Top things to do

Top Choice Lighthouse in Île de Ré

Phare des Baleines

For an overview of the island, follow the crowds to Phare des Baleines, the island's scarlet-tipped, 59m-tall lighthouse on its northwestern tip. Scale the dizzying, 257-step spiral staircase inside the 19th-century…
Top Choice Seafood in Île de Ré

Auberge Paysanne de la Mer

Grab a straw hat to keep off the sun, snag a table overlooking oyster beds and indulge in a plate of freshly shucked oysters, an entire crab, shrimps, langoustines or clams, washed down with a glass of chilled white…
Deli in Île de Ré

La Tour du Sénéchal

Tucked beneath a tour (tower), hence its name, Ars’ village épicerie (grocery) is a gourmet hot spot for savvy cyclists and knowing locals. Its varied tasting platters – a dozen oysters, cumin-laced vegetable samosa…
Tower in Île de Ré

Clocher Observatoire

A hike up the 117 steps inside the bell stone of fortified Église St-Martin rewards with a mighty fine panorama of St-Martin-de-Ré and the coast. The well-used wooden staircase twists up past the bell tower's trio o…
Ice Cream in Île de Ré

La Martinière

No trip to St-Martin-de-Ré is complete without an ice-cream cone from this glacier extraordinaire. There are between 250 and 300 incredible flavours to choose from, including madras, caviar and oyster, salted carame…
Seafood in Île de Ré

Ré Ostréa

For an authentic taste of island life, spurn St-Martin's portside restaurants and pick up the cycling path to Ars-en-Ré – on foot or by bike. Within seconds of hitting the coast, the path arrives at Didier Fournier'…
Museum in Île de Ré

Musée Ernest Cognacq

This small museum, opposite the tourist office at the entrance to St-Martin de Ré, explores island history through art, ceramics and maritime curiosities. Don't miss the Salle des Fortifications with a model of the …