This short cycle route gives a superb taste of all that is great about the Ile de Ré. It starts with the outrageously pretty ports of La Flotte and St Martin de Ré, where whitewashed buildings with pan tile roofs and perfectly faded blue/green shutters surround marinas full of sparkling yachts. The route winds its way north along quiet lanes and cyclepaths, past oyster beds and salt flats to the charming town of Loix. The journey home through the interior of the island, is on fast straight cycle paths that pass between vines and (if you’re there in May/June) fields of poppies.
All metrics in this article are approximate.
We love the cyclepaths that meander through the salt beds between Saint Martin de Ré and Loix. You have the calm sea and oyster beds to your right, in front is the bay that curves around to Loix and on your left are the rectangular salt beds whose calm surfaces reflect the clouds above. The paths are traffic free and the hedgerows are full of life.
1. La Flotte to Saint Martin: 0-4.5km
You leave La Flotte’s pretty marina behind you and head out of town on a path that follows the main road. Corn fields stretch towards the sea. 3 km later you pass over two UNESCO protected stone bridges that span the dry moat surrounding Saint Martin. Saint Martin’s picture postcard marina is a treat and, if it wasn’t so early on in the ride, a good place for a coffee.
2. Saint Martin to Loix: 4.5-14km
A flat, meandering path follows the coast north. With vineyards and oyster cabins to your left and views out to sea to your right, it’s a lovely route. As you approach Loix, the scenery becomes even more watery as the path follows a raised embankment between salt flats and sea. It’s a unique experience to weave between the two.
3. Loix to La Flotte: 14-30km
(Generally) straight, fast paths take you back to La Flotte, through the island’s pretty interior. You’ll pass vineyards, poppy fields and the odd windmill.
There are no shortage of places to stop.
Not right for you?
Read our tips for planning a bike holiday before you set out.
Click here for our complete guide to planning a holiday on the Ile de Ré.
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