« Ile de Ré is a little corner of paradise, I love it here all year round »
A resident of Ile de Ré since he was a boy, Antoine Albeau is an outstanding sportsman, having been crowned World Windsurfing Champion twenty three times! He also holds three world speed records in windsurfing and was voted “sailor of the year” in 2010.
What is your personal attachment to Ile de Ré ?
I was born in La Rochelle. My father built our house on Ile de Ré in 1972 and started a kids club and a sailing school at La Couarde beach, which we still own to this day. I entered my first wind surfing competition here when I was 11, and still live and work on the island today.
What is your favourite time of the year and what are your favourite activities on Ile de Ré ?
The island is superb in all seasons. It is well inhabited all year round, the low seasons are fun because something is always happening, the climate is superb, we have incredible sunsets, and the water is excellent. I also love summer on the island, when the beaches really come to life with activity, not to mention all the partying!
Is there a magical place on Ré that you won't find anywhere else ?
There are so many magical places, I can't think of just one! La Couarde beach is fantastic, then there's the unspoilt and intact coastline and the beautiful villages like La Flotte, Saint-Martin and Ars. Walking or cycling around the marshes is also magical!
How would you describe Ile de Ré in just a few words ?
It is a small corner of paradise a stone's throw from the mainland. You have to visit the island to believe its unique micro-climate and its beauty!