Camping St Clément Des Baleines (Ile de Ré)
An idyllic island off France’s west coast, Ile de Ré is the perfect spot for both seasoned and first time campers thanks to its laidback lifestyle, natural beauty and numerous historic and picturesque attractions.
Ile de Ré is additionally dotted with tiny harbour towns and great outdoor sandy landscapes that make it ideal for a beach camping getaway.
Top campsites on Ile de Ré
There’s just one campsite on Ile de Ré that has an excellent position on the outskirts of Saint-Clément-des-Baleines. Camping La Cote Sauvage is just seconds from the sea and offers up a range of accommodation, from standard pitches to luxury yurt tents.
Further afield, you’ll find several campsites on neighbouring Ile d’Oléron, including Camping Airotel Oléron that’s situated within an area of woodland close to enchanting Oléron Castle.
Popular places on Ile de Ré
Located on the west coast of France and connected to the mainland by a bridge, Ile de Ré has long been a summer holiday hotspot for those after a quieter coastal retreat.
Being just 5km wide, it’s possible to see much of Ile de Ré in just a couple of days. Most of the island is made up of salt marshes or sand dunes, many of which are protected areas and only able to be explored on foot or bike.
Among Ile de Ré’s beautiful landscapes, you’ll find quaint fishing towns and stunning beaches that rival those of the Côte d’Azur. The island’s capital and fortified port, Saint-Clément-des-Baleines, is found on the western most tip and is a popular place for visitors thanks to its facilities and interesting historic sites.
Things to do when camping on Ile de Ré
While Ile de Ré may be small, it’s surprisingly packed with plenty of charming attractions to keep both you and the kids occupied. Saint-Clément-des-Baleines is famous for its 17th century walled fortifications and Phares des Baleines lighthouse — now a museum— as well as its bustling quayside, that’s awash with great local restaurants.
The island’s natural beauty speaks for itself, with sandy stretches like Plage de la Conche and Le Bois Plage attracting beach-goers after sun, sea and surf. There’s also several miles of sand dunes fringed by pine trees as well as the island’s protected salt marshes, both of which are great for long hikes or leisurely cycle rides.
If you fancy a day trip off island, there’s cosmopolitan cities like La Rochelle (just over the Ile de Ré Bridge), Rochefort and Cognac within an hour’s drive. You’ll also find France’s most well-known wine region a little further away, with the city of Bordeaux at its centre.