Cycling on Ile de Re
You will discover the real beauty of Ile de Re by bike, following special routes. There is as much as 100 kilometers of cycling paths on the island. Ile de Ré is 30 kilometers long and between 100 meters and 5 kilometers wide. The 16,000 inhabitants live spread out over 10 authentic villages.
The trails are perfect and they avoid the busy roads, especially in high season. You will pass through scenic areas such as bird sanctuaries, salt fields, vineyards, through narrow alleys with beautiful flowers along pretty quiet coastal roads, past oyster farms, on idyllic bridges and through picturesque villages with harbors and terraces.
A beautiful route takes you through the salt mine areas. Throughout history, salt was over one of the greatest treasures of the island. Sea salt from the Ile de Ré is a delicacy-at-top and is used in all sorts of dishes from the best restaurants in France. Today, salt is still mined by some families that use the same techniques and tools as their ancestors.
Ars en Ré is a fine artist village with a harbor. The jewel of this place is undoubtedly the St Etienne church with its special black and white tower.
Les Portes en Ré is a 9 hole golf course for golf lovers.
La Rochelle is a beautiful old town with many upscale shops, good restaurants and many outdoor terraces on the harbor. Especially the marina is impressive,where 3600 yachts are moored. In La Rochelle Aquarium, the largest aquarium in Europe, you can see as many as 10,000 different fish. The city is easily accessible by bike and you do not pay tolls for the bridge.
Cycling is especially nice because of the many vineyards of the island. The grapes are processed on the island are picked at Ile de Ré to create the delicious local wines, brandy and Pineau des Charentes. Ile de Re offers, in addition to sun, sea and sand, the ideal space for a cycling holiday. This is certainly very appealing in the off season.
Bikes and kids bikes are for rent everywhere on the island.