Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Cycle Holiday in Île de Ré, France Charente Maritime France


Cycle Holiday in Île de Ré, France Charente Maritime France - Intro


We did not go to Île de Ré for a cycling holiday, but that is pretty much what it turned into straight away owing to the flat ground and excellent traffic free cycle ways that crisscross the island.

Car Free Paths CrissCross the Island


Rides can be done fairly easily with a yougish family. With kids as young as 8 completing the various trips on their own bike, younger than this and you will need some way of carrying them on longer trips. Ditch the car and enjoy two wheels, we did not touch our car for the whole stay!



Cycle Holiday in Île de Ré, France Charente Maritime France - Where to Stay


To explore the whole island with bikes a central position is advisable. By chance we stayed in Bois-Plage en Re, but Saint Martin de Re would suite as well. This will enable trips to other settlements and exploration of the salt pans at the westerly end of the island.

The Quiet Streets of Bois Plage en Re


Saint Martin de Re is the premium location in which to stay, and it is easy to see why at is has an interesting historic fortified port, which gives it bags of character.

Loix is an altogether quieter settlement as is Bois Plage. La Flotte is again a bit busier.

Cycle Holiday in Île de Ré, France Charente Maritime France - Bike Hire


To hire a bicycle will cost around 50 euros a week, and bike trailer to carry 2 kids will cost 50 euros a week also, so it is quite easy to spend a lot of money on bike hire.

You may consider taking your own bicycles, but this also presents problems, as roof mounted carriers lower fuel efficiency and over a 1000 mile round trip from the UK, this can add up. We normally get 600 miles to a tankful of fuel, but got 400 on our trip, with roof box and bikes on top of the car. So based on 3 tanks, the extra spend was around £60.

Taking you own bikes may not be cheaper.


Another consideration is the additional costs of the ferry with a £30 additional charge payable each way for "tall" roof loads. A trailer would create similar surcharges.

Travelling by plane, would likely create extra charges, and lots of faff, so the 50 euros per week starts to look better all of the time.


Cycle Holiday in Île de Ré, France Charente Maritime France - Routes


Routs to the north west of the island are a little long for smaller riders. Although there is a strong wind that blows from west to east across the island, which makes return journeys very easy if you are sited in the east of the island.

Routes to the North West
The easiest routes are between Bois Plage and Saint Martin, which are pancake flat, and largely car free cycle way.

Routes to the South East

Cycle Holiday in Île de Ré, France Charente Maritime France - Conclusions


Cycling effortlessly through vineyards and along coastal paths, was a great feeling, and really added to the holiday as a whole. With the flat ground and car free paths, it was great to see ours kids cycling around in confidence covering considerable distances provided they were topped up with ice cream now and then.

Pancake Flat - Easy Riding

I a relaxed day you can cycle to 2 settlements taking lunch, drinking wine with meals, visit the beach, and then stop for evening oysters and chilled white wine, all by using pedal power. It is a great way to spend a week or two.

Sunlight and Daylight Assessment 



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