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Forget your car...

Ile de Ré is the ideal place for bicycle enthusiasts

With the highest point of the island at 19 metres, and over 100 kilometres
of dedicated cycle paths

With the highest point of the island at 19 metres, and over 100 kilometresof dedicated cycle paths

 

After crossing the bridge, you will note that the island is completely flat.

The bike is much in vogue nowadays since it is environmentally friendly with no use of fuel or carbon emission.

 

Why a bike?

Early in the morning and late in the evening, outside rush hours, it is not unusual to meet the more energetic on a racing bike to keep in shape as riding a bike is really a sport.

For other people, it is a mode of transport to go to the market, do shopping or have a drink in a café.

During the summer season, most village centres are closed to traffic.

It is above all a great way to explore the island and a great number of routes allow to discover the many faces of the region and the variety of its landscapes at your own pace: countryside and forest alternate with marshland and coastline among which historic vestiges and remarkable monuments can be viewed.

Depending on the weather conditions, your courage or what you fancy doing – the choice is yours!

 

The cycle paths

From Saint Martin to La Couarde, a route of about twenty kilometres criss-crossing between vineyards and market gardens retrace the agricultural life of the island’s inhabitants.

From La Couarde to Loix, the cycle path goes along the ocean and marshlands revealing the particular identity of the ‘Rétais’, both islanders and sailors.

From La Couarde too, but as far as Les Portes en Ré, away from cars, the path goes through salt marshlands and afterwards oyster-farmers’ huts come into view. You will be able to sample oysters in an informal way.  The path goes through the nature reserve of Lilleau des Niges in which can be watched thousands of birds which are not very frightened…

In the south, between Sablanceaux and Sainte Marie, passing through La Flotte, the fort of La Prée, the vestiges of the Abbey of Les Châteliers and the forti cations of Saint Martin provide an insight into the rich historic past of the island.

And then, between Saint Clément des Baleines and Les Portes, in the shade of the scented pine trees of the forest of Lizay, it is possible to leave your bike and look at the ocean from the wide beach of La Conche and, eventually, go swimming.

If you are tired, always bear in mind that there is a bus network to take you back to your departure point. So, you can go by bike and come back by bus, or go by bus and come back by bike.  This solution is rather practical if you plan to travel through the island along the 30-km cycle path: the notion of time is different when the exploration is synonymous with discovery and lazing around.

 

You do not need to be convinced: forget your car and take your bike…

 

Safety first

You feel free when you ride a bike, and this is not the reason why you should think you can do what you like. With the increasing number of cyclists, it is essential to follow safety rules: ride in single  le, get o your bike in pedestrianized areas, follow the Highway Code at all times like any road-user (one-way street, stop sign, etc.). 

Be fully vigilant of your surroundings in public roads. On the ground, an ingenious network of specifically marked bicycle lanes permits you to  nd your way around: the  first two le ers indicate the name of the village, and then there are four  gures - the route number and the distance to the departure point. In case of problem, the emergency services can help you very quickly if you indicate them these codes.

Go riding, be careful!

 

BICYCLE RENTAS

If you have not brought your own equipment, a number of shops offer rental options in all villages.

> Are you visiting Île de Ré on your own?  The touring bike is for you.

> Do you usually do a lot of sport?  The mountain bike is essential.

> You do not usually do a lot of sport: choose the electric bike.

> Are you visiting Île de Ré with your partner? Take a tandem.

> Are you visiting Île de Ré with your children? According to their age, you have the choice between a tricycle for the more adventurous, a trailer bike or simply trailer for the less adventurous.

It is not unusual to meet kids napping comfortably and sheltered from the wind and sun in their trailer while their parents are pedalling.

 

"I was thinking: a bike ride? It’ll exhaust me. Not at all! It’s true that the highest point of the island is 19 metres above sea level… And we have discovered wonderful wild open spaces. It wouldn’t be the case by car!"