Rivedoux is a quiet family villages along the southern coast of the île de Ré. You’ll be warmly welcomed during a stroll through the marina or the colourful streets. It is a peaceful place with various sites to visit.
The village of Rivedoux is the first village when you enter the island; it is a beach resort and an oyster site. Also discover Sablanceaux, offering long and fine sand beaches on both sides of the Pointe de Sablanceaux.
When the sun starts to come out, parasols are installed on the beach, to welcome those who love water sports and farniente. In Rivedoux, your days are filled with cycle trips crossing the various paths. During your visit to Rivedoux you may not miss a visit to the lovely lighthouse of Chauveau and its peninsula.
Here you’ll find various restaurants for all budgets, like pizzerias, restaurants with fruits de mer, crêpe restaurants, meat restaurants or restaurants with local specialities.
La Flotte en Ré
La Flotte is a charming harbour village listed as one of the most beautiful villages of France. It is situated behind the Pointe des Barres. The village is filled with history and religion; this is where the wine growing started with the monks of the Abbaye des Châteliers. For an outing at the heart of the village, the harbour offers various cosy terraces open all year round. The beauty of the village and its peaceful character make La Flotte an oasis of peace where you’ll want to come back.
Make use of your visit to La Flotte to visit the market of the medieval architecture and the church. During your stroll, you may find a flower pot here and there, a facade or a stone bench. Walk in the moonlight under the plane trees of the Cours Félix Faure, edged by the stately houses from previous centuries.
Saint Martin de Ré
Saint Martin is, as the historical capital of the île de Ré, a former citadel, but also one of the most important sites with constructions of Vauban. The village owes its charm to the city walls in the form of a star, filled with history and listed as World Heritage by UNESCO.
Thanks to the evening market, the harbour is lively during the summer. Enjoy a stroll in the streets that will lead you to the Saint Martin’s church. From the church’s bell-tower at sunset, you can enjoy the magnificent view of the town and the island. The harbour, located behind the city walls, is an absolute must for visitors.
In the streets and alleys of the village, you’ll find various treasures of the île de Ré, like the hôtel de Clerjotte in Renaissance style, the half-timbered house of Vinatière from the 16th century or the citadel that saw prisoners passing by, on their way to prison.
In the centre full of old buildings, you’ll find lovely terraces and a harbour where fishermen and pleasure-boat fanatics live in harmony. Shops and galleries show a certain way of life all year round, whereas the renovated covered market and the restaurants promote the products of the île de Ré.
Sainte-Marie de Ré
Sainte-Marie, the most traditional village of the island, has managed to keep its fishing spirit, of farmers who fish in the locks during low tide and continue their farming just after. The village offers a countryside setting, although it is located near the coast.
The village of Sainte-Marie is located at the edge of the island, backing the continent and facing the ocean. The village invites you to visit the main tourist sites like the citadel, listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, the Cistercian abbey ‘abbaye cistercienne des Châteliers’ and the Fort de la Prée.
The village of Sainte-Marie is also the oldest village of the island. It is known for its vineyards. Besides that, the unspoilt beaches are well appreciated by surfers looking for big waves. You can see the village from far away, thanks to the Gothic bell-tower from the 14th century. Therefore, Sainte-Marie offers various interesting tourist sites.
At the crossing of the roads of the island and near the beach, you’ll find La Couarde, the ideal place for a family holiday. The lively town centre has a beach resort character, in particular around the music kiosk, unique on the island, offering open-air concerts in the summer.
As for the beach, the village of La Couarde offers various kilometres of fine sand beaches, ideal for those who love the beach. You can practise various water sports here, like water skiing, sailing, stand up paddle, etc.
If you wish to visit the île de Ré by foot or by bike, the village of La Couarde is ideally located. It is situated at the heart of the island, where all the cycle paths are gathered, and on the smallest point of the island.
Behind the dunes with acacias and pine trees, south from the village, you’ll find a vast fine sand beach, a well appreciated spot for those who love water sports.
Loix en Ré
Loix can be reached by a winding road through the salt marshes. The village has an unspoilt and rural character. Thanks to the quite isolated location, the village has managed to keep its authenticity. The life of the village is about the market and the Sainte-Catherine church with its square tower, offering the starting point of a maze of narrow streets, edged by very charming houses.
The last tide mill is set a bit further back from the town centre. In the past, the mill was used to wash the salt before it was grinded. This is the starting point of a hike between the sea and the marshes, leading you to the Pointe de Grouin, with a breathtaking view.
From the eco-museum to the Pointe de Grouin, you’ll enjoy cycling over the paths that cross the sea and marshes like ribbons. From street to alley you’ll be led to the church square, where boules players enjoy the shade of linden blossoms and the red ground.
At the extreme point of the peninsula, you’ll find a small bay, dominated by a fort, at the back of the Pointe de Grouin; a lovely site.
As one of the most beautiful villages of France, Ars-en-Ré is the most important marina of the island. Located on the northern point of the island, the village can be recognized by its bell-tower, with its black and white spire of 40 metres high, which used to be a mark for sailors. Ars is a charming village that managed to keep an authentic character. Like on almost the entire island, wine is grown here, but also produce and cereals. The village also holds a salt production and oyster growing.
Ars-en-Ré also offers the most important harbour of the island and life is about the harbour and its cafés, the church and the market, attracting a lot of visitors. The village is surrounded by the sea, by salt marshes, vegetable gardens and vineyards. The shops, the harbour and the daily market can be reached by bike.
Saint-Clément-des-Baleines is located at the extreme point of the island, and owes its name to the wales. During their journey, wales sometimes come to the north-western shallow of the island. During your visit to the village, you should stop at the lighthouse, one of the highest and mightly lighthouses of France, and the Conche des Baleines, the two biggest assets of Saint Clément. From the 257 stairs high lighthouse, you’ll have a spectacular view on the bell-tower of Ars, on the bridge and the Conche des Baleines.
For those who love shellfish picking, Saint Clément is a true paradise, where you can even fish for lobster.
Along the beach of La Conche, considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches of the island, you’ll find wooded dunes, that continue up to Les Portes en Ré.
The final halt of the north of the island concerns the village of Les Portes. It is set between the forests, salt marshes and beaches. It is a well appreciated place by artists and those who are looking for peace and quiet. Therefore, it is an excellent holiday destination. You’ll be surprised by this village where the central square is still the meeting place of the afternoon.
During your stroll, you’ll find various wells, but most of all very friendly inhabitants. The Place de la Liberté, with its terraces and restaurants, at the heart of the village, comes to life by the end of the afternoon, after the day on the beach. Along the streets, the sober facades hide lovely houses. By foot or by bike, you can visit the nature reserve of Lilleau des Niges. Here you can discover thousands of birds during their journey or while they’re nestling. Do not forget to visit the forest of Trousse Chemise, a piece of paradise immortalised by Charles Aznavour.