Ville et Village - European Vacation Rentals
France Information


The Ile-de-Ré is a small island off La Rochelle southeast of Paris. A mere 14 miles long, and 4 miles wide, this nearly flat island has nine charming villages and wide sandy beaches. The villages have windy narrow streets, whitewashed walls and hollyhocks growing everywhere. Colorful boats dock at charming small ports. Sea salt from the Atlantic is still harvested by hand. The weather is warm and sunny. The island boasts of its "micro-climat". This is a beautiful island.


La Flotte - where to stay

Our rentals are all in La Flotte on the north side of the island. It is a lovely, small port town with a lively daily food market. Every facility you need is in walking distance including a charming beach. In the evening at La Flotte, people stroll arm in arm around the harbor enjoying the view of the lighthouse, the childrenÁs carousel and the sailboats. It is a pleasure to be here. There is a fine selection of restaurants all within an easy walk. The south side of the island has vast sandy beaches bordered by pine forests. For a wider selection of services there are other villages within a short drive. You could manage without a car here.



La Flotte is an ideal location for someone wanting an authentic French experience. This is a favorite vacation destination for the French, but is hardly frequented by other nationalities. French vacation magazines often feature articles about this beautiful island. And in recent years even American travel publications have discovered it. Articles in the New York Times, Travel & Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler now rave about this special island.

This is the perfect spot for those wanting a beach vacation. The weather is reliable, the beaches are beautiful, and the pace of life revolves around the sea. There is a lot to do: local concerts (in season), visits to the fort, the lighthouse, the salt fields, other villages and of course enjoying the charming French villages. In season, everyone bikes around including families with grandparents, babies and even little dogs in baskets!

If you wish to travel a bit farther from the Ile de Ré, you can cross the bridge to La Rochelle, whose port is considered by many to be the prettiest in France. From here you can explore the coastline of the Marais Poitevin and even take flat-bottom boat trips through the marshes.


Food, Wine & Markets

As one might expect, seafood is a specialty here. Each day the boats arrive at La Flotte with a fresh catch. There are acres of gardens on the island cultivating vegetables and herbs. Locally harvested sea salt, both grey and white is another specialty. Thus an ideal meal is sitting outdoors at a café across from the harbor enjoying the local catch grilled with fresh herbs and seasoned with sea salt. The wines are from the Charente just across the water and this beverage contributes to the delicate character of the meals. The island produces its own fortified wine for aperitifs and after dinner drinks. Thus there are many local specialities to enjoy here. And as one might expect, there are many wonderful restaurants in each of the charming towns.

The market at La Flotte is the most famous on the island as it is located in an ancient market place and is open every day of the year.


Sports & Recreation

This is an area of wonderful sandy beaches. Bike paths traverse the island passing through vast vegetable gardens, pine forests and open meadows. And there is a myriad of water sports including sailing and fishing.


Access from Paris

The TGV travels directly from Paris to La Rochelle. From here you can rent a car and cross the bridge. One can even manage quite well without a car, as there is bus service from La Rochelle to La Flotte. Buses also go between the villages on the island.


Plan early for this!

In July and August, this is an extremely popular location with the French, and thus reservations for high season, must be made early.

Call or email us. We look forward to helping you plan your trip!

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