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Travel Guide Ile de Ré Get to know Ile de Ré

Sainte-Marie-de-Re

Sainte-Marie-de-Ré is renown for being the most populated town of the island of Ré. More than 3,300 inhabitants live there. Like its counterparts, the city attracts every year thousands of tourists who come to spend summer holidays there or who wish to benefit from the virtues of the sea in the city’s thalassotherapy center.

The tourists rush and the growing reputation of the thalassotherapy of Sainte-Marie led to the expansion of the center in 2004. The place has now a hydromarin space with a  seawater swimming pool, covered and heated to 32 ° C, in addition to the sauna and hammam. It is a popular place of relaxation and well-being, highly patronized by holidaymakers.

Balneotherapy is not the only interesting leisure in Sainte-Marie-de-Ré. Enthusiasts of nautical sports are also committed to the township. Indeed, the city has one of the most famous surf spots of the whole area, "Les Grenettes". Because of its accessibility and its proximity to La Rochelle, many young people come here to practice surfing, windsurfing and other nautical activities.

The beach of Montamer, in the hamlet of La Noue is also very popular. It offers a clear view on the island of Oléron and allows to admire all the splendor of the Atlantic. It is a very popular place of relaxation and leisure where holidaymakers practice kite, relax in the sun or learn beach clams.

The city’s historical monuments offer visitors the opportunity to step back in time. That is the case of the  Church of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, built in the 12th century, then fortified in 1467. The bell tower of the church dates back from this period and used to serve as a reference point for navigators .

The port is also a must-see in Sainte-Marie-de-Ré. It is an authentic two faces port as the decor is quite different at low and at high tide. It is pleasant to walk along its cobblestones or to climb the jetty and enjoy the exceptional panorama of the ocean and the continental coasts.