Ile de Ré (Isle of Rhé)

Ile de Ré (Isle of Rhé) is an island off the west coast of France. It is 30 kilometres (19 miles) long and 5 kilometres (3 miles) wide. The 2.9 km (1.8 mi) long Ile de Ré bridge connects the island to La Rochelle on the mainland.

Ile de Ré is very popular due to the mild climate and warm and clear seawater. The mild climate is caused by the warm sea current which runs along the island. Even during the preseason the seawater is pleasant to enter. Ile de Ré has the same amount sun hours as the Spanish Riviera.

Ile de Ré is known for its beautiful sandy beaches. The sea is calm and stays shallow so you can enjoy the sea perfectly and swim safely, especially for kids. For people who want the enjoy water sports, Ile de Ré is perfect. Gentle winds take care for perfect windsurfing and kite surf conditions. Also skim boarding and wave surfing are becoming more and more popular on the island. On most beaches you will find surf schools were you can take lessons and rent surf gear. And because of the big difference between high and low tide children can search for sea shelves, oysters, mussels and little fishes.

Everywhere you look are cobbled lanes and whitewashed houses with green or grey shutters. Due to the whitewashed houses the nickname of Ile de Ré is Ré la Blanche (the white island). The tall hollyhocks bring splashes of colour, and lavender bushes add their scent to the salty air.

Cycling on Ile de Ré is a joy, over 100 kilometres of dedicated cycle pads are all over the island. And also for walking you are on the right spot. You can walk for hours over the beaches, through the forests and through the picturesque villages.

Sun, sea and sand may make the perfect holiday.

Le Bois Plage is situated on the south coast where an almost unbroken stretch of sandy beach is that runs for nearly ten miles. It’s simple, rustic and a world away from the swanky beach clubs of the Riviera. Le Bois has a fabulous food market with delicious local produce. If you love seafood or wine, you’re in the right place. Next to the food market is Le Bois Plage’s vast morning market, with stalls selling everything from beach bags and espadrilles to cooking pots and china.