We chose La Flotte for our holiday home because it offers everything that, for us, makes the perfect holiday: all the essentials in the village within easy walking distance. We begin our day with a leisurely five minute stroll through the cobbled streets to the bakery. Later in the morning we often visit the medieval covered market to find locally grown produce or freshly prepared charcuterie for lunch; in the evening we walk to the port, and decide where to have dinner: there is a wide selection of restaurants on offer in La Flotte, many of them grouped around the picturesque harbour two minutes’ walk from the house, with more alternatives along the sea front, five minutes’ walk away.
Like most islanders and holiday makers, we cycle nearly everywhere. From La Flotte to Saint-Martin, with its atmospheric fort and memorable ice cream shop, it’s an easy half hour ride through fields and vineyards; to Le Bois-Plage, with long sandy beaches and great windsurfing, it’s around forty minutes, across farmland and through the trees. If you feel like a day’s gentle expedition, you might like to make for the lighthouse, le Phare des Baleines, at the Northwest tip of the island, and the beautiful salt marshes nearby. You can visit a different beach and village every day, each of them with a unique church steeple, market place, and distinctive character; every one of the ten villages has its own very different personality.
We love the Ile de Ré in all seasons. In summer the ‘island of sunshine’ is the place to enjoy life outdoors, whether on or in the sea, cycling, walking, horse riding, or just sitting in a cafe watching the world go by. La Flotte is a village for holiday makers of all ages, with traffic-free streets and easy access, child-friendly restaurants. Summer drifts into Autumn very gradually, and we have often had picnics on the beach in October, and walked to the Abbey in T-shirts in April. In the Christmas holidays there is occasionally snow, it’s often crisp and bright, the fairy lights in the trees reflect in the water, and the holiday welcome in the village is warm and memorable (don’t miss the seven course New Year’s Eve dinner in the village restaurant of your choice!).
Our holiday house works well in all seasons: in summer, we usually have breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the little courtyard. In winter, the dark evenings offer a great opportunity to cook with local produce in the well equipped kitchen. The house is extremely well insulated, and the heating system very efficient, so that no matter how cold it is outside, there is never a draught inside, and the temperature is always comfortable and easy to adjust.
Of course we are biased: we chose La Flotte for our holiday house because we loved it at first sight. We hope that you will too!