Ile de re
Finding Nirvana on Tiny Îe de RéI fell hard for salty, snazzy, sun-kissed Îe de Ré. This lilliputian island (150 sq km) halfway between Brittany and Bordeaux on France’s Atlantic coast is a favorite Parisian summer escape, where the windswept beaches and rural bliss meets sophisticated dining. It’s peppered with sweet lighthouses, and shutters may only be painted one of 16 shades: eight variations of blue, eight green.
It’s best explored by bicycle—dedicated cycle trails skirt the coast past 16th-century citadels, pine-crested dunes, terracotta-topped bungalows with weathered blue shutters and forgotten fishing villages, where both chic restaurants and wooden shacks serve a bounty of fresh seafood.
The island also produces flaky fleur de sel salt, infusing everything you consume–look out for delicate savory-sweet chocolates and caramels.