Must-do activities on the Île de Ré

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The fourth-largest island in mainland France in terms of surface area (85.32 km²), the Île de Ré has plenty to attract visitors. Linked to the mainland by a bridge, the island is accessible on foot, by bike or by car from La Rochelle. So you can make the most of all the must-do activities on the Ile de Ré!

The small island of Charente-Maritime boasts a wealth of cultural, historical and natural treasures that you and your family can discover during your stay, whether it's for a short one-day visit or a longer stay. It's the perfect opportunity to explore the island and its various communes, including Saint-Martin-de-Ré, Ars-en-Ré, La Couarde-sur-Mer, Rivedoux-Plage, Loix...

If you're passing through the region, why not set off to discover this jewel of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, with cultural visits, relaxing on the magnificent sandy beaches and sampling the delicious local produce? Take a look at our selection of not-to-be-missed activities on the Île de Ré!

1. Cycle tour

Group on a guided bike tour
J&M Evasion

What better way to visit than to hop on your bike and cycle around the island? A bike ride is the ideal way to explore the second largest island in the Charente archipelago along its 138km of cycle paths. While preserving nature, you'll be free to move around wherever you like. Cycle along the island's picturesque streets, through forests and vineyards, then along the beach and admire the famous salt marshes, which will take you as far as the villages of Loix and Ars-en-Ré in the north of the island.

Put on your helmet, hop on your saddle and let yourself be tempted by guided bike rides to discover oyster farming or the salt marshes, emblematic of the region, to spend unforgettable moments with family or friends in contact with a local guide who will share with you his knowledge and the history of the islands of Charente-Maritime.

2. Sailing trips

Waterside catamarans for an ocean outing on the Ile de Ré
Antoine Albeau Sailing School

Would you like to discover how to sail a catamaran or improve your technique? Come and try your hand at sea, near the legendary Peu Ragot beach, during a catamaran trip on the Ile de Ré. This will be the perfect opportunity to learn to pilot a Hobie cat 12 or Hobie cat 14 with a dedicated instructor.

Would you like your children to enjoy sailing? Introduce them to one of the best sailing schools affiliated to the Fédération Française de Voile with an Optimist course! Designed especially for children, the Optimist, a small sailing boat, lets them take their first steps into the world of sailing in complete safety.

Suitable for all the family, our sailing experiences are a must on the island, where Antoine Albeau, the famous French windsurfer, made his name.

3. Fishing on foot

Put on your boots and mackintosh, and take buckets, rakes and landing nets to go fishing on the shores of the Ile de Ré.

When the sea is low, a fishing trip is an emblematic part of the small island of Charente-Maritime. Clams, oysters, mussels and prawns - there's a wide choice of shellfish to choose from! But don't forget, you're talking about a maximum of 5 kg per day! Make sure you are aware of all the regulations governing shellfish harvesting in the region.

Some villages, such as the coasts of La Couarde-sur-Mer, Ars-en-Ré and Saint-Clément-des-Baleines, are renowned for their excellent fishing.

4.windsurfing lessons

Wingsurfing, funboarding, foil windsurfing... there are so many different types of windsurfing on the Ile de Ré that you just have to try them out!

Amateur windsurfers
Antoine Albeau Sailing School

Want to let yourself be carried along and feel the sensations of the wind or glide over the water? You can learn to windsurf on a surfboard, paddleboard or foil board. What's more, you'll benefit from the expertise of a passionate instructor who will be able to guide you.

Whether you're a beginner, intermediate or highly experienced, you'll find the experience that's right for you!

5. Guided walking tours

The region has many places of interest to visit, both in terms of the island's history and its natural sites.

Salt marshes on the Loix peninsula, Île de Ré
J&M Evasion

On foot, you'll be free to move at your own pace and take the time to admire what's right in front of you. You'll also be able to take in the breathtaking views of the Atlantic coastline.

6. Stand-up paddle

Group of friends during a stand up paddle activity
Antoine Albeau Sailing School

Off the coast of the Bay of Biscay, test your balance and hire a stand-up paddle board on your own or with others!

A stand-up paddle excursion on the Ile de Ré promises to be an unforgettable experience that you can share with your nearest and dearest, with the option of hiring a SUP XL board for up to 8 people! For a few hours or the whole day, hire your board and visit the historic sites and villages of the islands of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region from the water!

The island of Ré is the perfect playground for lovers of outdoor sports. Whether on land or water, between beaches and historic sites, there are plenty of opportunities to suit all tastes and abilities. There's no shortage of things to do on the Ile de Ré!

If you're extending your stay on the islands of Charente-Maritime, take a look at the outdoor activities on the Ile d'Oléron!