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Salt Marsh Ecomuseum

Campsite Ile de Ré > Ile de Ré > Places to explore > Ecomusée du Marais Salant

The island of Ré boasts many architectural treasures and a unique natural heritage. Among the monuments preserving its history is the salt marsh eco-museum.

Where is the Marais Salant ecomuseum?

Just a few minutes from the Ile de Ré campsite, La Tour des Prises and close to Loix, the salt marsh eco-museum reveals the history of salt and salt production as it was in the past. Stop off to see the exhibition and take a guided tour of a marsh that has marked the history of this traditional activity. You’ll discover how salt is produced on the Ile de Ré.

Observe salt marsh fauna

In this mythical place, you’ll find everything to do with the marsh. Models on display illustrate the site’s special features and provide information on the flora and fauna that live in salt marshes. Depending on the season, you might even spot different species of birds such as Belon shelducks, egrets and geese.

The sauniers of the Ile de Ré

The salt marshes are an important part of the natural heritage of the Ile de Ré. Covering more than 460 hectares, they bear witness to a perpetual know-how dating back to the 12th century. It’s on these marshes that the sauniers harvest their famous white gold every year. In principle, salt production is the result of a natural evaporation process that takes place in these vast clay basins. The last basins, known as “aires saunantes”, are where the salt crystals are harvested. Harvesting takes place between June and September, using a long rake called a simoussi.

The salt producers on the Ile de Ré also play an important role in preserving the natural environment. They contribute all the more to safeguarding the rich biodiversity of flora and fauna that have found refuge at the heart of this living natural environment designed by man.
You’ll find authentic salt from the Ile de Ré salt marshes on sale at your campsite’s supermarket.

On a guided tour of the salt marshes, you’ll have the chance to see how the marshes are prepared for the season, and how the salt is harvested. The Ecomusée also sells a range of books on salt farming, as well as products such as salicornia and fleur du sel salt, should you wish to bring back some souvenirs of your stay on the Ile de Ré.

Salt marshes at the Ile de Ré Ecomuseum

Practical information about the museum

The ecomuseum is open from :

  • From 2.30pm to 5.15pm except Sundays and Mondays between March 1st and April 15th.
  • From 2.30pm to 6pm except Mondays between April 16th and June 19th.
  • 10:00 to 12:30 and 14:00 to 19:00 daily from June 20 to September 17
  • 10:00 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm except Mondays and Sundays from September 17 to November 4.
  • The first visit takes place 30 minutes after the museum opens, and the last visit begins 70 minutes before closing time.
  • The tour lasts 45 minutes.