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Charente-Maritime The little island of Ile d’Aix sits off the coast from the lovely port town of la Rochelle in the Charente-Maritime region. Quaint and quirky, this bijou islet is a perfect place for a get-away-from-it-all break or a fabulous day trip. There are just 40 full time residents living on the island and most holiday makers are French – and who can blame them for wanting to keep this place a secret, but, I like to share the best places with you. You can’t take your car to the island which is reached by a smart ferry, though residents may use cars as they’re necessary for getting in supplies. But you’ll find that without the fumes, this place is an absolute haven of nature and sweet fresh air. You can leave your car in the car park at the ferry terminal and it’s not a huge island so you won’t miss your wheels and besides, everyone cycles and walks here. There are great bike paths that take you all round the island with detours to gorgeous beaches, laid back bars and cafes and accommodation, there’s just one hotel, a campsite, villas and a few chambre d’hotes – this is not an island that’s teeming with places to stay so book in advance to ensure a bed for the night.
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