Just off the atlantic coast by La Rochelle, a beautiful island characterised by a gentle climate, picturesque villages and a variety of landscapes. An exceptional natural history, numerous activities, traces of antiquity, traditional crafts to discover. Dream of romantic voyages from the summit of the lighthouse, or watching the many migratory birds. After exploring 30 km of sheltered beaches, admire the dexterity of the salt farmer harvesting the spice of the sea before tasting the excellent local wine.
LE PHARE DES BALEINES
The first tower built by Vauban is listed as a Historic Monument today. The present-day lighthouse was inaugurated in 1854. With its 57m it is one of the highest in France: 257 steps to reach the height and spectacular views over the island and ocean.
New in 2007 : area of museographic presentations on lighthouses and their history at the foot of the old tower.
L'ESTRAN ET LA RESERVE ORNITHOLOGIQUE
The Maison du Fier, a former salt warehouse, presents a variety of exhibitions about the island’s scenery and natural resources. There are specially organized nature workshops for children.
The Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (Bird Protection League) manages this haven for wildlife.
With their particularly rich biodiversity, the reserve’s natural marshlands are home to some 250 different species of birds that are permanently resident or just stopping over in the course of their migration. It can be viewed from a discreet distance while walking or cycling, or more closely under the supervision of a guide.
Tél. 05 46 29 50 74
L'ECOMUSEE DES MARAIS SALANTS
In Loix, in the heart of the salt marshes, an ecomuseum recounts the story of the «white gold» that gave the island its prosperity in bygone days, the salt workers’ way of life and expertise, the ingenious system for carrying seawater to the salt pans etc.
Individual and group visits.
Salt and «fleur de sel» are on sale in the shop.
Exhibition and guided visit of a salt-marsh every day 15 February to 11 November.
L'HUITRIERE DE RE
Our oysters? Four years of patience and regular work are necessary to mature ideal oysters.
They’re really beauty queens, and fleshy and perfumed just as you like them!
Nobody can resist them.
And we can savour them all year round!
They have such an exquisite taste and they are unanimously renowned for their dietetic properties…
LE MUSEE ERNEST COGNACQ
The Hôtel de Clerjotte houses the most beautiful civil architecture of Île de Ré - the museum Ernest Cognacq - which is extending and modernising.
Musée Ernest Cognacq
13 avenue Victor Bouthillier
Tél : 05.46.09.21.22
Fax : 05.46.09.75.60
LA CAVE COOPERATIVE
Sheltered by the Gulf Stream and rocked by the mild Atlantic climate, the vineyards of the island slowly mature in the Charentais sun. Created by a character soil and expertise several hundred years old, the vine products are awaiting you at the wine cellar of the Coopérative des Vignerons at Bois-Plage.
You’ll be offered:
> white, rosé and red still wines which will be perfect accompaniments to seafood, fish and grilled meats,
> white and rosé sparkling wines which will wonderfully combine with desserts,
> white and rosé Pineau wines which are magnifi cently flavoured and deliciously sweet,
> Cognac which provide subtle and delicate aromas.
Route de Sainte-Marie
17580 Le Bois Plage en Ré
Tél : 05 46 09 23 09
Fax : 05 46 09 09 26
LE FORT BOYARD
Like a stone vessel anchored between the Ile d’Aix and the Ile d’Oléron, in the middle of the Pertuis d’Antioche straits, Boyard Fort was designed to guard the mouth of the Charente and the port of Rochefort, as the range of the cannons on the islands was not long enough to cover this zone. Its imposing dimensions – 68m long, 31m wide and 20m high – make it a veritable symbol of the maritime heritage of Charentes, confirmed by its media success.
Aix ‘the authentic’ is the last island of the département that is accessible only by boat. Here, there are no cars and peace and tranquillity are guaranteed. On foot or by bike, everyone can go right round this little crescent of earth at their own speed, where an exceptional heritage blends with untamed countryside.
Informations : Mairie de l’île d’Aix / Service animation / Tél. 05 46 83 01 82.
L'AQUARIUM DE LA ROCHELLE
“Located in the heart of town, next to the old harbour and the famous towers of La Rochelle, discover one of the main european private aquariums. Take a two hour’s journey into the depths of the oceans and meet 12 000 Atlantic, Mediterranean and Tropical animals in 3 million litres of water.
Explore the magical and mysterious underwater world that keeps fascinating us.”
Student (w/ID): €12,50
Child (3 to 17 years old): €11,50
Under 3 years: free (you may be asked for proof of children's age at the entrance)
Tél. 05 46 34 00 00
LE MUSEE MARITIME DE LA ROCHELLE
Le Musée Maritime is open from 1 avril to 30 september.
Tél. 05 46 28 03 00.
LE ZOO DE LA PALMYRE
Between Bordeaux and La Rochelle, a few dunes from Royan is an oasis of amazing encounters and discoveries with animals from all continents - a place where the imagination of one man transformed a pine forest into a jungle book… A unique place where a love of animals was transformed into a Noah's Ark. Over the 14 hectares of the most renowned zoo park in France and one of the most interesting in Europe, meet the 1600 animals in the company of the squire, Claude Caillé.
LA CORDERIE ROYALE
Many traces of this illustrious past remain in Rochefort. The most famous is without question the Corderie Royale – where ropes were made for the Navy – is a magnificent, entirely renovated maritime heritage site, today housing the Centre International de la Mer (International Sea Centre). The Corderie Royale holds exhibitions and has a specialised library. Just nearby can be found the famous shipyard of the Hermione, frigate of La Fayette, where, since 1997, a replica is being built of this magnificent 45m-long, triple-masted ship, built in Rochefort in 1779.
LE CHANTIER DE L'HERMIONE
In 1780, La Fayette boarded the Hermione, a frigate built a few months earlier in the Arsenal of Rochefort. He set out to help the young American nation fight for its independence.
1997: a new project was launched in Rochefort – to rebuild the Hermione in the middle of the former maritime arsenal. The shipyard allowed the public to discover the work of carpenters, joiners, cabinet makers and blacksmiths…
On the initiative of the town of Rochefort and the Centre International de la Mer (International Sea Centre), a maritime cultural centre in the Corderie Royale (Royal Rope Makers), was created at the end of 1992. The Association Hermione-La Fayette was put in charge of piloting the project.
Currently, about forty people contribute to the realisation of this human and technological adventure in different occupations and building trades: carpenters and blacksmiths, guides and receptionists, engineers and administrative staff.
As in the 18th century, the hull of the ship is made entirely of oak, mainly from the west of France. The curved pieces are mostly cut directly from the solid wood; only certain, less thick pieces are steamed and then bent. The pieces are finished with bronze dowels and nails.
Extreme thrills, images in giant-screen format, breathtaking shows, interactive adventures that will delight your senses, and more. Over 25 experiences for all the family that bring you fun and a new way of exploring the world.
MAISON DE COGNAC REMY MARTIN
In a unique and authentic site, you are invited to see and take part in all stages of the crafting of cognac, from its creation to its full development.
Camping 5 étoiles sur l'Île de Ré
8 route de Gros Jonc
17580 LE BOIS PLAGE EN RÉ
Tél. 05 46 09 18 22 - Fax 05 46 09 23 38