We visited Île de Ré on our road trip down through France. It came highly recommended and we weren’t disappointed. This incredible island off France’s Atlantic coast is idyllic. It’s known for its, salt marshes, cobbled streets soaked in lavender and it’s long golden beaches backed by dunes and pine trees. The streets are lined with green-shuttered houses that descend on to squares that overflow with cafes, restaurants and markets. Île de Ré may claim as many hours of sunshine as the south of France, but it’s a very different scene from the glitz of Saint Tropez. It has its share of rich and famous visitors but here you’ll find working fishing boats instead of super-yachts and bicycles instead of Ferraris.
Île de Réi is only 30km in length so it makes sense to discover it on a bike. One of the other bonuses of this island is that you don’t need to drive at all. You can just jump in a cab from the airport (Rochelle) and then enjoy the rest of your holiday on a bike or on foot - and this way you’ll get to see all the best bits. There are so few cars on this island as nearly everyone gets around on a bike and it’s made easy with their well-signed (nearly always) cycle paths. The island is completely flat so everyone can enjoy it, It’s so lovely to see all ages from three to 73 riding around.We didn’t use our car the entire time we were there as everywhere is so accessible. You can hire bikes for less than €10 a day and they’re super easy to hire as there seems to be hire shops on every corner.