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Not just for the children

A HOLIDAY THE WHOLE FAMILY WILL ENJOY

But what child wouldn’t love a holiday on an island fringed with sandy beaches and laced with bicycle paths that lead through vineyards and farmyards? This special place is the Ile de Re, in the Poitou-Charentes region of France.

 

The Ile de Re, linked to La Rochelle on the mainland by means of a 3 kilometre long bridge, has an atmosphere of its own with its pale-painted houses and flowering hollyhocks. It has attracted guests like Princess Caroline of Monaco and the legendary French singer, Charles Aznavour.

But the island is tuned more to families than famous names, with its picturesque markets, quaint shops, and friendly restaurants. ┬áIn the evening, visitors relax over a drink in the main port, Saint Martin, while the children sample the island’s home made ice cream.

Up until the end of the 19th century, harvesting salt from the marches was the island’s main industry. Now the main industry is tourism and salt is processed to provide prettily packaged souvenirs. A salt museum in Loix tells the story.

Aside from enjoying the sea air and the laid-back atmosphere there’s not much to do on the Ile. Except of course to pack a picnic and head out on your rental bike to discover yet another of the island’s beaches. Or take a day to visit the lighthouse museum, the Phare des Baleines. Those with energy to spare climb the 275 spiral steps to experience the view from the top.. Others content themselves with the attractive gift shop at sea level.

As for accommodation, there are plenty of family-friendly hotels and campsites to chose from in the region. Read all about them on the website : http://www.visit-poitou-charentes.com/

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