Tag Archives: Holiday

Ile de Ré: One of France’s Best Holidays

 

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fête du Coquillage on the Ile de Ré

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

A new cycle route on the Ile de Ré

Anyone I know who likes cycling seems to have heard of the Ile de .  There is an obvious reason for that. Many see it as a paradise for cyclists.  A relatively flat island coupled with miles of segregated cycle paths.  Now the network has got a little longer.

For the past few years they have been wanting to connect the villages of La Flotte and La Noue.  Until now the direct way was on a rather bumpy and busy road.  The existing cycle route connected the two villages but only if you went the long way round via Sainte Marie de .  It always seemed a bit of an effort from our house in St Martin de Ré.

I can’t say the new link is the prettiest one on the island.  However, it is a big improvement on the road. La Noue is always worth a visit. There are some very pretty old houses plus a market on the Place des Tilleuls.

As I write this, our agency will only let you book for the rest of 2016 online.  However, if you call them, you can reserve the house for 2017.  More details here.

Easter on the Ile de Ré

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Easter on the Ile de Ré  isn’t like Easter in the UK.  For a start the French school holidays aren’t linked to Easter, so this week you are more aware of Spanish, British and Belgian families rather than French holidaymakers.  However, Easter is still important. It does mark the beginning of the season and one annual pilgrimage.  The first ice cream of the year.

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La Martinière has been named one of the best ice cream makers in France.   They serve up more than 60 different flavours and Easter Saturday was the first chance anyone got to taste them in 2016. People were packing the pavement in St Martin de Ré to get their hands on the tasty cones.

I like Juliette’s idea of trying a new flavour every day of her holidays. You can even have a Madras ice cream and how about oyster?

Whatever your taste in ice creams, check out our house here and then you can stay just a 5 minute walk from La Martinière.  Oh, and they do crepes and waffles too.

 

 

 

Island dreaming 2016 on the Ile de Ré

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A new year on the Ile de Ré and the time many islanders let us know their hopes for the months ahead.  Each village has its own Cérémonie de vœux.  I was thinking what would I be wishing for and realised it is all those things that make the island such a wonderful place. The reasons I think the Ile de Ré is a perfect holiday destination.

Lets begin with breakfast.  A lovely baguette de tradition française bought from the local market or at the boulangerie on St Martin de Ré harbour…

After breakfast we are usually straight out on the bikes.  The Ile de Ré is a dream for cyclists. There are around about 100 kilometres of cycle paths, many going straight through the vineyards and salt marshes.  Oh and if you hate hills, don’t worry.  The highest point on the island is a mere 19 metres above sea level.

While out on your cycle you also get to meet the local wildlife.  The salt marshes are home to thousands of birds but the Ile de Ré is also famous for its donkeys…

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You can always cycle to one of the villages where it is market day.  This is La Flotte and this man only sells island produce.  It can look so fresh, you will want to go home and cook with it.

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Must be time for lunch.  Seafood by the sea I think…

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It really was by the sea, I was just concentrating on the food at the time.  But if it is waves you are after, there are plenty of them.  This is one of the beaches at Bois Plage…

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Then all I would dream for is a bit of people watching down on St Martin de Ré harbour. Possibly from the terrace at Au Lever Du Soleil.  Then it would have to be dinner at our favourite restaurant, Bistrot Marin…

And at the end of the day, a great sunset…

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If that is the kind of day you dream of, have a look at our holiday home here and book a stay now.

This year there are even more flights to La Rochelle airport which is a 20 minute drive from our house.  TGV’s to La Rochelle station connect with the island bus.

 

 

 

December on the Ile de Ré

Blue skies and empty beaches, what isn’t there to like about the Ile de Ré in December? I’ve written before about Christmas on the island, have a look here for some pictures.  However in the weeks running up to the holiday it can feel like the island is yours and yours alone.

Out on the cycle route from St Martin de Ré to Ars you can be peddling for half an hour and not see anyone.  In fact the best way to show any human activity is to photo your shadow in the winter sunshine.

The good thing is that while the paths and cycle routes are quiet you can still get a good meal. Places like Bistrot Marin in St Martin de Ré stay open through the winter, just taking a couple of weeks off for annual holidays.

Of course there are some Christmas lights up already.  They’ve even been busy on the historic Vauban walls surrounding St Martin de Ré.

If you want to see our home in St Martin de Ré do have a look here.  It’s already booked-up for the Christmas – New Year break but we are now taking reservations for 2016.

Ile de Ré by Drone

I saw this video by Etienne D. on YouTube the other day and it brought back lots of memories of being on the Ile de Ré and travelling around the island.

It also made me realise there are things I’ve never done on the Ile de Ré.  For instance how magical must it be sailing on a yacht round the island.

Anyway, enjoy the video while thinking of 2016 holiday plans.

You can see our holiday home in St Martin de Ré here