Ile De Noirmoutier – A perfect Island Escape

When we go on holidays one of our favourite things is to stumble on unexpectedly beautiful locations. On our camping trip to St Jean Du Monts we ended up taking a day trip to Ile De Noirmoutier and  what a beautiful surprise it was ! We arrived on the Island Via the new bridge , now when I say new it was built in 1971 and like many bridges in France it is not for the faint hearted , many of the bridges are raised in order to allow yachts and ships to pass through ( I will tell you about the bridge outside Nantes another day ..eek ! ) I was blown away with the Island from the second we crossed that bridge , beautiful views of the sea and idyllic beaches are always the way to my heart 😉  The road is lined by salt pans with little huts by the road to sell the sea salt that is produced on the Island  ( Of which I bought loads ha ha ) There is an alternative route , which , to be honest , sounds terrifying ! It is called La Gois  which is a 3 mile long uneven cobble paved causeway, which is covered twice a day by up to 4m of water eek ! There are refuge markers along the route that if you get caught out in the tide you would need to climb ! Clearly I was not brave enough for that particular adventure !

 

The main town on the Island is Noirmoutier En Ile and this is where we spent our time that day , cobblestone streets bustling with life and lined with little cafes , art galleries , boutiques and beautiful Poissonneries which the kids loved to run into and stare at the mussels and fish , I love the fresh produce that you can  buy in French seaside towns , it is something I wish we had more readily available in Ireland ! The people are so warm and friendly , which some may say is not typical French but I actually think once you step outside of Paris the people are so welcoming .  We took a tour of the  Chateau De Noirmoutier which is home to naval artefacts and the view from the top is stunning ! We took Noah and Emilia who were nearly two and 3.5 , they loved wandering around the grounds outside and sitting on the cannons , older children may enjoy the tour a bit more !

 

As is my tradition in every place I visit I sought out a tiny little church that is used to keep the fishermen safe , it was tiny and just perfect and in complete contrast to the huge church in Biarritz that has a small boat in the ceiling to protect the local fishermen .If we had more time I would definitely have hired out bikes as its a very bike friendly Island is only 20KM in length so you would get around in no time and get to see the Island at your own pace .

On our way back to the campsite we stopped at a beautiful beach on the Island , the walk from the village to the beach is lined with beautiful beach homes , I could really see myself sitting on the veranda listening to the sea , I mean who would not like that ! The kids spent a good hour on the beach collecting buckets of shells which now sit proudly on our book shelf ! There are about 15 main beaches on the Island , obviously some are small inlets and some are really long stretches of sand but one thing is for sure you would need a week to discover them all !

 

This was the highlight of our trip to France and my only regret is that we did not go back to the Island one more day before we went home , we all felt so relaxed and restored after our brief trip so I can not even imagine how we would have felt after a few days !

 

L xx

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