Hello, and thank you for visiting our website! We’re a small family company and take great pride in doing everything ourselves. As the French say, “on n’est jamais aussi bien servi que par soi-même!”. We arrived in the Bordeaux area some time ago and fell in love with the Ile de Ré on our first visit. We’ve enjoyed many wonderful family holidays on the island since then! Always looking for another “adventure”, we recently decided to buy something closer to home in the beautiful city of Bordeaux.
The southwest of France has so much to offer, we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Visit our Guest Book and see what our guests have to say!
Erected at the north-most point of the island, the Phare des Baleines is the metaphorical bow of the Ile de Ré ship. The lighthouse looks out over one of the island’s most beautiful beaches, la plage de La Conche. The magnificent view is all yours if you are willing to climb up the 257 steps that lead to the top of the octagonal building!
The iconic lighthouse is located in an area at the far end of the island, known as La Pointe des Baleines. The name was given to the area after several whales were stranded on the beach centuries ago. It was only after two ships ran aground in the 17th century that it was decided to build a lighthouse to prevent anymore tragic accidents.
The original lighthouse quickly became obsolete as its light wasn’t powerful enough. A new Phare des Baleines was therefore built in 1849 under the orders of architect Léonce Reynaud. From its inauguration in 1854 until 1882 the lighthouse was powered by petrol before it was linked to the electric network after the Second World War.
The Phare de Baleines welcomes over 160,000 people every year and is classed as a historical monument by the French State. So hop on your bikes, pack your baguettes, ham and cheese in your bag and whizz off to admire the view from the top of this famous building!
It’s a 40 minute bike ride from Maison de Charme, our holiday accommodation in La Couarde. If you’re in one our holiday houses in Saint Martin de Ré then pencil in around an hour of pedaling to get to the lighthouse.
Find out more about the Phare des Baleines on the official website.
As you’re perfecting your tan on one of the island’s golden beaches you probably wouldn’t expect a war ship to appear on the horizon and dock just in front of your neatly laid down beach towel. Yet, during the 17th century, the Ile de Ré was a strategic location to protect France from incoming English invasions.
Saint Martin de Ré is surrounded by fortifications built by Cardinal Richelieu in the 1620’s. They were later improved and modernised by Vauban, who transformed Saint Martin de Ré into the citadel we know it as today. Hence why the town only hosts one small beach – La Plage de La Cible – on the eastern side of Saint Martin.
The famous ramparts that protect the town form a clear star shape with four arrow headed bastions, easily distinguishable on aerial shots. If you cycle back from the west – from La Couarde sur Mer or Ars en Ré for example – you will most likely pass through the Porte des Campani, one of the two entrance gates to the citadel.
The fortifications were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008.
From our holiday homes in Saint Martin de Ré – Maison d’Aquitaine and Maison de Pêcheur – you can stroll down the road towards the harbor and walk along the quayside to admire the fortifications. From our rental villa in La Couarde – Maison de Charme – just head to Saint Martin and you can’t miss them!
Find out more about Saint Martin’s fortifications here.
“Hmmm…what should I choose?”
This is probably the question on everybody’s mind as they stare at the heavenly choice of flavours available at the Ile de Ré’s favorite ice-cream parlor, La Martinière. Children and adults alike spend many happy hours mulling over the unrivaled choice of flavours. You’ll find the classics of vanilla and chocolate, but only the more adventurous amongst you will try the more extravagant and unusual flavors. Caviar and oyster, potato, thaï sorbet – these are some of the unique flavors that this family run business has to offer.
La Martinière prides itself in its use of local products and seasonal flavors, so no matter when you’re on the island, there will always be something that tickles your fancy!
These delicious ice creams can be on the desert menu any day of the week if you are staying in one of our holiday rentals. La Martinière is only a couple minutes walk from Maison d’Aquitaine and Maison de Pêcheur, and if you’re in our house in La Couarde then why not cycle to Saint Martin for guilt-free ice cream trip?
Visit La Martinière’s website here and send us a photo of your favourite flavour on Twitter @iledere !
We are pleased to announce that Ile de Ré Holiday Homes will be at the France Show 2017 which will take place at Kensington Olympia in London on January 27th-29th 2017! The show is a great opportunity to promote the beautiful Ile de Ré and we hope to see as many of you as possible! Come and visit us on stand L69!
Friday 27th January: 10am – 5pm
Saturday 28th January: 10am – 5pm
Sunday 29th January: 10am – 4pm
Summer on the Ile de Ré, what a delight … Every week-end, Ile de Ré Holiday Homes highlights a list of event happening this week on the island for you to enjoy. If you would like more information on one of these events, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Jazz on the Ile de Ré – 21st August, Saint Martin de Ré
Enjoy a bit of Jazz music on the port of St Martin as the island welcomes the 19th edition of the Ré Jazz festival! Join the fun from 21h!
Parking de la Courtine, Saint Martin de Ré
17410 Saint Martin de Ré
Petanque tournament – 25th August, Le Bois Plage
Live life like a local and take part in one of France’s most iconic sports: petanque! Fun guaranteed and prize at the end for the winners.
Avenue des Gollandières
17580 Le Bois Plage en Ré
Night markets in Saint Martin and La Flotte – Until August 31st
Whether you’re staying in the island’s “capital” Saint Martin de Ré or a bit further east in La Flotte, you will be able to enjoy the traditional summer night markets. These take place on the harbour front until late at night.
By the port in Saint Martin or La Flotte
Visit Le Bois’s “Cave Cooperative” – Until 31st August, Le Bois Plage
You don’t usually associate the Ile de Re with wine, yet the island has many wine growers who are keen to share their passion with visitors. You can visit the “cave cooperative” (word for word the “cellar cooperative”) in Le Bois where local wine growers will take you through the different steps and processes involved in the production of Ile de Ré wine. With the traditional tasting session at the end – obviously!
Route de Sainte Marie
17580 Le Bois Plage
If you’re not so much of a beach goer or the weather suddenly becomes unpleasant, make sure you discover another one of the island’s specialities: salt. The salt cooperative, which regroups the island’s salt production, opens its doors to the public until mid-September. A guide will show you around and explain in details the different steps the salt has to go through before it lands in one of our plates.
7 Route de la Prée
17590 Ars en Ré
For more information, visit Ile de Ré’s official website.