Aix Island

Located just off the French Atlantic Coast between La Rochelle and Rochefort, Aix Island is an enchanting place for an away-day.

Only 240 people live on this tiny, traffic-free island that measures 3 km long and just 600 metres at its widest point. With no bridge to the mainland, its shores are only accessible by boat from the Pointe de Fouras near Rochefort.

Hire a bike, take a tour in a horse-drawn carriage or simply set off on foot to enjoy the coastal landscapes and stunning views.

Not the island is short on tourist attractions. Napoleon Bonaparte spent his last days on French soil here in July 1815 and today you can visit the house where he surrendered to the English. Tour the surprising exhibits of the African Museum – a private collection amassed by Baron Napoleon Gourgaud in the early 20th century - and visit the Mother of Pearl House – La Maison de Nacre – to discover the island’s only craft industry.

But the real appeal of the Ile d’Aix is the chance to get back to nature. Pass through the fortified gateway and cross the drawbridge from the jetty, and you immediately step down a gear from everyday mainland life.

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