Ars-en-Re travel guide

Photo of Ars-en-Re

Visit Ars-en-Re (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France)

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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'.

Explore Ars-en-Ré

France This Way review: 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. The hollyhocks add a colourful backdrop to the streets of Ars-en-Ré so visit in summer if possible!

Village centre in Ars-en-Ré

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. 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.

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.


Be sure to amble around the backstreets of Ars-en-Ré 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. In any event it is true that the village has a very different character during the summer season when it is a bustling and lively resort and in the winter when it is really very quiet.

Traditional small cottages

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 to Ars-en-Ré there are three traditional windmills - the Moulins de la Boire.

Of course, elsewhere on the Ile de Ré, which is a very popular summer destination, there are lots of other villages and beaches of interest to visitors: see Ile-de-Ré guide for details.

You can find more travel ideas in the Charente-Maritime guide and the Poitou-Charentes guide.

See also: 

Photos of Ars-en-Re

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Map of Ars-en-Re and places nearby


Visit near Ars-en-Re with France This Way reviews

Ile de Re

Ile de Re

The Ile-de-Ré is an island with lots of sandy beaches and some attractive villages. Much loved by cycling families!

Ile de Re guide


On the north coast of Ile-de-Ré, the village of Saint-Martin-de-Ré is very pretty and has an attractive port

Saint-Martin-de-Re guide
La Flotte-en-Re

La Flotte-en-Re

The village of La Flotte-en-Ré is a pretty village on the Ile-de-Ré

La Flotte-en-Re guide
La Tranche-sur-Mer

La Tranche-sur-Mer

La Tranche-sur-Mer is a small resort, but very pleasant and with an enjoyable promenade behind the beach

La Tranche-sur-Mer guide
La Faute-sur-Mer

La Faute-sur-Mer

Here at La Faute-sur-Mer you can explore the nature reserve and peninsula - or relax on the long beach!

La Faute-sur-Mer guide


Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard is a small resort in Vendee where you can visit the house and gardens of Georges Clemenceau

Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Charente-Maritime

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, Poitou-Charentes, 17590, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 46.207, longitude -1.515

Plan your visit to Ars-en-Re, Charente-Maritime

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Saint-Martin-de-Ré citadelle (Vauban fortifications): heritage site (11 km)
  • La Flotte-en-Re: most beautiful village (15 km)
  • Jardins du phare de Chassiron: remarkable garden (22 km)
  • Georges Clemenceau house: national monument (23 km)
  • La Rochelle: secteur sauvegarde (28 km)
  • Aquarium de La Rochelle: aquarium (29 km)
  • Jardins de la Boirie: remarkable garden (33 km)
  • Parc zoologique des Sables-d'Olonne: zoo or wildlife park (36 km)
  • Marans: ville fleurie 4* (42 km)
  • Forêt de Saint-Trojan: site of natural beauty (47 km)
  • Jardins de Chaligny: remarkable garden (49 km)
  • Rochefort: town of art and history (52 km)

Market days in Ars-en-Re, France

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)