Unusual winter walks on the Ile de Ré

Ars-en-Ré
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Unusual winter walks  ...

Winter settles in Charente-Maritime and with it the time for privileged walks in unspoiled nature , on the beaches or in the marshes. Lovers of wide open spaces, do you dream of discovering or rediscovering the Ile de Ré but you want to change a bit from the classic places for walks? Put on your coat, scarf and hat, we will take you to the unusual Ile de Ré , to the most sumptuous, but also the most atypical corners to savor moments of well-being and the soothing and invigorating virtues of ocean. Forward!

Get off the beaten track!  

Deserted by tourists, the Île de Ré in winter does not isolate you from the world, but on the contrary reconnects you to the essential . Its soft lights, the howling of the wind, its beaches submerged by foam, its marshes abandoned by salt workers transform its natural settings at the end of the world. So here is a quick overview of the wild beaches and our favorite unusual places to discover dream landscapes and find peace this winter!

 

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The Côte Sauvage Beach  

Do you want calm and a return to basics? Behind an immense sand dune covered with vegetation that has remained in its natural state, the Côte Sauvage beach stretches from the coast of Ars en Ré to the Phare des Baleines , on the west coast of the island. While not in the spotlight, it is nonetheless lavish. Preserved, this tongue of sand is a delight for lovers of wild landscapes. Its colors, small rocky reefs and clear waters give it an air of elsewhere.

Island of Re Island of Re

Lilleau des Niges Nature Reserve

Island of Re Island of Re Island of Re Island of Re

Located to the north of the Ile de Ré, the Lille au des Niges nature reserve is nestled inside the large bay of Fier d'Ars. Accessible only on foot or by bike, this high place for bird watching occupies an area of 121 hectares of salt marshes and mud flats teeming with life. Immerse yourself in the heart of a remarkable biodiversity , stronghold of many marine and migratory birds that stop here to winter or for a simple stopover. Between elegant avocets, white stilts, gambette knights, pierre garin terns, blue mirrored throats, Belon shelducks, gray herons, about 300 species of birds have been listed in the classified reserve since 1980. The spectacle is permanent in this wild and protected paradise .

The Lumberjack Bench on the beach of Trousse Chemise

Island of Re Island of Re Island of Re

Located in the north of the island, in the commune of Portes en Ré, this fine sandy beach is very popular in summer. If the face of this magnificent beach is changing, it is to allow you to better discover it in winter. When the sea recedes, the sand often forms large ripples , like tiny dunes perpendicular to the direction of movement of the water which gives the place a unique character! Le Banc du Bucheron , this ephemeral island at low tide, is therefore accessible on foot: an endless expanse of sand awaits you. The ideal place for a long stroll with the air of the end of the world, breathing the pure and iodized ocean air.

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Le Fier d'Ars and shore fishing  

Island of Re Island of Re Island of Re Island of Re

This is a typical activity to practice during your stay on the island during an exotic trip!   During high tides in the proud d'Ars, the sea recedes as far as the eye can see and offers fishing possibilities for a good number of shellfish, molluscs and crustaceans :   cockles, clams, shrimps, clams, knives. Put on your boots and come scrape the sand in search of your lunch, respecting the minimum catch sizes and authorized quantities !  

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The Abbey of Châteliers and its mystical atmosphere  

Island of Re Island of Re Island of Re

The Notre-Dame-de-Ré Abbey , known as the Châteliers Abbey , is a former Cistercian abbey founded around 1150 by monks. Located near the D735 between the villages of Rivedoux and La Flotte en Ré, it is an astonishing place to visit that plunges us into the monastic past of the island and the life of its first inhabitants in the Middle Ages. Listed as a historic monument in 1990 and among the most beautiful ruins in France , the imposing remains of its facades, its former cloister and its refectory are accessible free of charge in all seasons. In winter, it is a serene, mystical place, deserted by cyclists who usually take the coastal cycle path towards the Fleet.  

Did you like our report? Find others on the Guide Charente Maritime blog . Log on to the Charente Maritime Guide Facebook page to be kept informed of our news. We are also on Instagram @guidecharentemaritime

Article and photos prepared by Lesley Williamson for the Charente Maritime Guide


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