Traditional Retais village between vineyards and ocean

As soon as you cross the bridge, you can see the slender tip of the steeple of Sainte-Marie-de-Ré which will guide you towards the south side of the island. Sainte-Marie-de-Ré is one of the oldest municipalities on the island, its construction dates back to medieval times. Its character, affirmed by its rurality, makes it a preserved and authentic place.

A wise resolution when arriving in Sainte-Marie, "abandon" your car. Here everything is more peaceful and beautiful on foot or by bike, especially in summer!

Between the sea and the vineyards, Sainte-Marie-de-Ré is alive all year round: friendly shopkeepers in Place d'Antioche and Place des Tilleuls, daily markets, quality craftsmen, a rich accommodation offer, a recognized thalassotherapy centre...

Entertainment and activities will be offered to you throughout the seasons: gourmet evenings, concerts, garage sales, sea festival, but also storytelling tour of the village, climb to the bell tower, discoveries of the foreshore, night hikes listening to songs of birds, or stargazing…

You will enjoy strolling between alleys, alleys and quéreux, will appreciate the old winegrowers' houses, cellars and stills, church and chapels, miller's house and enclosed gardens... witnesses of rural, historical and cultural heritage.

And of course, the sea... A changing wild coast, magnificent in all seasons, conducive of course to swimming, surfing but also to strolling along the coastal path, to fishing on foot (reasonable) or quite simply to the contemplation of waves, birds and sunsets... Far from the world.

Here, you will take your time…

The town has been recognized as a Green Station since 2002, classified as a Tourist Station since February 2009 and Star Village since 2013!

The history of Sainte-Marie-de-Ré

Sainte-Marie is, along with Saint-Martin and Ars, one of the three oldest parishes on the Île de Ré. The first mention of the parish of Sainte-Marie dates from 1178. The Châteliers abbey contributes to the settlement of the parish and to the development of the land, especially planted with vines.

For more than ten centuries, the economy of the village has been entirely oriented towards the cultivation of vines. Some resources are also taken from the shore (fish, shells). This era left a strong typical rural imprint still visible by walking through the streets: facades of houses, agricultural buildings, enclosed walls, quarreling.

Sainte-Marie-de-Ré is currently experiencing significant demographic development due to its proximity to La Rochelle and the Île de Ré bridge. Most of the population gathers in the town as well as in the important village of La Noue.

La Noue

In this other part of the village, the sea once formed a small bay, which explains the recessed construction of the houses, especially on the course of the schools, now forming a wide avenue. It is the place of commercial activities with, in summer, a typical and active market.

The trail of 5 landscapes

Departing from the Port Notre-Dame cove, this signposted walk will lead you to discover the different natural environments of Sainte-Marie-de-Ré. Along the way, you may come across the hoopoe, the chaffinch or even the mallow and the forget-me-not. A free topoguide is available at the Sainte-Marie-de-Ré tourist office, a 2-hour course over 8 km.

Discovering La Noue with your Smartphone

Unique on the Ile de Ré! Explore the village in search of flashcodes and discover La Noue in an original and fun way. Flash these codes which will give you information on the history of the village and will show you the way to follow in the form of enigmas. Let yourself be seduced by its authenticity and the charm of its streets. Meet at Place des Tilleuls for the first stage. You are not equipped? Come and pick up the paper version at the reception desk.