Situated on the west coast of Ré, La Couarde sur Mer is the border village between the south and north of the island. Known for its long sandy beaches, its narrow streets lined with hollyhocks and its charming port of Goisil, La Couarde is a small seaside resort that is a must-see during your camping holiday on the Ile de Ré.
The beaches of La Couarde-sur-Mer
La Couarde-sur-Mer has no less than 5km of fine sandy beaches and is only 10 minutes from camping La Grainetière. Among the most beautiful beaches to discover are the Peu Ragot beach, the Anneries beach, the Prises beach and the Folies beach. On the programme: lazing around, swimming, beach sports (beach volleyball, etc.), water sports (surfing, kitesurfing, bodyboarding, paddleboarding, etc.).
At low tide, the foreshore offers a vast playground for lovers of fishing on foot on the island of Ré, who are numerous to collect clams, cockles, mussels, scallops, prairies, oysters and shrimps. To enjoy the pleasures of fishing while preserving the resources of the environment, you can obtain a reglet on the regulatory sizes of shellfish from the tourist office.
La Couarde and water sports activities
The nautical activities are a major asset of the richness of the Couarde territory. Whether you are an occasional or experienced water sports enthusiast, you have all the necessary facilities to practice a wide range of water sports.
The Centre Nautique Couardais du Goisil (CNCG), the municipal water sports centre, has been offering sailing courses all year round for over 30 years.
On the Peu Ragot beach, the sailing school "Les Dauphins", headed by Antoine Albeau, organises group or private lessons on optimist, dinghy, catamaran, windsurfing, funboard, stand up paddle, water-skiing, wake-boarding, towed buoys...
On the beach of Les Prises, the sailing school "Île de Ré Nautique", accessible by the road to Ars, offers courses for children, juniors and adults on windsurfing, catamaran and optimist. As for stand up paddle enthusiasts, they have an appointment with "Sup Evasion" for a nautical excursion in the marshes of the Ile de Ré. At the western end of La Couarde, the kitesurfing school "Philovent" offers to make your first tacks on the beach of Boutillon.
Walking and cycling
The coastal path (PR8) runs along the entire south coast and allows you to walk along the 5 km of beaches through dunes and vineyards, with a breathtaking view of the Pertuis d'Antioche. The path is marked with yellow markers. Distance: 7 km, duration: 2 h 30. Note that from the Cossonnes to the Prises beach, an interpretation trail allows you to discover the fauna, the flora and the landscape.
By bike, a cycle path links La Couarde to Loix, passing through the Fier d'Ars, in the middle of vineyards and salt marshes. Leaving La Couarde, another itinerary leads to Ars-en-Ré, through the countryside of the Rétaise, the Passe du Martray and the salt marshes.
The Couarde heritage
Throughout its history, the commune of La Couarde has preserved its character as a village of the Retais. The relatively dense and mineral town centre is made up of a network of alleys whose white walls highlight the local vegetation composed of hollyhocks, bay trees and other climbing bignones. At the bend in the streets of Couard, visitors can discover sundials that adorn the façades and low walls of the houses.
The church of Notre-Dame-de-l'Annonciation, built in 1865, symbolises the heart of the village. The building contains two ex-votos: a merchant ship, a three-masted square-rigged ship with iron sails on the yards, dated 1894, and a model of a tuna boat under sail from the 1930s.
Built in 1895, the bandstand of La Couarde is the last one on the island of Ré. In the summer, it hosts numerous concerts given by local musicians, gathered in bands, banda or swing bands.
The square and the war memorial pay tribute to the soldiers of the First World War. For the record, the eagle, a particularity of the monument, was buried during the Second World War by the inhabitants, so that the bronze would not be melted down and used to make cannons. Today, it is an ideal place for walking and recreation with a playground and a bowling green.
The port of Goisil is also worth a visit, located near the La Couarde nautical basin, away from the village. Accessible thanks to an access channel, this small typical port is made up of wooden pontoons with an old-fashioned charm.