9am – Meet your English speaking driver guide who will wait for you with a nominative board at the main exit of your ship and departure for a visit of La Rochelle
You will pass by the Abbaye des Chateliers and St Martin de Ré Fortifications
There’s something oddly egalitarian about the French island of Ile de Ré. It’s Unesco-protected, attracts wealthy Parisians and British holidaymakers, and St Martin, the capital, has restaurants and boutiques that post prices to rival Paris or Nice. And yet its former citadel is home to France’s largest correctional facility, and until 1938 was the departure point for convicts bound for the French penal colonies.
The island is in its prime in the summer, but is equally appealing off season, and can be reached by air to La Rochelle or by train.
You will also enjoy a visit of “Marais Salant” visit.
From La Couarde to Les Portes and Loix passing through Ars and St Clément des Baleines, marshlands with bluishgrey glints stretch as far as the eye can see while contrasting with the green colours of vineyards and southern vegetations.
So it is here that salt workers harvest the “white gold”, one of the natural treasures of the island. Over an area of 460 hectares, they preserve age-long traditions: seawater remains in clay ponds of various sizes and a natural process of evaporation occurs thanks to the sun and wind; it is in the last pond, called ‘aire saunante’, that salt crystals are harvested manually between the months of June and September.
Ile de Ré’s salt workers are key operators for the preservation of natural environment. They take an active part in the protection of a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna sheltered by this living environment shaped by men; they maintain ponds, clay levees and watch over and control water levels.
However about a hundred salt workers gathered in a cooperative in 1992 in order to optimize their means of production and sale; cooking salt and table salt (which is finely ground rock salt), salt ower and herb-seasoned salt are sold under the brand name of ‘Sauniers de l’Île de Ré’ or store brands in hypermarkets.
"Don't go back home without few bags of our white gold! Its taste will remind you of the sun, the ocean, the holidays and Ré the White Island!"
Lunch at leisure – your guide will suggest you the best place to have lunch depending on your request on site
5pm- end of the tour at your ship