Ars en Re – 1300 inhabitants – name of the inhabitants: casserons
Ars is a village with 1300 inhabitants located between the villages of La Couarde and Saint-Clement des Baleines. As you head towards the end of the island, your gaze will be drawn to the black and white church tower…
As you head towards the end of the island, your gaze will be drawn to the black and white church tower which is still used as a sea mark by sailors and which belongs to the church of Ars (yes it really is pronounced arse), and is the symbol of one of France’s most lovely villages. Its narrow streets lined with stone built and white washed houses and the ubiquitous hollyhocks all converge on the port and the summer market, which is possibly the best on the island.
Lying around 100m from the church, the marina is dominated by the former railway station, opposite the famous Café du Commerce, one of the trendier restaurants on the Ile de Re. The marina and harbour are accessible by a channel which slips through the salt marshes.
The salt marshes which surround the village are an invitation to long bike rides towards La Couarde via Le Martray (the narrowest point on the island), or towards Saint-Clément and Les Portes via the breathtaking nature reserve and bird sanctuary of Lilleau des Niges. Everywhere you look, magical sights await you, especially at sundown when sky, sea and salt weave together in an enchanting palette of colours.
On your way back from the beach or from a bike ride, or after wandering around the tiny streets, stop off at the church square and enjoy a coffee on the terrace of one of the cafés, and breathe in the smell of pure sea air.