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Map of Ile de Ré

Located in the Bay of Biscay, Île de Ré is part of the Charente-Maritime department. It’s a land of many riches bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. Its mild year-round climate, due to the influence of the Gulf Stream, makes it a top tourist destination. Exceptional natural heritage, buildings to visit, numerous surfing spots… Stroll around at your leisure, discovering a complete map of the island of Ré: geography of the island, walks to make and must-sees to see and do.

Geography of Ile de Ré

Home to over 17,000 inhabitants, the island of Ré is around 25 kilometers long and from 1.30 to almost 6 km wide, depending on the location. The closest point of the island to the mainland is 1.7 km away. No less than 100 km of coastline surround the Ile de Ré, with numerous beaches, particularly to the south-west. 10 communes dot the Retais territory, from north to south: Les Portes-en-Ré, Saint-Clément-des-Baleines, Ars-en-Ré, Loix, La Couarde-sur-Mer, Saint-Martin-de-Ré, Le Bois-Plage-en-Ré, La Flotte, Sainte-Marie-de-Ré and finally, Rivedoux-Plage. The island is connected to the mainland at the pointe de Sablanceaux in Rivedoux-Plage, by a 3 km bridge rising 42 meters above the sea, opened on May 19, 1988.

Discover the island of Ré: on foot or by bike

You won’t be able to resist the beauty of “Ré la Blanche”, nicknamed for the color of its houses. Stroll through the hollyhock-decorated streets of our villages and admire our diverse landscapes on foot or by bike.

  • Bicycle tours :
    Stroll through the forest from Les Portes-en-Ré to the Conche des Baleines beach, take a tour through the heart of the marshes… More than 110 km of cycle paths await the most athletic of cyclists, with a wide range of routes of varying lengths. You can also hike the lovely trails around the Lilleau des Niges national nature reserve, home to several thousand birds. Near the reserve, the Maison du Fier presents exhibitions to learn more about the island’s natural heritage.
  • Walking tours :
    If you’re a keen hiker, there’s no shortage of walks that are accessible to all, young and old alike. Starting at the western tip of the island at the Phare des Baleines, where you can climb up to enjoy an exceptional panorama of the island and ocean, you can complete a 1.4 km loop lasting 1 hr 30 min. Discover the lighthouse gardens where many birds nest. Another easy 2.1 km, 45-minute walk takes you to the village of La Couarde-sur-Mer, right in the heart of the island.

A multitude of itineraries on foot or by bike are available to criss-cross the whole of the Ile de Ré.

Must-sees on the Ile de Ré

There’s a long list of things to see and do on the Ile de Ré, but here are just a few highlights of the island’s culture.

  • The Marais Salant Ecomuseum in Loix, on Route Départementale 102 in the center of the island, tells the story of the salt marshes. The salt workers will tell you all about their work, the salt harvest and the unique flora and fauna of these marshes. You’ll be able to taste the delicate “fleur de sel rétaise”.
  • The Maison du Magayant, located on the Cours des Jarrières in Sainte-Marie, in the south-east of the island, near Montamer beach, introduces you to the foreshore and organizes visits to fish locks.
  • At the Musée Ernest Cognacq on avenue Victor Bouthillier in Saint-Martin-de-Ré, you’ll discover the history of the island of Ré, from its earliest settlements to the present day.
  • The Maison du Platin, located on the Cours Félix Faure in La Flotte on the east side of the island, features exhibitions on the island’s agricultural, oyster-farming and fishing activities.

A visit to the island of Ré is also the perfect opportunity to indulge in the delights of sunbathing and swimming on its magnificent sandy beaches. But the more active will also have the opportunity to enjoy water sports thanks to the eight surf zones that line the island’s south-western coastline. Here are the surf spots from the north to the south of the island where you can indulge in your favorite activity: Le Lizay, Le Petit Bec, Diamond Head, Grignon, La Pergola, Gouillaud, Les Grenettes and Rivedoux, where you’ll find a first-aid post.

How do I get to the Ile de Ré?

As a solo holidaymaker, it’s much cheaper to travel by train. TGV Prem’s tickets enable you to travel at attractive fares from Paris, then take the number 3 bus from La Rochelle to the Ile de Ré.

If you’re going on vacation with family or friends, it’s best to make the journey by car to save money. Departing from the capital, the journey takes just over 5 hours for around 500 km and will cost you around a hundred euros. Don’t forget to bring your bicycles for some great bike rides around the island. With or without a trailer, a round trip over the Pont de Ré costs €16 in low season and €8 from June 20 to September 11.

Once on the Ile de Ré, you can make the most of your holiday by staying at the La Tour des Prises campsite, ideally located in La Couarde-sur-Mer. Getting around the island is easy, either by bike or using the local public transport system. Free electrically-powered shuttles are available between Saint-Martin-de-Ré, La Flotte, Sainte-Marie-de-Ré and Loix. They also offer a connection with the 3/3E line linking La Rochelle to the Ile de Ré and serving the 10 communes in the area (fare: €1).