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French Island Hopping

200807-french-islands-ss-1-article

Photo: Matthieu Salvaing

In the waters off France, explore four tranquil islands where the coastlines are rugged, the villages are charming, and the subtle pleasures of daily life still matter.

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Inspired by: Exploring Hidden French Islands — by Christopher Petkanas, Published May. 2008

Hotels (7)

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    L'Hotel de Toiras

    Built as part of a St.-Martin-de-Ré shipyard in the 16th century, the Toiras is the kind of property that gives Relais & Châteaux a good name. It h

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    Ti Jan Ar C’hafé

    It's the only hotel worth anything, though hotel is a big word for what is really just an eight-room guesthouse. Open the windows to hear the sound

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    Les Petites Villas

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    Le Delos

    A monument to the endearingly loopy vision of pastis magnate Paul Ricard (who built it in 1962), the 19-room Le Delos was recently reimagined by Br

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    La Citadelle Vauban

    The Citadelle, poised on a cliff edge 130 feet above the Atlantic, is now a surprising hotel, the mâchicoulis serving as terraces lead off many of

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    Château Bordénéo

    An inland maison d'hôtes of good intentions and some allure.

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    Le Corps de Garde / La Maison du Port

    These two hotels are interconnecting parts of the same maison d'hôtes. Both sit directly on the port in St.-Martin-de-Ré along with the Hotel de To

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Restaurants (6)

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    Ty Korn

    Ty Korn serves the mother of all seafood platters.

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    Ti a Dreuz

    The buckwheat crepes at Ti A Dreuz attain a rare level of delicacy and refinement.

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    Mary's Jo Couture

    For $18 a head, Mary Jo will prepare a ragout, simmered untouched for four hours in clods, and deliver it to your hotel or the beach for a picnic s

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    Madame Orlac'h's

    At Madame Orlac'h's nameless salon de thé you can have a cream tea as good as any in Wiltshire while listening to Schubert and reading ancient copi

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    L'Avant Port

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    Au Bord d'un Zinc

Activities (2)

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    La Belle-Îloise

    Among today's tourists, the most popular souvenir is a half-dozen cans of prized millimisée sardines (they're dated, like wine) from this La Belle-

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    Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiriteux

    An extraordinary museum Ricard founded as a "permanent encyclopedia" of wine and spirits. The collection includes 700 related books, 5,000 labels,

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