Beaches to enjoy whatever the season
It seems like it was so long ago that Ile de Ré’s inhabitants turned their backs on the sea! In the past, the island not only had to deal with winter storms but also the constant threat of enemy invasions. Consequently, the population, or at least those villages with no harbour (so the majority of the population), lived far away from the beaches. Inward looking and focussed on their crops, the inhabitants are first and foremost landsmen.
A beach to suit everyone
At the end of the 19th century, everything changed with the arrival of tourism. With its 100 km of coastline and long golden sand beaches framed with dunes, Ile de Ré has a great future ahead of it.
Ile de Ré’s beaches are a haven for holidaymakers, whether to sun worship, surf, paddle board, build sandcastles, fly kites, collect shellfish or take windsurfing lessons. And once the swimsuit season is over, they are the perfect spot for a long walk.
Bustling and family-oriented in the south
As soon as families arrive on the island, they make their way to the beaches, those of Rivedoux which stretch on both sides of the bridge. When you head towards the south, the wild coast of Sainte-Marie is very popular with surfers and shellfish collectors. While l’Arnerault beach in La Flotte and La Cible beach in Saint-Martin are domesticated village beaches, the eight beaches running for 12 km from Bois-Plage to La Couarde are some of the most popular. From Gros Jonc to Peu Ragot, they are called Pas des Boeufs, Gollandières, Petit-Sergent, Aneries, Peu des Hommes…. And some of them, lifeguarded in the high season, offer windsurfing schools or children’s clubs to make sure everyone is happy.
In the north, wild beauty
It is without doubt in the north that Ilé de Ré best expresses its personality: natural first and foremost. The beaches in the North are bursting with wild beauty. To the village of Portes, the Phare des Baleines lighthouse tirelessly contemplates the Conche des Baleines beach which seems to stretch on forever, where American producer Zanuck filmed scenes of the landing for the famous film “The Longest Day”.
Even further north, right at the tip of the island, beside the golf course, hides one of the island’s most beautiful sites: la Patache, le Banc du Bûcheron and Trousse-Chemise beaches, creeks snuggled between the ocean and pine trees, where you’ll feel like you’re on the other side of the world…