10th April - La Palmyre & Ile de Re

We have been exploring some new places now that the weather is picking up.  Last week we went for lunch at La Palmyre with friends.  La Palmyre is a good 30-40 min drive from here.  It has a zoo, which is very well advertised and seems very popular.  Whilst I haven't visited it myself yet there is always a beautiful display of Flamingoes which can be seen from the roadside; and I spotted a giraffe looking my way the other day when we passed.  I wouldn't discount it as part of a larger day out at this lovely resort. The beach sits in a cove with golden soft sands followed by a lovely flat promenade.  It is ideal for cycling or roller blading and bicycle hire is readily available.  I noticed there was also a path for a road train in the summer.  There is a restaurant and café right next to the beach too.  It is a wonderful place to relax.  In the summer.......leave early to get there as the traffic near Royan and onwards gets busy - or perhaps leave it till later in the day if you want the more laid back approach.

Today we reached 21 degrees for the first time this year.  The perfect day to visit Ile de Re.  It is quite a long drive from here - as it is just off La Rochelle port but well worth it.  The island is much bigger than Ile D'Oleron with a lot more facilities.  Coming over the bridge onto the island we immediately saw kite surfers winding through the shallow waves, but it is a great place for other waters sports too from dinghy's to kayaks.  Here is some further information:


A little windy to start with, we took a brisk walk along the first beach/promenade we came to.  A quick hop back into the car and we travelled further down the island where we came to a charming little port surrounded by cafes where we stopped for refreshment.  The difference in temperature was noticeable as we had driven into a more sheltered part of the island.  I had thought that that was probably the "place to be" but I was wrong.  A 10 minute drive further along the shoreline and we came to a larger, slightly more glamourous port with many more eateries and shops - which appeared to reside within a citadel.  It was beautiful and chic.  Perhaps we would return and spend a night there at some point as the atmosphere was warming and the thought of relaxing by the harbour on a warm evening was very inviting.  Cycle hire is the mode of transport on the island and I suspect in the height of summer it would be the far easier option to travel around.  If you want to try fresh seafood, oysters or buy some of the really lovely locally sourced salts this would be a place to go.  We will return to explore more at a later date.  A gem!