France: Ile de Re
On the Atlantic coast of France lies Ile de Re, an island described as the Pearl of the Atlantic, famed for the beauty of its contrasting landscapes and the refined elegance of its towns and villages. The island’s ease of access and well-marked cycle trails afford a realistic opportunity for a car-free holiday and with 100km of glorious unspoilt coastline, a micro-climate that makes it one of the sunniest regions in France.
This little island is an enchanting destination for beach-lovers, foodies and anyone looking to embrace the great outdoors. It boasts 110km of cycle and walking trails and offers different water activities ranging from paddleboarding to kitesurfing, boat trips, tours. The impressive bridge linking the island to the mainland was built in 1988 and is 3km long.
There is a fantastic choice of restaurants, shops and markets on the island. Seafood is a speciality, especially the locally produced oysters, but the island is also famous for its ice-cream variety, with design-your-own-flavour combinations and tempting sundaes. And this being France, you can rely on an excellent selection of wines in any of the 10 villages on the island.
Close to La Rochelle airport and less than three hours from Paris by train, it’s both suitable for a long weekend, as well as for a two-week summer holiday.