La Flotte en Re
La Flotte en Re is the largest commune on the island of Ré and is the second most populated with about 3,000 souls living there permanently. Of the ten villages of Ré, La Flotte has the largest tourist capacity with six hotels, five campsites and hundreds of guest rooms and vacation rentals.
In the 12th century, the town was the stronghold of the Mauléons, powerful lords of the region who welcomed the first Cistercian monks and built the abbey of Notre-Dame-de-Ré. The arrival of these monks marks the beginning of vines cultivation and salt production, the two main economic resources of the island of Ré.
The port of La Flotte-en-Ré played a significant role in wine and salt trade before it became a fishing port, to end up as a marina nowadays. It was around this port, surrounded by beautiful mansions, that the lively heart of the commune has developed. With a capacity of 200 posts on pontoons, it witnesses daily entries and exits of hundreds of boats and is the scene of the "Shadows of night" every 27th of May which is a sound and light show.
The market, of medieval style, is also one of the emblematic places of the city. Local products such as fish, oysters, crustaceans, wine, fruits and vegetables are sold in this half-covered place. Inhabitants meet tourists there while these latters come here to shop or to seek for good deals.