ęcopyright 2007.
Attraction in the Vendee.
Ile de RE
Ile de Re seen from satelite.
Though not in the Vendee this 30 kilometer island just off the coast of the Vendee is connected by a 2.9 kilometer bridge to La Rochelle and is administered by the Charente Maritime. In Roman times it was in fact 3 islands but with the production of salt and silting it is now one island about 2.5 kilometers wide at it widest piont but only a few hundred meters at its narrowist.
The bridge to Ile de Re
The impressive bridge "Pont de Re" at almost 3 kms long joins the island to the mainland close to the commercial port and the airport at La Rochelle and since its construction in 1989 it has aloud the island to develop, especially in tourism.
Today the islands attract vast amounts of visiters both those that stay in Hotels, Gites, guesthouses and campsites which are everywhere on the island and those that make the daily pilgrimage to take in delights that this island has to offer.
St Martin de Re is the second largest of the towns on the island and probibly it's most interesting and most commercially touristique. The town is surrounded by 12kms of fortifications with impressive entrance gates, high stonewalls 2mts thick and a moat that encircles the whole town. The harbour is the center of attraction with it's massive fortifications and an island in the centre, it is surrounded by restaurants, bars and shops and is a bustling and pleasant place. Leading off from the harbour are numerous narrow streets with colourful shops, small markets where fresh produce can be bought and picturesque allays and houses with hollyhocks planted everywhere.
Other towns that are worth a visit are La Flotte, Ars en Re and Rivedoux.
The whole island is a network of cycle tracks and this is the best way to travel to take in all the many attractions that the Ile de Re has to offer. There are no hills so the going is easy and most of the well marked cycle paths are well away from the cars and coaches that are here in great numbers in the holiday season. Another good reason to cycle to the island is the expence of crossing the Bridge. From the end of September to approx 20th June the cost is 9 euros for a car but this nearly doubles during the summer season. If you do decide to drive out to the island you can still hire a bike from one of the many shops that specialise in all manner of bikes.
The ile de Re is a painters paradise with bright colour fishing boats, the white washed houses with  painted shutters and flowers everywhere, the clear air, blue sky and water and a laid back atmoshere that artist enjoy.
The island is also popular with nature lovers with a wealth of flora and fauna, and attracts bird watches especially in the autumn for the island is a stop off for migratory birds heading south.
Ile de Re. By Tate