Where Your Journey Begins........
The Ile de Ré, Is one of the jewels of the Atlantic Coast
The department of Charente-Maritime is the first French department for seawater treatments. This department receives clients all year round. The benefits of thalassotherapy are indisputable: the most sceptics admit a real feeling of wellbeing after a few days of treatments thus allowing them to forget the stresses and worries of everyday life.
As for the most enthusiasts, they regularly come back...
Thanks to a remarkable environment, the variety of activities and such a special art of living, thalassotherapy is exceptional in Île de Ré.
After the treatments, you have the opportunity to explore the island by bike, experience a watersport, walk along the beach, watch birds, visit a historical site, do some shopping: the choice is yours!
The pure air, the fine weather, the large natural spaces – there are so many ways to keep active in Ré!
Roller, tennis, horse-riding… there is so much to choose from. Exhilarating, exciting sports are based throughout the island of Ré!
THE CYCLE PATHS
From Saint Martin to La Couarde, a route of about twenty kilometres criss-crossing between vineyards and market gardens retrace the agricultural life of the island’s inhabitants.
From La Couarde to Loix, the cycle path goes along the ocean and marshlands revealing the particular identity of the ‘Rétais’, both islanders and sailors.
From La Couarde too, but as far as Les Portes en Ré, away from cars, the path goes through salt marshlands and afterwards oyster-farmers’ huts come into view. You will be able to sample oysters in an informal way. The path goes through the nature reserve of Lilleau des Niges in which can be watched thousands of birds which are not very frightened…
In the south, between Sablanceaux and Sainte Marie, passing through La Flotte, the fort of La Prée, the vestiges of the Abbey of Les Châteliers and the forti cations of Saint Martin provide an insight into the rich historic past of the island.
And then, between Saint Clément des Baleines and Les Portes, in the shade of the scented pine trees of the forest of Lizay, it is possible to leave your bike and look at the ocean from the wide beach of La Conche and, eventually, go swimming.
If you are tired, always bear in mind that there is a bus network to take you back to your departure point. So, you can go by bike and come back by bus, or go by bus and come back by bike. This solution is rather practical if you plan to travel through the island along the 30-km cycle path: the notion of time is different when the exploration is synonymous with discovery and lazing around.
And what about a barouche ride to discover Saint Martin?
This carriage will make you explore the Citadel, go along the ramparts, pass close to the harbour before reaching the old districts located in the upper parts of the town and near the church. Kids will be entranced by a ride around the ramparts on the famous donkeys wearing trousers. In olden times, donkeys were used in the salt marshlands, and the inhabitants protected the beasts’ legs from insect bites by means of suspendered pants manufactured with striped mattress ticking. If nowadays donkeys do not work in marshlands any more, they always revive the tradition.
THEME WALKING TOURS
There are wild and magnificent places and beaches, and unspoilt natural spaces just waiting to be discovered by walkers.
For the walkers’ comfort, our most beautiful sites, villages, forests, fields, and beaches have been marked and signposted. And as we know that time is a bit suspended when we walk, the average time for each walk is indicated.
One never knows…
Between the island and horses, it’s always been a love story…
On Ré, we love the elegance and loyalty of horses, one of man’s best friends… They have found a welcoming land on our island. Riding a horse and watching the wide beaches and forests roll by guarantee a truly unforgettable experience… Equestrian centres abound here.
DID YOU KNOW? ...
... that it is impossible to reconstitute seawater as it is composed of mineral salts? That it also contains phytoplanktons releasing antibacterial and antiviral substances? That one kilo of seaweed contains as much iodine as 100,000 litres of seawater? That marine muds, by retaining water and heat, have an important analgesic power against rheumatisms? That the skin, in a bath at 37°, assimilates oligo-elements 10 times quicker than in a classical bath in the sea?
A thalassotherapy course of treatment has medically recognized beneficial effects on metabolism and it has a positive action on the skin, joints and muscles as well as on all the other organs of the body. It is rare to have contraindications to this course of treatment.
