Tag Archives: Vacances

Celebrating a Saint on the Ile de Ré

This weekend lamps will be lit and a horse will parade along the streets near our house in Saint Martin de Ré.  It’s the annual Fête de la Saint Martin.  A small crowd will gather on the Place de la République and the fun will begin.

It’s a simple thing but it shows how Saint Martin de Ré is much more than just a holiday town.  There’s a year round community here.

This year’s parade starts around 6pm on November 11th, Saint Martin’s day.  It used to be a day for hiring fairs. With the harvest in, farm labourers would be looking for new jobs. Saint Martin is perhaps most famous for ripping his cloak in half so a beggar could survive a snowstorm. He was also known as a friend of the children, hence this parade.

To see pictures of our house on the Ile de Ré and to book it for your holiday click here.

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ile de Ré 2017

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

 

 

Beach cycling on the Ile de Ré

I got down to the beach at La Couarde the other day and thought how lovely and empty it is.  You could see all the way along the coast, Ars one way and down past Bois Plage the other.   If you looked out to sea you could just make out the lighthouse on the Ile d’Oléron.  Then I realised you could also make out tyre tracks.

As it was low tide, the tyre tracks made me think that as I wanted to go to Bois Plage, I might as well cycle there along the beach rather than through the vineyards.

Ok, so it’s not the greatest view looking down, checking where you are going and avoiding random rocks.  However, it’s lovely looking across at the water while you are cycling.

I cycled as close to the waterline as I could, the sand was nice and hard so there was no chance of the bike sinking into the beach.  I passed nordic walkers as well as this man out with his dogs.  There were even a couple with buckets doing a bit of fishing on the rocks, pêche à pied, as the French call it.

See how empty the beach was.  A weekday morning when the sun was struggling a little to get through the haze but it was still lovely out there and an easy cycle from our house in St Martin de Ré.  To see more about that and find out how to book, click here.

More Music on Ré

We were in our garden having dinner when suddenly the music started up.  We could hear it clearly as it was coming from just round the corner on Place de la République, the main square in St Martin de Ré .  It sounded lovely as it came through the trees, so food finished, we went for a closer look.

The square had been sealed off earlier in the day and a temporary stage put up for the free night at the opera.  The evening was a bit more than a greatest hits performance but somehow they managed to condense three Rossini operas into one show.

The night was part of the annual Musique en Ré festival that sees performances across the Ile de Ré including some that are free and in the open air.  It was a lovely way of spending a warm summer evening.

The last opera featured was the Barber of Seville.  Darkness descended as the music came to an end but then as an added bonus there were fireworks to add to the memory of another lovely night on Ré .

To see our holiday home in St Martin de Ré and find out how to book it, click here.

Sunset on Ré

At the end of another lovely sunny day on the Ile de Ré, the best if often still to come.  Sunset. It is suprising how often that half hour before the sun disappears seems somewhat magical on the island.  You are really aware of it walking round St Martin de Ré harbour.

Before the lovely peachy pink colours of the last rays of sun, St Martin de Ré is often tinted a  golden yellow.  The sun reflecting on the stone of some of the older buildings.

There is certainly something about the light on the island.  Bright clear days in midwinter and supposedly as much sun as they get down on the French Riviera.

The Ile de Ré does benefit from a micro-climate as it sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean.  This is the view at sunset last winter from one of St Martin’s bars,  Au Lever du Soleil.

From St Martin if you look across the water to the north west, you see the sun setting over another island village, Loix.  When the sun has finally gone, you turn your back on it to walk home, knowing that tomorrow could bring another beauty.

If you are now longing to see the sunset you could always book our holiday home in St Martin de Ré .  Details here.