In this Covid winter I saw a picture of St Martin de Ré harbour and thought if only I could escape to the island now but it’s just not possible from where we are in lockdown.
The Ile de Ré has only really suffered from Covid in terms of a lack of tourists and a lack of business for the cafes, restaurants and other businesses – ours included – looking after them.
We are lucky. Someone has booked our holiday home for New Year. Hopefully they won’t have to cancel.
Joyeuses Fetes says the sign down on the harbour. December can be properly joyful on the island. Going through my photos from my last festive visit I found a rather tasty looking Croque Monsieur eaten outside in the sunshine at the lovely Place des Delices in Loix. Well worth the cycle ride to get there.
December can be remarkably sunny on the Ile de Ré and being on the beach around Christmas can only be a good thing. Oh and if you want a festive donkey. Well there are plenty around…
To see our house and book it for 2021 click here. You can also find us on airbnb.
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.
The beach here is Bois Plage. The boats are in Saint Martin de Ré harbour, a five minute walk from our house.
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.
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.
The sun was still out as we sat down. We walked home watching the sunset.
To see more pictures and book our holiday home in Saint Martin de Ré click here.
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.
French television has been coming live from the Ile de Ré ahead of the peak holiday season.
I didn’t manage to see it all of “Midi en France” but one show featured a trip round St Martin de Ré complete with the view from the church tower. I think I can even make out the back of our house which is a 5 minute walk from the port.
If it wets your appetite for a last minute summer booking we still have some availability. To see when, check the calendar here…
At low tide so many of the Ile de Ré beaches turn into long wide stretches of sand and if you have arrived on your bike you might as well make the best use of it. This picture was taken between Ars and La Courade a short cycle through the vineyards and along the coast from our house in St Martin de Ré.
The key to a successful beach bike session is finding the right spot on the sand. Somewhere the ground is not so wet that your wheels get stuck and you come to an abrupt halt. The sand also cannot be too dry as again you will soon be going nowhere. Often the best thing to do is to cycle along just where the sea is lapping the sand.
Even if you do get stuck in the sand it is still a great way to see another side of the island. Yet another reason why bicycles are so much a part of the Ile de Ré.
See what happened when we brought a tree home by bike here…
So we needed a new tree for the garden. Clearly the only way to get it home was by bike. It’s what you do on the Ile de Ré.
The best thing about the journey back from Les Jardins de Suzanne in La Courade to Saint Martin de Ré was how most of the cyclists coming the other way didn’t seem surprised. Tree on back of bike? Why not?
The tree is now safely planted in our garden so hopefully next summer some lucky renter will get the chance to sample a few cherries from the garden.
You know when summer is drawing to a close on the Ile de Ré when the signs go up for La Fête du Coquillage. Basically it’s an excuse for a party organised by the users of the Saint Martin de Ré harbour.
Vast amounts of fresh seafood will be cooked and eaten on the harbourside; huîtres, moules-frites and vannets. All washed down with plenty of Ile de Ré wine. Musically expect sea shantys, accordians and live jazz. It starts in the late afternoon golden sun but after dark there will be dancing under the stars.
We’ve been before and will be going this Saturday. It looked like this before…
Of course if you want to be there next year you could always check out our house in St Martin.
This wonderful video is by Romain Corraze who says he’s been a serial globetrotter since 1985. You’ll find him at http://www.romain-world-tour.com. Just watching it makes me want to be back on the island.