Thanks to a wide window opening onto the Atlantic Ocean, thalassotherapy developped in our region, and Île de Ré alone boasts three very renowned establishments offering classical treatments – revitalising, young mother, anti-stress, slimming –and special treatments – healthy back, light legs – with individual and group treatments – massage, modelling, jet baths and showers, seaweed wraps, marine muds.
As wellness usually goes hand in hand with beauty, a large selection of beauty treatments is added to thalassotherapy treatments, all of them always practised by caring, a entive and qualified staff.
Il de Ré
If you are looking for a holiday that combines, beautiful scenery, with nostalgia, where time seems to slow right down, check out Ile de Ré, off the coast of France. Combine this with a city break in Bordeaux and experience the best of two very different worlds.
We flew from the UK to Bordeaux, where we stayed for a couple of nights exploring this elegant city on the River Garonne. The city boasts a wealth of classical architecture together with narrow cobbled streets. There is plenty to see within the city, the nightlife is varied, with bars and restaurants in abundance. We particularly enjoyed sitting outside a bar on the river, enjoying a cool drink whilst watching cyclists, joggers and skate boarders taking their daily exercise.
If we had a longer stay we would have considered visiting the many vineyards in the area, as I understand the countryside around here is beautiful.
From Bordeaux we took the train to La Rochelle, 185 Kms to the North, the journey takes 2 hours 16 minutes and passes through the French countryside and along the coast from Rochefort.
La Rochelle is an old fortified port, the hidden streets are lined with wooden houses and stately mansions and is well worth a visit. From the railway station we caught a bus directly to Ile de Ré, pretty good service along the toll road that links the island to the mainland. If you are travelling by car the current toll is 16.50 euros.
Our destination was Le Bois Plage en Ré, a little seaside village, where we found our delightful boutique style hotel L'Ocean tucked away in a narrow street, adorned by hollyhocks just minutes from the village centre.
What a gem, very tastefully designed, shabby chic, with lounge, restaurant , bar and outdoor pool.
We were shown to our room which was small but adequate, our only reservation was a lack of air conditioning, we would recommend you select a superior room with this facility if staying in the height of the season.
The pool area is very pleasant with sun loungers around the decking, there is also an outdoor dining area where you can take your 'petit dejeuner’.
We chose to dine in the restaurant on a couple of occasions and would recommend it, an excellent meal with a good selection of wines.
The next day we hired bicycles for the remainder of our stay, as the island has a network of cycle paths through the delightful countryside. We travelled the full length of the island through vineyards, along well made paths, stopping off for freshly made baguettes, for picnics on the beach.
Its a cyclists heaven, away on the most part from busy roads, lending itself very suitable for families. En route you will come across marshes that are home to egrets, shore waders, oyster catchers, avocets and rare black-winged stilts, a bird watchers delight.
We visited St Martin-de-Ré, the islands capital both during the day and in the evening, returning from the night out in a taxi, following a beautiful meal on the delightful harbour front. Numerous pretty shops line the alleyways climbing away from the harbour.
There are a number of restaurants in Le Bois Plage on Ré, including La Bovette, a short cycle ride through vineyards, to this former wine storehouse. We chose just caught fish grilled on a wood fire, delicious, with very relaxed atmosphere. The village is however quite quiet in the evenings so if you are looking for a busy night life, head to the capital.
Ile de Ré is a special place referred to frequently as the French Hamptons, and remains a favourite of privileged Parisians. We were reluctant to leave, it's a deeply therapeutic place to be, with an uncomplicated way of life. Just the ticket.
Take an island charms so often touted, a village of white houses and green shutters, the narrow streets lined with hollyhocks like sentinels rising to the sky in search of light, and finally find the haven as imagined .. . Hotel Ocean in the Bois Plage on the Ile de Ré.
From the outset it feels good ... we want to settle down, to hang his jacket coat and exchange a few words door, enjoy the Spa to receive a massage. Thus Martine and Christmas designed their hotel, the Ocean combined with precision and harmony authenticity and simplicity , elegance and comfort , lifestyle and good taste ...