Day trip to Île de Ré, a charming French Island

See you later Montaigu! We jumped on the highway and headed south.  We missed our exit. But that’s ok.  Instead, we took the scenic route, admiring the French countryside and detouring through quaint little towns.

Île de Ré is a small island (about 20 miles long) off the coast of Western France next to the seaport city of La Rochelle.  When the girls were younger, the family owned a house here. The island is known for a few things:  its sea salt, potatoes, fresh fish and oysters… and its beaches, ports and bike paths. It is a popular European vacation spot.

We spent the morning on the island, had a wonderful lunch and then visited La Rochelle for the rest of the afternoon.

IMG_3547

We started with a visit to Saint Martin, the main port

IMG_3556

View from the port… the Atlantic Ocean (Bay of Biscay)

IMG_3588

IMG_3579

We did some shopping and enjoyed the 60 degree weather.

IMG_3562

Interesting tidbit: Remains of Saint Martin’s citadel and fortifications from the 1600’s can still be seen and are included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There is also an old prison in Saint Martin. In the late 1800’s into the early 1900’s, it held prisoners before they were shipped to the penal colonies in the French Guiana.

IMG_3617

More shopping and making our way up to the church.

IMG_3619

Church of Saint Martin

IMG_3621

It’s a RASTA Donkey!

IMG_3623

IMG_3629

Naturally, there are several vineyards on the island.

IMG_3667

Finally, the beach! Time to play and dip my toes into the Atlantic!

IMG_3642

Twick loves the beach!!

IMG_3666

IMG_3671

Worked up an appetite for lunch! I enjoyed soupe du poissons (fish soup), a fig, ham and goat cheese crepe and a caramel crepe for dessert.  SO MANY CREPES! I also tried a bite of Olivier’s lunch, tête de veau… aka veal head. Tried it and it was pretty tasty.

IMG_3678

Adorable little restaurant. Sophie and Olivier are actually friends with the owner.

IMG_3676

Loving the funky decor.

IMG_3674

Salted caramel crepe. Fantastic!

IMAG3013-1

To be continued… Stay tuned for my next post on the rest of our afternoon in La Rochelle. Bisous!

P.S. Two weeks from today, Kyle and I will be checking in to the fabulous Park Hyatt Paris Vendome. Can’t wait!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Day trip to Île de Ré, a charming French Island

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s