The salt marshes

The salt marshes

During your holiday, discover another – wilder – facet of the island, where the salt marshes stretch as far as the eye can see. Go on a guided tour to discover the secrets of white gold!

The northwest: the land of white gold

For centuries, salt has brought prosperity to the Ile de Ré. Even today, a hundred or so salt workers harvest salt by hand, in the traditional way. Take advantage of your holiday to join a guided tour of a working marsh. Admire the know-how of the salt workers, discover how the salt flower forms on the surface of the water and get to know the fauna and flora of the marshes (little egret, shelduck, white stilt…).

Where to go for a walk?

In the north of the island, from La Couarde to Les Portes-en-Ré, around the Fier d’Ars and the Loix peninsula, passing through the Lilleau des Niges Nature Reserve
and Saint Clément des Baleines.

Things to see and do in the marsh:

  • The Marais Salant eco-museum (Loix): to learn all about the history of salt production on the island, the job of the salt worker and how a salt marsh works.
  • The Sauniers Cooperative (Ars-en-Ré): to stock up on coarse salt, flavoured salt, samphire, wild mustard and caramels with fleur de sel!

Did you know ?
The salt workers harvest about 250 grams of salt per litre of water, and it takes just one shower to wipe out several days’ harvest!