Visit Ars-en-Re (Poitou-Charentes, France)
Ars-en-Ré is a village on the Ile-de-Ré, an island off the western coast of France, in Poitou Charentes - it is a small port town on the north-west coast of the island that is classified as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'.
The village is well known for its hollyhock lined streets and the surrounding salt pans, that have been in use for the last 800 years.
A small village, Ars-en-ré is a pleasure to explore, with numerous whitewashed houses featuring the traditional green shutters of the region and with hollyhocks growing all over the place.
The centre of the village is based around an attractive open central square, while the church, with its trademark spire, acts as the focal point of the village.
The spire on the Church of Saint-Etienne in the village served a double function - because of the location of the town it also acted as a guide to boats entering the region, hence its black and white painting to make it more visible to boats arriving in the harbour. During the summer the clocktower is open to the public, so you can see the carpentry work inside the spire and also views across the town and out to sea.
Be sure to amble around the backstreets a little to get a better feeling for the 'traditional' village. There are various interesting gardens and architectural features to be seen as you explore - note in particular the 16th century town house (the Maison du Sénèchal) with a decorative corner tower.
Ars-en-Ré also has a pleasant pleasure port (the most important on the Ile-de-Ré, with places for more than 500 boats) as well as a natural port close to the village surrounded by cafes and bustling with activity.
If possible try to visit Ars-en-ré when the lively market is being held (tuesday and friday morning all year around, and daily during july and august).
Attractions close to Ars-en-Ré
You can see the salt flats and oyster beds next to the village, both still active local industries here. One oyster farm here, the Huitrière de Ré, is open to the public so you can learn more apart the techniques used (tours start at 6pm each wednesday and thursday during summer months, see Huitrière de Ré for more information).
Also very near the village are three traditional windmills - the Moulins de la Boire.
Photos of Ars-en-Re
Click any picture to start the gallery
Tourist classifications for Ars-en-Re
Ars-en-Re is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Ars-en-Ré, Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes, 17590 || GPS: latitude 46.207, longitude -1.515
Map of Ars-en-Re & places nearby
Highlights close by
Ile de Re 8km
La Flotte-en-Re 15km
La Tranche-sur-Mer 16km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Ars-en-Re, France
- Saint-Martin-de-Ré citadelle (Vauban fortifications) - heritage site (11km)
- La Flotte-en-Re - most beautiful village (15km)
- Jardins du phare de Chassiron - remarkable garden (22km)
- Georges Clemenceau house - national monument (23km)
- La Rochelle - secteur sauvegarde (28km)
- Aquarium de La Rochelle - aquarium (29km)
- Jardins de la Boirie - remarkable garden (33km)
- Parc zoologique des Sables-d'Olonne - zoo or wildlife park (36km)
- Jardins de Chaligny - remarkable garden (49km)
- Brouage Fortifications - grand site of france (52km)
Market days in Ars-en-Re: Regular market(s) are held in Ars-en-Re each Tuesday. A seasonal market is held in Ars-en-Re on every day except Tuesday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Ars-en-Re (Francais)