• Moulin à marée

    Follow the ballet of the birds (egrets, herons..) all the way to the port of LOIX and discover the last tide mill of the isle of Ré flanked by its exquisite wooden footbridge. In the 17th century, the mill's first purpose was to ensure the "moulange" (milling) of flour, and the building also served as a passage from the "isle of Loye" to la Couarde. The mill facilitated maintenance of the channel; the sea water reserve formed at high tide could be conserved, and at low tide, the force of the current cleaned out the harbor reach allowing boats to dock. Even today, this principle is applied so as to "expel" silt and mud from the port. In the early 19th century, salt production was a major industry; as a growing shipper of salt, LOIX turned into an important port town. Large ships coming from all over the Atlantic coast and as far away as Canada stopped over in LOIX to load the precious "white gold". During that period, the mill was used to wash the salt. Around the port square, all the buildings were connected in one way or another with the salt trade; the drawbridge that weighed the salt cart at its center (traces of this may still be seen), the residences of civil servants such as customs agents and, especially, the salt factory, a large closed building with high walls to the visitor's right, which featured a particularly high-rising chimney. The tide mill is now private property, and cannot be visited.

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  • green-tourism-small7

    If your own wellbeing – and that of the environment – is high on your wish list for weekends and holidays, come to a destination where you can live in harmony with nature. The natural beauty of places like Ile de Ré is fragile and the eco-hotel of Les Vignes de la Chapelle on the south coast of the island welcomes nature lovers keen to preserve its local environment.

    You’ll be able to see and feel the beauty of Ile de Ré from the moment you arrive. Absorb the peaceful atmosphere and soak up the magnificent view across the vineyards to the distant ocean and the outlines of Ile d’Aix and Ile d’Oléron. There’s a double delight in knowing that whole hotel has been thought out not only for your personal wellbeing, but also to safeguard  the nature all around.

    For you, there are ‘lodge’ rooms or spacious duplex apartments, quiet and comfortable, with a decking terrace where you can enjoy a tasty organic breakfast of local products. There’s a spa area too with sauna and heated pool for the ultimate chill-out, with the added bonus of birdsong, sunshine and the rhythmical sound of the ocean –the complete coastal relaxation package!

    And to help the environment, the hotel’s many eco-friendly measures include using solar panels, renewable energy, and natural materials, as well as recycling whenever possible.

    Stay close to nature throughout your stay by taking an excursion by bike or on horseback along the coast or through the salt marshes. Drop in at the Ecomusée du Marais Salant, or salt marsh discovery centre; buy some pure donkey milk soap from the shop in Saint-Martin-de-Ré; breathe in that clear sea air from the Phare des Baleines lighthouse; go birdwatching at the Lilleau des Niges reserve; and be as active or passive as you please on the Ile de Ré’s magnificent beaches.

    It really is possible to live in harmony with yourself and with nature – you just have to see life from an organic, environmentally-friendly point of view!

    [+] How to get to Ile de Ré

    Vignes de la chapelle - pool and vineyard

    Vignes de la Chapelle - livingroom

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  • Office de Tourisme de Chauvigny

    An essential leg of your journey through la Vienne is Chauvigny, on the way to Poitiers, just twenty minutes from the Futuroscope.It is a warm-hearted city of Art with five châteaux dominating the Vienne River from the same rocky cliff, a truly unique site in Europe. Chauvigny is also an important site for Roman architecture with the Saint Pierre Collegiate Church (12th C) famous for its sculptured chapels and painted columns, the Notre-Dame Church (12th C) and the Saint-Pierre-des-Eglises with its pre-Romanesque murals. The Donjon de Gouzon(11th & 13th C ) provides a panoramic view and also houses examples of local industrial production through the ages (stone quarries, porcelain, mills and limestone ovens, a steam wheel, etc). The Archaeological and Ethnological Museum retraces two thousand years of daily city life (Gallo-Roman artefacts, tools and head dresses). In the upper part of the town, the high ruins of the Baronnial Château become the setting of The Giants of the Sky a flying bird show with birds from all over the world skimming over you at break neck speed. (Every day up to 30 th September). Chauvigny is also the birth-place of the Poitou-Charentes porcelain industry which is world-renowned and found in many of the most prestigious restaurants. Chauvigny is also known for its stone which can be found in many principal monuments such as: the Opéra Garnier in Paris, the Louvre and in the bridges spanning the Loire. Nearby : discover the countryside around Chauvigny by taking a 9km return rail-bike ride on the abandoned railway track. On site accommodation : hotels, camp site, gîtes and guest rooms. The tourist information office offers individual guided tours throughout July and August. Take advantage of our Pass Découverte to visit three sites for the price of two: the two Chauvigny museums , the Giants of the Sky show and the rail-bike coarse. Guided tours of the Medieval town with a professional guide can be organised throughout the year. The horse-drawn taxis, which set off from the medieval centre, also allow you to visit the city from a different perpective. Interesting local Saturday market and also on Tuesday and Thursday - Fair every second tuesday of the month.

