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An integral part of the landscapes of the Île de Ré, the salt marshes take the form of large basins dug out of natural clay. Former main activity in the 19th century, the island now has just over a hundred salt workers.

The history of the salt marshes of the Ile de Ré

Marais salants Île de Ré
The Salt Marshes of the Île de Ré

More than two centuries ago, the island had more than 1,000 salt workers. 20% of the territory of Rhétais was occupied by this activity, producing more than 30,000 tonnes of salt. Following the innovation of conservation of fresh products, the war as well as following the drying up of the marshes, the production was seen to decrease. Consequently, the salt workers are withdrawing from this function, seeing the prices drop! Thanks to the help of the Cooperative, the Chamber of Agriculture of Charente-Maritime and the Community of Communes of the Ile de Ré, the salt marshes are developing again with the installation and innovation of young salt workers. . Nowadays, we can see that this reinforcement has saved the activity which is now part of the image of the territory.

Visit the Salt Marshes

les marais salants île de ré - un salinier
The Salt Marshes – a salt pan

Located in the north of the island, it is quite possible to wander by bike within this exceptional landscape. From Loix to Portes-en-Ré, passing through the marshes, 17 kilometers are available to you! In the middle of the salt marshes, you can observe a large number of birds as well as heaps of salts present all along. If during your walk, you have the opportunity to come across salt workers. They will be happy to answer your questions and shed light on some still dark points on the marshes. This walk can only be soothing and rewarding and will rejuvenate you! Rather want to discover them through their history? The salt marsh eco-museum located in Loix is ​​an ideal choice of activity! Throughout the visit, you will discover the impact of salt production on the island. As well as the methods used and the functioning of this activity. Afterwards, a guide will take you to discover the salt marshes. You will observe all the richness of this landscape! As for the museum, admission is free for children under 8 years old. For children from 8 to 11 years old, it costs 2.70 € and those between 12 and 18 years old, 5 €. For adults, this is €5.50.

For more information, visit the Ile de Ré Tourist Office website

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