Just 3 km long and 600 metres wide, Ile d’Aix is a tiny jewel of an island home to several well-preserved examples of French military architecture. It is also well known for its charming village, scenic trails, and sandy beaches. HomeAway has a good selection of holiday apartments on Ile d’Aix, most of which are either right on the water or have water views. Numerous holiday homes are also available that can accommodate larger groups and like the holiday apartments in Ile d’Aix, all are well facilitated and maintained for a comfortable stay.
Ile d’Aix is a small, beautiful island that is probably best known for its connection with Napoleon. He first visited in the island in 1808, only to return 7 years later following the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon spent his last days on French soil here, as he made a failed attempt to escape to America. 200 years later, Ile d’Aix has transformed into an idyllic holiday destination with peaceful hiking trails, beaches, and reminders from its fascinating past.
-The beaches are a major draw. Despite the small size of Ile d’Aix, the island has four separate beaches. The largest is La Grande Plage, which is a broad sandy beach perfect for sunbathing and swimming. La Plage aux Coquillages has a few more pebbles and is smaller, but is also more sheltered. Tiny Plage de l’anse de la Croix is the closest to town and boasts a view of Fort de la Rade.
-Hiking and cycling are favoured ways to spend time during stays in an Ile d’Aix holiday home. The mild weather on Ile d’Aix makes it well suited for outdoor activities and as there are few cars on the island, the preferred method of travel is on a bicycle or on foot. Ile d’Aix is small enough to traverse easily on a bicycle and marked trails wrap around the island, offering unparalleled views of the the Bay of Biscay and the French mainland.
-Fort de la Rade dates back to the early 18th century and was built to provide protection against the English. Covering the southern tip of the island, it is just a stone’s throw away from town and numerous Ile d’Aix holiday apartments.
-Fort Liedot is located on the northern half of the island. Fort Liedot was commission by Napoleon himself as an “indestructible and impregnable” structure. Sitting at the highest point on the island, the fort was able to accommodate 600 soldiers when it was completed in 1835. It was later converted into a prison for military and political prisoners and operated as such until the middle of the 20th century. Today, it is open to visitors.
-Ile d’Aix village is the hub of life on the island. The island is dotted with homes and business, but most of the holiday apartments in Ile d’Aix are situated within its village. Located on the southern half of the island just north of Fort de la Rade, this charming row of streets is home to boutique shops and restaurants that are a favourite with holidaymakers and day trippers.
Ile d’Aix enjoys warm summers, with high temperatures peaking in the high 20s in August. The island is pleasantly warm from April through October each year, during which there is only a small amount of rainfall. Winters on Ile d’Aix are relatively mild, and low temperatures hover well above freezing.
As Ile d’Aix is an island, the only way to reach it is by ferry. Ferries depart regularly from the nearby town of Fouras throughout the year. During the island’s high season (summer), there are also ferries available from La Rochelle and Oleron. La Rochelle Airport receives flights from London, Paris, and other major European cities, making Ile d’Aix easily accessible.