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  • La Citadelle

    The inhabitants of Poitou-Charentes have strong historical and cultural links with the sea, so anyone who really wants to get under the skin of the region shouldn’t miss out on the maritime heritage of La Rochelle and Ile de Ré.

    Start your discovery weekend by exploring the harbour town of La Rochelle on one of the excellent guided visits organised by the Tourist Office. You’ll tour the Vieux Port, visit the famous twin towers at the harbour entrance, and then uncover the maritime history of the town centre with its attractive arcaded streets. Don’t miss the Musée du Nouveau Monde or New World Museum, not only to learn about the town’s links with the Americas but also the 1000-year history of a community which has always depended on the sea.

    Le Phare des Baleines (1)

    To enjoy the flavours of the ocean, spend an evening at Restaurant André, where the menu alone is enough to make your mouth water. You’ll feel as though you’re enjoying a quiet dinner on an old sailing ship as you try langoustine, sea food, home-smoked fish, and other delicious dishes.

    After a night at Le Vieux Gréement hotel at La Couarde, set off for Ile de Ré and explore the charming small town of Saint-Martin-de-Ré with its Vauban citadel, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the famous Phare de la Baleine lighthouse on the northern tip of the island.

    [+] How to get to La Rochelle & Ile de Ré

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  • One of the most beautiful south coast beaches on Ile-de-Ré is just 50 metres away when you stay at the Interlude-Sunélia campsite near the village of Bois-Plage-en-Ré.

    Part of the Sunélia group of 3*, 4* and 5* campsites across France, Interlude offers a range of cottage-style accommodation on a 7 and a half-hectare site which is open from April until September.

    This is a great break for families with a huge range of on-site sports and entertainment activities to choose from, as well as the glorious sands of Bois-Plage where you can chill out or get active with games and watersports.

    Hire a sailing boat for an offshore view of this glorious island or rent bikes to explore the 100km of level cycling tracks that wind past marshes and salt pans, pretty villages and lighthouses.

    Just a short pedal to the north side of the island brings you to La Flotte with its pretty harbour lined with cafes.

    Classified amongst the Most Beautiful Villages in France, it’s also home to a colourful produce market – an atmospheric place to stock up with edible souvenirs.

    [+] How to get to Ile de Ré

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  • Marche Le Vanneau

    Few areas are more atmospheric than the Marais Poitevin. Situated in Poitou-Charentes between Poitiers and La Rochelle, this magical marshland surprises first-time visitors with its tranquillity, unspoilt nature, authentic lifestyle and relaxed pace of life.

    Base yourself at Coulon, capital of the area known as the Wet Marsh.

    Stay over at Le Central, a romantic and pretty ‘Hôtel de Charme’

    Calèche Marais Poitevin

    Your short break will enable you to try the hotel’s gourmet fare and enjoy the real flavours of the Poitou-Charentes region through its local produce. During the day, don’t miss the opportunity to take a guided tour of the marshland canals in a traditional flat-bottomed boat – a truly serene and romantic experience.  

    For a different, but equally enchanting perspective, enjoy a trip along the quiet lanes in a horse-drawn carriage, hire a bike to explore the towpath trails, or pilot your own canoe.

    To complete your marshland experience, don’t miss the

    Hôtel le Central à Coulon

    floating market at Vanneau which takes place on the last Saturday in July.  People, animals and produce are all transported along the canals of France’s ‘Green Venice’ in one of the most unusual traditions of the Marais Poitevin.

    [+] How to get to Marais Poitevin

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  • Blue Note Croisière

    For anyone who has visited Ile de Ré, this idyllic island will always be synonymous  with beauty, sensuality and culinary delights. So if you’ve never set foot on its sandy shores, treat yourself to a weekend and discover the many different facets of island life.

    If you like the idea of being pampered, you can’t do better than book into Les Bois Flottais hotel. Here Nathalie and Frédéric will lay on every little comfort to make you feel relaxed and special, from tastefully decorated bedrooms to hammam and beauty treatments.

    Spend the day enjoying an unexpected view of the Atlantic coast, whilst sipping champagne from the deck of a catamaran. The captain will help you discover the delights of Ile de Ré, Fort Boyard and Ile d’Aix – an unmissable experience! 

    Confiture Ars

    Back on dry land, visit the Ecomusée du Marais Salant – the salt marsh discovery centre – at Loix;  enjoy a glass of delicious Pineau des Charentes aperitif or a wine from Ile de Ré at the winemakers’ co-operative; discover the wonderful range of home-made jams at the bell tower at Ars-en-Ré; and toast your weekend at the Bières de Ré micro-brewery where you’ll find beers to rival any more famous names. 

    After a relaxed afternoon sampling the island’s produce, there’s no better way to end the day than over a plate of traditional local fare.

    Hôtel Bois Flottais

    At the top end of the scale, the restaurant of the Hôtel Océan at Bois-Plage-en- Ré is a real gourmet treat, whilst Serghi at Saint-Martin-de-Ré will please anyone who loves an authentic local atmosphere.

    [+] How to get to Ile de Ré

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