If you are already thinking holidays and 2018, next year there are going to be more routes from the UK to the island’s airport in La Rochelle.  Jet2 have announced a new service from Leeds starting in the spring.

Classic cars on the Ile de Ré

SAMSUNG

The other weekend was France’s first ever Journée Nationale des Véhicules d’Epoque. If you think Fête de la Musique but with old cars rather than music you get the idea.  Seeing a vintage British vehicle on my way to the boulangerie made me smile.  You don’t have to go far to find a classic on the Ile de Ré.

514

I spotted this Citroen van near one of the oyster shacks that are a few minutes cycle from our house in St Martin de . The island is a bit of a favourite for classic car runs.  So easy to drive round given the lack of hills and plenty of lovely scenery.

141

There is something quite stylish about French cars from the years after World War Two.  Compare the Renault 4CV with a British Morris Minor.  Both spotted in St Martin de .

IMG_5610

074

One reason for this year’s vintage vehicle day was the crack down on old cars driving in Paris.  As far as I know there are no plans for anything similar on the island.  If there were then I can see some unhappy locals.  Alongside all the normal cars there are plenty of Mini Mokes and Citroën Méharis still in regular use on Ré. 

037

If you want to bring your car to the island, vintage or not, the nearest ferry port with services from the UK is St Malo. It’s between 4 and 5 hours away in a modern vehicle.  Calais is a longer drive but you could always break the journey with a stop along the Loire.

If you are still thinking of a summer or autumn break, you can check avalability for our house here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bikes, Beaches and Brocantes on Ile de Ré

SAMSUNG

What do you want from your holidays? Some say lie on a beach in the sunshine and relax. Others want to walk the streets of new cities.  Maybe you would rather enjoy the coolness of art galleries and museums.  I quite like the bike, beach and brocante option available many weekends on the Ile de Ré.

024

This was the scene in La Flotte a few Sundays ago.  The regular Brocante is just a few minutes cycle ride from our house in St Martin de Ré.  We have been quite lucky at the La Flotte broc. Quite a few things in our house were bought there.  Though not these monks…

019

029

May is a busy month for brocantes on the island.  Ascension Day is always marked with a huge market on the Place de la Republique in St Martin. You can read about it here.

Most villages organise regular brocs but some weekends can be tough. Too many to choose from.  Do you peddle to Rivedoux Plage for the broc there and then go up the island to Ars en Ré or Les Portes for another? Or maybe just do one and take it easy on the beach…

046

Whatever you choose, have a look at our house in St Martin de Ré.  We still have some availability this summer and don’t forget the island is lovely in September.  Everything is open, it should still be sunny and warm, it just it won’t be as busy.

 

The Ile de Ré in UK cinemas

Yes that’s Joan Collins snapped in a 2CV filming on the Ile de Ré.  The results can finally be seen in UK cinemas this week with the release of The Time of Their Lives.  I thought now would be a good time to revist the filming in St Martin de Ré last summer…

Ask anyone French about celebrities linked to the Ile de Ré  and usually Charles Aznavour is the first name to be mentioned.  He immortalised one of the island’s many beaches in the song Trousse Chemise.  This year Joan Collins has been added to the list thanks to the filming of her latest movie, The Time of Their Lives. 

Joan has apparantly escaped her retirement home in the UK to say goodbye to an old flame at his funeral on the island.  They spent several days filming down the road from our house in St Martin de Ré.  The church being used for the funeral while the old 2cv was driven the wrong way up the quayside to get a more exciting hotel arrival on camera.

Watching the film crew at work was a holiday bonus for many. Sometimes it wasn’t always clear how much was going on.  It turned out the hotel arrival scene was being filmed from  across the water.  You can just make the camera out in this shot, to the right of the yacht’s mast.  The crowd may be able to spot the backs of their heads in the finished film when it comes out.

Alongside Joan Collins, we saw Pauline Collins and Ronald Pickup.  Sir Tim Rice is involved, working on the music.  Dame Joan has described The Time of Their Lives as Thelma and Louise mixed with a bit of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

To book our house in St Martin de Ré, or just find out more about it, click here.

Other Ile de Ré set films include Les Maris, les Femmes, les Amants back in the 1980’s.  More recently came Alceste à Bicyclette released in the UK as Cycling with Moliere.

Ile de Ré: One of France’s Best Holidays

 

img_4562

Last winter it was the New York Times that put the Ile de Ré on a best list.  Now The Times has done it.  Celebrating the island in its list of the 50 best French holidays and as one of the 10 best French breaks for families. I have to agree…

img_5264

china and more 834

Great beaches, lovely food and if you want to get on a bike, brilliant.  The island is a cyclist’s dream.  A network of cycle routes goes up, down and across Ré.  Pedalling is made that much easier by the lack of hills.

By bike you are never more than a few minutes from another beach.  Of course if four legs rather than two wheels is your kind of thing, there are always the donkeys.  On a good day you can hear them from our garden.

china-and-more-1142

There are more places to rent a bike than rent a car on the island.  A cycle certainly gets you to places you can’t drive to.  Your wheels will be handy for some of the oyster shacks.

img_5361

img_5344

However you spend your day, be it on the  beach or just wandering the whitewashed villages, you need to be ready for sundown.  The island gets some brilliant sunsets.  We love the short walk from our house in St Martin de Ré  to see the amazing colours round the harbour.

img_4133

In summer St Martin de Ré has its own night market. You can have dinner at our favourite harbourside restaurant, Bistrot Marin and then check out the stalls as you wander home to dream of the next day. Hoping it will start with breakfast in the garden.

To find out more about our house on the Ile de Ré click here.

For the latest on availability check here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ile de Ré 2017

img_5253

With summer finally over, it must be time to start thinking 2017.  This week booking opened for next year on our agency website.  So if you are thinking about the Ile de Ré for your next holiday, here are a few pictures of summer 2016 on the island.

img_5223

img_5264

The beach here is Bois Plage.  The boats are in Saint Martin de Ré harbour, a five minute walk from our house.

img_5326

Everyone we speak to about their experiences holidaying on the Ile de Ré says they find it very relaxing. Somehow somewhere wonderful. A place to recharge your batteries and be outside. The beaches, the cycling, the salt making, the vineyards and oyster shacks. Even the donkeys.

img_5281

One thing that we did this year that we haven’t done before is have dinner at Plage de la Cible. It’s the nearest beach to our home, you can walk it in about ten minutes.

img_5468

The sun was still out as we sat down.  We walked home watching the sunset.

img_5481

To see more pictures and book our holiday home in Saint Martin de Ré click here.

 

Fête du Coquillage on the Ile de Ré

009

This Saturday is what is fast becoming the annual end of season party on the Ile de Ré.  It is the annual Fête du Coquillage.  Basically a chance to eat, drink and be merry outdoors on the quayside in Saint Martin de Ré.

Around two thousand people turn up to enjoy some of the best local seafood, washed down with a glass of island wine or two.  Temporary tables are set up on the harbour so you can sit and chat and also enjoy the live music.

012

It is seen as the end of the season as it is a final outdoor event going on into the night. One of the delights of St Martin de Ré harbour is that the sunsets can be lovely, we are hoping this Saturday’s will be as good as ever.

016

And after sunset the real fun begins.  There’s dancing…

Our house is occupied for this year’s Fête du Coquillage but there is always next year.  We are though still taking bookings for the rest of 2016. The island is lovely off season. Great for cycling and so easy to get to via La Rochelle airport and railway station.  If you are already thinking 2017 call or email using the contact details on the booking page and say you are interested in Maison 312.