La Couarde-sur-Mer

La Couarde-sur-Mer

Atypical seaside resort in the heart of unspoiled nature

You are at the heart of the Île de Ré, on the borders of all lands.

Come and discover La Couarde-sur-Mer with its 1200 inhabitants. All the charm and authenticity of Ré la blanche are brought together here! Through its incredible labyrinth of flowery alleys, this village will delight you with its privileged location in the heart of the Île de Ré, the ideal starting point for all your bike rides. During your getaway, don't forget to take a detour to the bandstand, located at the foot of the church, and where you can attend many concerts throughout the summer.

Taking the road north, you will come across the nautical base and its lake of more than 2 hectares which promotes the initiation to sailing in complete safety. The Goisil channel, a very picturesque and bucolic little port, has inspired and continues to inspire many painters and photographers.

To the south, behind the dunes lined with pines and tamarinds, stretches an immense beach of fine sand. From the beach of Les Prizes to that of Follies, it is a single and same stretch of sand over 5 km long, where all the seaside and nautical activities are offered to you: sailing, kite surfing, jet skiing, water skiing, stand up paddle, shore fishing or even lazing around... La Pergola beach is a surf spot referenced by surfers from all over the world! A coastal path, laid out along the dune, will allow you to walk along the beach with a breathtaking view of the Pertuis d'Antioche.

Coastal path at La Couarde-sur-Mer ©Lesley Williamson

The beaches

There are no less than 5 km of fine sandy beaches, 8 different beaches which extend over the southern part of the village. The beaches of La Couarde are renowned for being among the most beautiful on the Île de Ré and even on the entire Atlantic coast! On fine days, when the sun pierces the crystal clear waters, it's like being mistaken at other latitudes...

Thanks to the extent of its beaches, “the gold of bathers” contributed to making La Couarde at the very beginning of the XXrd century, the first renowned seaside resort on the island of Ré. As far as we can go back in the archives, the town of La Couarde is mentioned from the Middle Ages as marking the limit of the "barony", that is to say the western end of the fiefs of the lords of Mauleon. This is why, among the many hypotheses put forward as to the origin of the toponym La Couarde, that relating to the geographical location of the village, “Coe” meaning tail, seems the most convincing.

Heritage and culture

Heritage and culture

Despite the current merger of the four original islands, La Couarde is still a pivotal village on the Île de Ré. It is there, on the northern coast of the Couard area, between Moulinatte and Martray, that we encounter the first landscapes of saltworks, harbingers of the salty earth that characterizes the north of the island.

In the "behind" of the village, many vestiges of mills and old residences (Les Marattes, Les Prizes, La Davière...) testify to a rich historical past and a flourishing economic activity based on the exploitation of the marshes. salt pans and vines. Today, if the main activity remains viticulture, oyster farming has also developed considerably on the wide foreshores of the Fosse-de-Loix and the cove of Martray.

Since the beginning of the XXrd century, the frequentation by “swimmers” (including Mistinguette, who rented the Macabiou chalet several years in a row) of the five kilometers of fine sand on the beaches of the southern coast made La Couarde the first seaside resort on the Île de Ré.