Reliée à La Rochelle par un pont,Ré Island ( l’île de Ré ) harbours some real gems. Discover the charming little villages with little lanes lined with roses and white houses. Walk along the docks of the little ports that have a real personal feel and enjoy the big white sandy beaches where you can relax and go for a dip. Dozens of kilometres of cycle tracks will take you through the greengrocers’ salt flats and the vineyards!
The 3km long bridge means you can get to Ré Island from the Rivedoux commune. It is also a great place to go for walk or a cycle with the sea extending as far as the eye can see. On your way back, you will have loads of time to discover the landscapes along La Rochelle’s coast with the outskirts of the Port de Commerce (commercial port) on one side and the limestone cliffs of the coastline on the other.
The Ré Island Bridge is open 24/7. It costs money to cross the bridge in a motorised vehicle (tariffs for crossing Ré Island Bridge in a car: €8 from 12 September to 19 June and €16 from 20 June to 11 September). Free to cross the bridge if you cross on foot or by bike (3km). The Belvédère car park at the foot of the bridge is free.
All year round:
With “Les Mouettes” buses: Bus leaving from La Rochelle’s SNCF station: direct route to Ré Island. Shuttle between the island’s 10 communes every day.
“Ré express” coaches leaving from La Rochelle’s SNCF station. Direct route to Ré Island. Stops on request in all of the island’s villages. No need to book, you can buy your ticket directly from the bus driver or at the SNCF station.
In summer (July/August):
With Yélo buses :
Bus links between La Rochelle and Ré Island (Sablanceaux Plage-Rivedoux): line 50 and 51. Leaves from Verdun Square in La Rochelle.
From April to September:
With “Respiré” electric shuttles :
Cross the bridge for €1.
With “Amour des îles” sea shuttle :
You can get on and off at the Media Centre, Cours des Dames or Esplanade St-Jean d’Acre based on the timetables. You can get on with your bike.
Aix Island :
Only accessible by sea, Aix Island extends over 3km and can be discovered on foot or by bike! Follow the paths of this heavenly island where the coastlines are full of coves and beaches that are perfect for relaxing. Marvel at the serenity of this place with no car and visit the many fortifications while learning about the history of this island that was so dear to Napoléon Bonaparte.
To get to the island, take the Fouras-Aix ferry to get there in about 20 minutes. On your route, you will go past Fort Enet which was apparently designed to protect the Pertuis d’Antioche and to secure Aix Island’s harbour, and further along the route you will see the famous Fort Boyard!
Know more with the Office of Tourisme of Rochefort Ocean (l'office de Tourisme de Rochefort Océan).
L’île d’Oléron (Oléron Island) is the wildest of the three. Here, the natural and protected landscapes are enchanting for all nature lovers. The woodlands and swamps on the island are perfect for discovering flora and fauna. Enjoy the long beaches that surround the land and try the delicious Marennes-Oléron oysters at the heart of the farms.
Try the “Boat/Bike” combo! This combination means you can get a cheaper rate on the boat from La Rochelle to Oléron Island and on hiring a bike when you get to the island (sold at the tourist information centre in La Rochelle)
Leaving La Rochelle
Do you fancy getting away for a day or half a day? On a speedboat, sailing boat or catamaran, set off for a break in the salty sea air with one of La Rochelle’s many boating companies and have a once in a lifetime experience!
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