Ile de Ré & Charentes

Masses of activities and great fun for all ages.

For many years considered a poor cousin, the Ile de Ré ‘came out’ when the three-kilometre-long bridge was opened in 1988. Transformed from a sleepy fishermen’s island to a chic but discrete holiday destination for those in the know, it’s now a big favourite with smart Parisian families and French celebrities looking for authenticity and low-key living. Crisscrossed with cycle paths, it’s very much de rigeur to go everywhere on two wheels, even for small children.

Dotted with ancient villages filled with flowers growing in the streets and with strict building regulations that don’t allow anything over one storey high, the island has remained postcard pretty.

Go for the sailing, the kite surfing, the local markets, the seafood and the wonderful ambiance.

It’s easily accessed via La Rochelle, to which there is now a whole variety of flights throughout the summer. Alternatively you can take the train to La Rochelle, or simply drive, but be careful to avoid the major French ‘changeover days’ when even the motorways can come to a standstill.

St Sauvant

Charentes, France
Sleeps: 5
Price Guide: From £2,950 per week

Sail House

Ile de Ré, France
Sleeps: 10
Price Guide: From €3,500 to €11,250 per week

La Maison des Prises

Ile de Ré, France
Sleeps: 10
Price Guide: From £7,000 to £9,500 per week

Maison d’Ylla

Ile de Ré, France
Sleeps: 10
Price Guide: From €11,250 per week

La Maison

Ile de Ré, France
Sleeps: 10
Price Guide: From €12,950 per week

Maison du Couchant

Ile de Ré, France
Sleeps: 10
Price Guide: From £11,250 per week

La Royannaise

Charentes, France
Sleeps: 15 + 3
Price Guide: From £15,000 per week

Château de la Goujeonnerie

Vendée, France
Sleeps: 33
Price Guide: From £25,000 to £35,000 per week

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