2 More Heads Loves… Ile de Re
After a holiday that had it’s ups and downs (there were various illnesses, tantrum-ing toddlers and questionable weather), here are 5 reasons why we still had a wonderful holiday and I still (and always will) love Ile de Re:
IT’S FAMILY FRIENDLY
We were lucky enough to go away with my whole family and partners. This meant that there were many pairs of hands, some much needed family time and a lot of competitive games of ‘Perudo’ (a dice game we discovered when we were there).
Ok, I know that this isn’t strictly Ile de Re related, but it was a important part of the holiday and it is what made it for me. It really is family friendly though, with great beaches, many of the houses are equipped for kids, excellent cycling paths and bike hire (with all sorts of trailer/ seats etc suitable for kids).
The colours in Ile de Re are so stunningly beautiful, even in the blowing wind and rain. The muted blues of the sky and the sea, the bright whites of the houses, the pinks and purples of the hollyhocks, lavender, wisteria, and all other plant life (even the weeds were pretty), the greys, greens and blues of the shutters. Above all everything seems to have a silvery or gold hue. It really is inspiring.
There is a rumour that the people of Ile de Re have a reputation of not being massively friendly, however, we did not experience this at all. We made friends with the lovely man who had the (excellent) wine shop that also made proper pizzas (who couldn’t be friends with this person…). The crepe shop, which sadly only opened on our last day there, was run but a lovely guy from Paris who sat at the table with us a taught our 4-year-old how to ask for his order is French. As well as making a special trip to his friends bar, 0’25, across the road to get us chips (for the kids, honestly) and many other things. These are just 2 examples. There were people who remembered us from 3 years before (well, that was a lady who had a beautiful shop where mum and I did spend quite a lot of time!)
Ile de Re is served by a series of fantastic cycle paths, all flat and easy to get around. You don’t need to get in the car. We cycled a lot, sadly not as much as we have done in the past but that was more down to the semi monsoon we were experiencing. When you are cycling, you can see so much; all the salt flats, there is amazing wildlife, fields of wild flowers, vineyards as far as the eye can see…. Breathing in the fresh air and taking it all. It’s the perfect tonic to a busy life.
THEIR PRIDE IN LOCAL PRODUCE
This is obviously something that is important to me and my ethos for the shop. All the wine we had was made in Ile De Re (and was delicious!). They are famous for their top quality natural fleur de sel which is a hand-harvested sea salt collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of large salt pans. They also make the best salted caramel with this fleur de sel…. The ice cream is out of this world! There was a stunning kid’s clothes shop in the village that we stayed in; La Maison d’Emile et Ida, a well-known kids brand, but the owners of Emilie et Ida lives locally… Being our youngest’s 2nd birthday on the day we were leaving, I had a good excuse to go in there a couple of times! Anyone who knows me will know that this was a source of great joy for me. There are small ‘degustations’ on the cycle paths, where you stop, get a plate of oysters or prawns that are just out of the sea that you are sitting next to, a glass of local white wine and some freshly made bread…. At home, this would be a sheer luxury, in Ile de Re it’s a ‘pitstop’.
Reflecting on our holiday, I would like to be back there right now. There is something about sea air and the sound of the sea that makes me feel just a bit more relaxed. The vibe of the whole place is something else and not something I have ever experienced anywhere else. There are just a few reasons why I love Ile de Re and some of the reasons we have returned (this would have been the 4th time that we have been and we will be there many more times hopefully).
- We stayed in La Couarde, and rented our villa through Bon Sejour en France. The closest airport is La Rochelle and it’s just a quick taxi over the bridge to Ile De Re.