Île de Ré (“IDR” going forward) is a popular vacation island just of the coast of La Rochelle. IDR is very popular with the French, especially Parisians, and has been referred to by numerous travel insiders as the Martha’s Vineyard of France. I took a day trip from La Rochelle to the main town on IDR, Saint-Martin-de-Ré (“Saint Martin” for short) in June. Saint Martin is the largest and most popular of 10 communes on IRD. St. Martin is located in the center of IDR on the Atlantic Ocean, although it does not have a beach. For that, you will have to rent a bicycle and travel to a neighboring town. Saint Martin dates back to hundreds of years and is surrounded by a fort constructed by Louis XIV’s engineer, Vauban!
La Rochelle is a beautiful French seaside town located on the mid-Atlantic coast in the Charente-Maritime province of France, and I just got back from spending a long weekend there! La Rochelle is known to be popular with French vacationers, particularly Parisians. However, it is not very well-known in the US, and I probably would never have visited La Rochelle except my college (yay University of Richmond!) had a study abroad program there (I opted for Paris) – and I have a “map of France” t-shirt from Anthropologie that features La Rochelle… In addition to being featured on an Anthropologie shirt, La Rochelle is quite historical, as it has been around since antiquity, and is the port from which French settlers left for the new world (i.e. Quebec!).
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