If the Ile de Ré has great preserved natural spaces and an exceptional biodiversity, its architectural, historical and craft heritage is also worth a look! Discover different ways to visit the Ile de Ré and meet local people who are passionate about their work and will be happy to share their daily life with you!
Which villages to visit on the Ile de Ré : let Destination Ile de Ré guide you !
If Ars-en-Ré and La Flotte-en-Ré have been honored as one of the most beautiful villages in France, each village on the Ile de Ré has its own unique charm, between alleys, sea coasts, wooded areas and marshes. Follow the guides or the maps of Destination Ile de Ré and let yourself be transported!
For how many years have the fortifications of Saint-Martin-de-Ré been classified by UNESCO? What was their purpose? Thanks to our experienced guides, discover the secrets of the village, but also those of La Couarde-sur-Mer, Sainte-Marie-de-Ré or Ars-en-Ré. All in a good mood (even when it rains ;)) !
You like to have your own pace, to come and go, to build your own path? We can provide you a map for each village. Go in search of the wells of Les Portes-en-Ré, the tide mill of Rivedoux-Plage, or the Goisil channel of La Couarde-sur-Mer!
Ideas for visits to discover the territory and the know-how of the island!
- An oyster hut
The Ile de Ré is a well known place for oyster lovers. Talk with oyster farmers and end the visit with a tasting!
- An art gallery or a designer store
The wonderful landscapes and charm of the Ile de Ré inspire many artists. Find the painting or sculpture that will remind you of the Ile de Ré all year long! The art of living of the Ile de Ré is also style! Strolling from one store to another, you will surely find yours!
- A wine cellar
Are you a rosé, white or red wine lover? Would you like to taste the local specialties such as Pineau des Charentes and Cognac? Visit one of the cellars of the island, and let yourself be tempted by a tasting (with moderation, of course!).
- A saunier's store
Follow a salt-maker in the middle of the marshes to discover the different stages of salt making, then bring back a bag of natural salt or a mixture of condiments that will delight your taste buds!
- The coastline
Explore the foreshore with a fishing guide to learn more about the Ile de Ré coastline, or go to the sea on a fishing boat or for a diving session!
- A cultural place
Live shows, cinema, Art and History museum, theater, ... there is something for everyone!
- The park of the "donkeys in panties"
At the Barbette park in Saint-Martin-de-Ré, the little ones can ride on the back of the Poitou donkeys of the breeder Régis Léau, a protected species that has become over the years the real mascots of the Ile de Ré!
- A craftsman's workshop
Donkey milk soaps, printing, chocolate, jam making, cookie making... discover the know-how of the island's craftsmen!
Discover all the possible activities to discover the know-how of the island!
Visit the Ile de Ré : the places that make the history of the island
The Saint-Martin church and its observatory bell tower in Saint-Martin-de-Ré
The 14th century church has been rebuilt several times. At the top of the 117 steps, you will be rewarded for your effort with a view of the harbor of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, its fortifications, and the surrounding villages.
In the middle of the day or at sunset, you will have access to an exceptional panorama!
The Abbey of Châteliers
Completed in 1156 by the Cistercian monks, today classified as a historical monument, it was the first place of wine and salt production on the island.
In the middle of market gardening fields and facing the sea, discover the secrets of this haven of peace during a guided tour that will take you back through the centuries!
The bell tower of Ars-en-Ré
Built in the 15th century and recognizable by its black and white bell tower, this emblematic monument of the Ile de Ré serves as a bitter for sailors sailing in the channels.
Climb the steps to the top and you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Fier d'Ars and its marshes, as well as the Lilleau des Niges reserve!
The fortifications of Saint-Martin
Built under the reign of Louis XIV from 1681 to 1691 by the famous military engineer Vauban, the fortifications of Saint-Martin-de-Ré are unique by their size: 14 km of ramparts on a 1.5 km semi-circle.
Explore them on your own or take part in one of the guided tours in all seasons. Poternes, bastions, half-moons and defensive architecture will no longer hold any secrets for you!
The Fort la Prée
Built in 1625 by the engineers Le Camus and d'Argencourt under the reign of Louis XIII, with a view to reconquering the Protestant places, the Fort La Prée was remodeled at the end of the 17th century by the engineer Vauban before playing, in the following century, the role of a secondary fortress for the benefit of the citadel of Saint-Martin-de-Ré.
The Whale Lighthouse in Saint-Clément-des-Baleines
Culminating at 57 m, the Phare des Baleines offers a breathtaking panorama on the Ile de Ré and the inlets. Built in 1849 to reinforce the action of the old tower built under Vauban and classified as a historical monument, it was inaugurated in 1854.
At the foot of the old tower, the Whale Museum reveals the fascinating history of lighthouses and their construction methods. An educational exhibition made of multimedia sequences, panels and objects that will enlighten young and old alike!
How to visit the Ile de Ré ?
Visit by learning!
In addition to discovering the daily life of the Ile de Ré craftsmen, you can also take part in a conference, a workshop, attend an exhibition, or participate in a guided tour in the middle of nature: enough to marvel at the functioning of the ecosystem of the island! Everyone can participate and some activities are even specifically adapted for children!
Have fun visiting!
Treasure hunts on land or at sea, treasure hunts, escape games: children of all ages can have fun discovering the territory and nature of Rennes.
Explore the island to your whims!
Take the time to explore the island on foot or by bike to wander through the narrow streets, discover new sensations on horseback or on a paddle, feel the sea breeze and tgo out on sea by boat, or take to the skies in a microlight and see the whole island… Whatever your choice, one thing is sure: your experience on the Ile de Ré will be unforgettable!