In 2018 the Ile de Ré will be connected to even more of the UK. Jet2 will be flying to La Rochelle/Ile de Ré from Leeds Bradford starting in June. You can also fly from Birmingham, Bristol, Gatwick, Manchester and Southampton . In addition Ryanair flies all year round from London Stanstead. Ideal for a bit of winter sunshine 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.
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.
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.
It may be January but the Ile de Ré has seen plenty of big blue skies in the past couple of weeks. The hour before sunset has also brought out some lovely golden colour on the buildings around the harbour in Saint Martin de Ré.
On several afternoons I’ve walked round the town watching the light change and then sat outside Le Lever du Soleil for a drink and a chance to watch the world go by.
Away from St Martin, the island is full of birds that have flown in for the winter, apparently including a snowy owl. There is much excitement in the twitcher world because supposedly it’s the first time anyone has reported seeing the bird in Charente Maritime. All I have seen is more people with big lenses.
Bird lover or mere mortal. If you want to rent our house in Saint Martin de Ré click here.