La Baronnie Hôtel & Spa****

Surfing at Ile de Re

Some of Île de Ré’s beaches attract surfers from all over Charente-Maritime and beyond. There are many places around the island where you can take on the waves by going surfing, windsurfing, foiling or kitesurfing.

Surfing and kitesurfing on the Île de Ré

In both summer and winter on the Île de Ré, the Atlantic Ocean is a fantastic playground for boarding enthusiasts. From south to north, the beaches offer numerous spots to try out, depending on the way the wind’s blowing and your skill level. Surfers and kitesurfers from all over La Rochelle and beyond the Charente-Maritime can’t get enough of it.

Windsurfing, kitesurfing and foilboarding on the Île de Ré

The joy of surfing the waves of the Île de Ré

Surfers can’t wait for the appearance of the rollers in the distance. With the combined effect of the wind and the tide, they swell, become more regular and edged with white… The adrenaline rises. This is it, take-off time! Fans of board sports will be able to launch themselves and their surfboards into the waves. On the Île de Ré, keen surfers get together at La Pointe de Grignon in Ars-en-Ré, while the beach at La Conche des Baleines is the hang-out for the most experienced riders. Further afield, but still on the same coast, the beaches of Lizay and Le Petit Bec, accessible via the charming hamlet of La Rivière – in the commune of Les Portes-en-Ré – are also very popular. You can get there by travelling through a beautiful pine forest and taking a marked path between the dunes. Towards the south of the island, the spots at La Pergola on the beach at La Couarde-sur-Mer and those at Les Gouillauds and Le Gros Jonc in Bois-Plage and Les Grenettes in Sainte-Marie-de-Ré are also very popular.

A shared passion for board sports

You’ll never tire of the to and fro of full, colourful sails as surfers and kitesurfers move over the waters around the Île de Ré against the blue backdrop of the sky. Some glide into infinity, others gybe skilfully to gain speed from the wind, and then there are those who literally fly away as if they were heading for the clouds! Then suddenly, a foilboarder appears, like a dolphin’s fin, gracefully and powerfully cleaving the waters.

The keenest riders can hardly wait to unfurl their sails as soon as they arrive in Rivedoux on Ré la Blanche. The southern beach, which is almost at the foot of the bridge, is famous for its wide opening that enables surfers and kitesurfers to carry out radical boarding manoeuvres. A great introduction to your holiday in the Charente-Maritime.

Experiencing the breeze of freedom

Another famous spot is La Pointe des Baleines, not far from the lighthouse, in the commune of Saint-Clément in the north of the island. The action is joyfully full-on there. Regulars talk about their latest performance; newcomers watch and listen to find out how to do their thing safely. They give each other advice on this or that way of catching the wave, congratulate and help each other… Some sails are laid out on the ground, others are starting to swell, the boards are carefully rigged with the right sail for the wind strength. Whichever beach and spot you choose, the reception at La Baronnie Hôtel & Spa**** will provide you with all the practical information you need.

To open up these unique thrills to people of all ages, many windsurfing and kitesurfing schools offer lessons and courses on the island’s various beaches. In Rivedoux, you can learn at Ile de Ré Kitesurf; in Bois-Plage there’s Ré-Surf on the beach at Le Gros-Jonc; in Ars, there’s the CNAR, Alex Robin also teaches foilboarding, starting with an introductory lesson on dry land… in his famous potato field – that’s the Île de Ré! Not to mention the schools on the beach at La Conche or Les Portes-en-Ré on the northern tip of the island. There’s something for all ages, and all levels. May the wind blow over the island.