From Bordeaux we drove to Il de Re, a seaside island on the west coast of France. My last boss Penny had told me about it and it sounded lovely, so we’d booked ourselves into Hotel Galion for 3 nights.
It cost us 16 euro’s just to get onto the island, but once we were past that we quickly drove into the town and found our hotel. It was a beautiful little hotel, really comfy and we had a lovely room. Poor Suzi had to sleep on a roll out bed, but otherwise it was a great place to stay.
This light house was just across the road from our hotel, looking out over the water. Very beautiful.
Every day there were a group of donkeys with funny striped pajama pants on, who would quietly take children on rides around the park. I think they must have been pretty bored, but they were very sweet.
We were staying in the main town, Saint Martin de Re, which was just lovely. There were about 10 towns on the island, and we visited four of them. They were all lovely in their own way.
We had breakfast at this bakery one morning, everything was so delicious! It was a lovely start to the day.
There was a Tin Tin shop in town, with a wonderful photo opportunity…
Then we hired bicycles for a couple of days – this is how EVERYONE gets around the island.
On our first day we cycled to La Flotte, which was only a few k’s away.
We spent a nice afternoon there wandering around the tiny little town, looking at the local market and having a drink next to the harbour. We attempted to sunbathe for a couple of hours, but it wasn’t very sunny!
The tide in Il de Re is unbelievable, I’ve never seen anything like it.
Here is the harbour at La Flotte when we arrived..
And when we left…
Amazing!! The beach had almost disappeared by the time we left as well.
The next day we ventured further afield, to Ars-en-Re. The route was beautiful, winding along the water, through vineyards, next to oyster farms and salt beds.
Il de Re is famous for its salt,which is harvested by hand and sold in all the towns. As we cycled past one salt field, we came across a little stall that was self-serve, operating on an honesty approach. So lovely. I bought some salt to take with me from a wholesaler in Ars-en-Re.
Oysters and seafood generally are another Il-de-Re trademark. One night Dan ordered half a dozen oysters, and I was brave enough to try one. And I kind of liked it!! Unbelievable. I’ve never come close to liking an oyster before.
As you can hopefully see, Il de Re is a lovely, relaxed and pretty island. The pace of life is slower, there were lots of families around, it felt very safe and comfortable. With delicious seafood, easy flat bike paths around the entire island, beaches and beautiful views, I would definitely go back for a bit of time out.