A fishing port on the north of the French island of Ré, with stone quays and ubiquituous white houses, the village of Saint Martin was built in the 18th Century by the military engineer Vauban. Surrounded by Vauban fortifications and thus recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Saint Martin de Ré is one of the most beautiful towns on the Atlantic coast of France and the biggest town on the Island of Ré. Everything in Saint Martin is historic, it has retained almost all of its original walls and buildings and evidence of the numerous fierce naval battles fought here, remains.
The island is connected to La Rochelle by a 3km long toll bridge constructed in 1988. The rate for the toll bridge is €8 from 12th September – 19th June, and €16 from 20th June to 11th September – round trip. This is an eco-tax which means that when you pay at the bridge toll you take part in the preservation of natural areas that represent all the charm of Île de Ré.
The cycle paths will allow you to discover wonderful sanctuaries of green open space and golden-hued sandy beaches. The woods are perfect for horse-riding and the marshlands reveal the activities of salt workers and oyster-farmers who are protectors to the huge numbers of migratory birds who flock to this region.