The islands Île de Ré, Île d’Oléron and Île-d’Aix in the Atlantic

Friday, 16 October 2015 - 09:29 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General

The island Île de Ré

Île de Ré - Saint-Martin de Ré © Brice Rothschild

Île de Ré – Saint-Martin de Ré © Brice Rothschild

Île de Ré is an island off the west coast of France near La Rochelle, on the northern side of the Pertuis d’Antioche strait. The island highest point has an elevation of 20 m ; the island is 30 km long and 5 km wide. A 2.9 km bridge, completed in 1988, connects it to La Rochelle on the mainland.

The area is a popular tourist destination. It has approximately the same number of hours of sunshine as the famous southern coast of France. The island is noted to have a constant light breeze, and the water temperature is generally cool. The island is surrounded with gently sloping, sandy beaches, which are a real treat for families and tourists. The island has a resident winter population of approximately 20,000 residents and a resident summer population of about 220,000. Since the local population is distributed all over the island, it seldom gets crowded. The island is covered by bicycle tracks, with many residents rarely using cars for transportation. Camping grounds and hotels abound on the island, as well as large supermarkets and all modern amenities. Many families stay on the island for the duration of their vacations. Night life consists of going to Saint Martin, the main port, or to La Flotte, to walk along the quays and to potter around the shops, which are open late. Restaurants abound. At night, visitors can watch the buskers, have a drink or enjoy the island’s delicious artisanal ice cream, all set in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Oysters and fresh fish are always available. There is also a tradition in which the fishermen, upon returning from the sea, sell a small quantity of their catch directly on the quays, enabling them to buy a drink. Markets are open on a daily basis in the main towns and are a popular place to shop, taste and chat. Even the vendors in the markets come to the island on their holidays. Generally, they work only in the mornings, enabling them to enjoy the remainder of the day. A large variety of items can be bought at the market, such as comics, books, African articles, ceramics, clothes, artifacts, food, local specialities, tools and souvenirs.

Read more on Île de Ré and Wikipedia Île de Ré.






The island Île d’Oléron

Île d'Oléron - Le Château-dOléron - Old oyster farmers' huts renewed and converted into arts and craft © Myrabella

Île d’Oléron – Le Château-dOléron – Old oyster farmers’ huts renewed and converted into arts and craft © Myrabella

As a large Atlantic island only 3 kilometres off the Aquitanian coast of France, Oléron is a popular tourist destination. There are beaches, surfing and horse-riding are catered for and there are many interesting old buildings. The island has an area of about 174 km² with a population of 21.200. It is a fertile and well cultivated island on the Bay of Biscay.

Since 1966, the island has been connected to the mainland by a road bridge. With a length of 2,862 m (9,390 ft) between abutments, it was the longest bridge in France at the time of construction. It is now the third one, after the Saint-Nazaire bridge and the Ile de Ré bridge. It has been toll-free since 1991.

Read more on Île d’Oléron, ile-oleron-marennes.com and Wikipedia Île d’Oléron.






The island Île-d’Aix

Île-d'Aix - Main Street © World Imaging

Île-d’Aix – Main Street © World Imaging

Île-d’Aix is located at the mouth of the Charente River, between l’Ile d’Oléron and the coast of mainland France. The island is also close to Fort Boyard. It is a popular place for tourist day-trips during the summer months. The island has a population of 230 people.

In 1815, from 12 to 15 July, Napoleon also spent his last days in France at Ile d’Aix, after the defeat at Waterloo, in an attempt to slip past a Royal Navy blockade and escape to the United States. Realizing the impossibility of accomplishing this plan, he wrote a letter to the British regent and finally surrendered to HMS Bellerophon, which took him to Plymouth before transferring him to Saint Helena.

Read more on Île-d’Aix and Wikipedia Île-d’Aix. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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