When you think of the best places to visit in France in summer, The French Riviera is the first to pop up in people’s minds. From amazing beaches to top touristic spots, there are a lot of cities that sparkle like gems in the South of France. Nice, Cannes, Saint- Tropez, Aix-en-Provence are only a few of many cities that attract millions of tourists every year; however, among those hordes of tourists, it’s quite rare to come across a Parisian. But where do these Parisians go for vacation?
Île de Ré
Located off the west coast, Île de Ré is an island on the Atlantic known as Parisians’ favorite go-to destination. The island is famous for its cycling routes, beautiful beaches, salt marshes, and oyster beds. It is only two and a half hours on a TGV train from Paris, making it a perfect escape spot for Parisians.
Île de Ré is probably the most cycling-friendly summer location in France, with its 100 km of bike paths helping you discover the island’s pretty towns on two wheels. Through vineyards and white sandy beaches, it’s easy to go everywhere on the island with Île de Ré’s symbolic pastel-colored bikes, which you can easily hire in the town centers.
Where to go?
Saint-Martin-de-Ré is the main town on the island, the heart of Île de Ré, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site with its ancient 17th-century walls and pretty harbor where the French boats are engagingly on display. This is where you will find the finest restaurants, bars, cafés, bistros, and shops. One of the most prominent tourist attractions of Saint-Martin is the island’s most famous ice-cream shop, La Martinière. With more than 60 different flavors, La Martinière makes your ice cream wishes come true, even the wildest ones! One of the shop’s specialities is la crème glacée à l’huître – oyster ice-cream.
Where to stay?
Île de Ré is a true heaven with its whitewashed stone cottages and harmonic blue, green, and grey shutters, which is why the island is so famous among Parisians. It is a perfect destination to disconnect and rest your mind far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Vacation rentals are ideal if you plan to spend your summer on the island.
My Home in Ile de Re is a popular website that offers different types of houses to book, but you must hurry! When the annual Parisian invasion starts, it gets harder to find a convenient place.