Travel Spotlight

5 Travel Tips: France's Charming Île de Ré

Only 19 miles long and three miles wide, Île de Ré, the so-called white island, is one of France’s loveliest summer secrets. With its flat landscape and stunning scenery, this isle on France's west coast is a biker’s paradise and an idyllic escape from the bustle of Paris (a three-hour train ride from the capital brings you to La Rochelle, from which it’s a 45-minute drive to Île de Ré). We’ve rounded up our top five tips for enjoying your time on this sun-kissed islet where the simple pleasures reign supreme.

Contact Indagare  for assistance planning a trip to Île de Ré. Our travel specialists can match you with the best hotels, arrange great meals and activities and organize special excursions.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"] The scenic harbor in St.-Martin-de-Re.[/caption]

1. Timing is Key.

Avoid July and August, when the small island bursts at the seams with visitors. It’s better to plan a trip for late June or September, when it’s easy to get reservations, the bike paths are mercifully uncrowded, and the temperature hovers in the seventies.

2. Pick the Right Village.

Day-trippers can clog the towns directly after the bridge. So book a hotel in St.-Martin-de-Ré or Ars-en-Ré, or rent a villa in secluded Les Portes. From a base in one of these, you can bike around to explore other towns, including La Flotte, which has an amazing medieval market, and Le Bois-Plage, with its expansive Plage des Gollandières.

3. Bike Everywhere.

Île de Re has more than 60 miles of bike paths connecting its 10 quaint villages and snaking through beautiful countryside. Don’t miss the route from Ars-en-Ré to Les Portes, which traverses the stunning Lilleau des Niges nature reserve.

Related: Exploring Île de Ré, France’s Lovely Summer Secret

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"] Biking in the vineyards near Le Bois Plage.[/caption]

4. Make Reservations.

Even during the shoulder seasons, you should make reservations for lunch and dinner. That goes double if you’re planning to bike to an oyster cabane like Feneau, Ré Ostréa or Cabanajam. During the high season, it’s equally important to book your bike.

5. Don’t miss these foodie favorites.

For oysters in a beautiful setting, reserve at La Cabane du Feneau, La Rhétaise or Ré Ostréa. Book dinner at a classic hot spot like Le Bistrot du Marin, L’Avant Port or O Parloir, in St.-Martin; Aux Frères de la Côte, near Ars-en-Ré; or L’Océan, in Le Bois Plage. Those craving a frozen treat should head to ice-cream parlor La Martinière.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"] Oyster lunch in the garden of La Cabane du Feneau.[/caption]

Contact Indagare  for assistance planning a trip to Île de Ré. Our travel specialists can match you with the best hotels, arrange great meals and activities and organize special excursions.

Published onApril 25, 2018

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