Friday, 4 November 2011

Île de Ré

When we went over recently to visit La Rochelle (yes I know it's not in the Loire Valley) we spent our last day over in the picturesque Île de Ré . It was a short drive over the impressive bridge, built in the late 80's to what has become an island, of mainly holiday homes for people from all over France and beyond It costs 9 € from 12th September to 19th June and 16.50 € from 20th June to 12th September for a return ticket over the bridge.

The island's population increases tenfold during the summer months, from 20.000 to over 200,000, so October was a good time to visit. We visited the main port of Saint Martin which on arrival did not seem very appealing, but as we made our way down,  past the Gothic Église St-Martin, to the harbour we immediately understood its allure. When the harbour area opened up in front of us full of bobbing pleasure boats and surrounded by shops and restaurants, picturesque and inviting, we thought we had arrived at a film set!

We had a pleasant lunch looking on enviously at a lifestyle quite beyond our means.

It could have been the height of summer, are we lucky or  what!


  1. Great photos. We went to La Rochelle every Easter for a dose of sunshine for many years and it never let us down. We always went to St Martin for a nice lunch and a glimpse of how the other half lives !!
    The bridge is one of the many spectacular bridges in France and the last time we used it we went for free - there is no charge for motorcycles !!
    (I think this is because when they have to stop, engage neutral, take gloves off, undo jackets and search for wallets, hand over the money then do the whole process in reverse before they can set off, it holds the traffic up for so long that queues form and car drivers get annoyed !!)

  2. You 'bikers' are a clever lot - great tactics.

  3. We really enjoyed our visit to Île de Ré in the summer. I'm beginning to think that the weather never changes there because every photo I've seen has the same sapphire blue sky and wall to wall sunshine. A truly magic place!

  4. We will go back, didn't visit La Flotte - "always leave with a reason to go back"

  5. Fantastic photo shots! June, September, October certainly are good seasonal times to visit. Not to crowded, good warm/mild weather. What did you think of the food?