Discover Vauban fortifications in Île de Ré all along a recreational and sporting circuit!The most striking events of the history of Île de Ré took place in the 12th century with the conflicts not only between Catholics and Protestants, but also between England and France. We should go back to 1625 when, under the reign of Louis XIII, the Protestants took possession of the island. Two years later, in 1627, Cardinal de Richelieu, an intransigent Catholic, decided to lay siege to La Rochelle with the support of the King of England. Duke of Buckingham therefore settled in Île de Ré but the island did not intend to remain passive…
- Difference in height
- 103.34 m
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- Points of interest
The first fortification built by Vauban is La Redoute de Rivedoux and you can view a few vestiges in front of you.
The tour also provides the opportunity to discover places to visit. However, some may be closed depending on the periods, opening dates and times.
2 La Redoute
3 Head to Saint-Martin de Ré
Now head to Saint-Martin de Ré by following the cycle paths along the seaside and through the forest!
In the sea, sails form coloured brackets standing out in the blue sky; kitesurf lovers enjoy the omnipresent and regular breeze. At low tide, numerous oyster parks can be clearly seen together with tractors.
Renowned for its vineyards, Sainte Marie de Ré is the oldest village of the island. Besides, its wild beaches attract surfers in search of high waves.
6 At the gateway to the fortified city
7 Le Clocher Observatoire de St Martin
8 Saint-Martin seen from above
Behind the harbour, particularly lively during the summer season with its evening market, quiet streets lead to the church of Saint Martin whose walls bear witness to numerous attacks. From the top of the belltower, and particularly at sunset, you will discover a superb view over the town and the island.
11 Les Fortifications Vauban
12 Head to the ‘Phare des Baleines’
For the more energetic, continue until you reach the end of the island. You will discover a place not to be missed: ‘Phare des Baleines’. This was the first tower built by Vauban…
13 You need to make a stop at the salt marshes!
If you have the opportunity to do another sightseeing tour, don’t hesitate to discover the Ecomuseum of Salt Marshes which helps you understand how salt is produced (subject to opening dates and times). Contact: 05 46 29 06 77.
You can also make a detour and sample oysters and seafood at a local producer.
Now, let’s set out for the ‘Phare des Baleines’.
The Lighthouse and the Conche des Baleines are the main attractions of Saint Clément. The Lighthouse, one of the highest and most powerful lighthouses in France, is the most visited monument of the island. After climbing the 257 steps, the lighthouse provides spectacular views. You will admire the two-coloured belltower of Ars, you will see the bridge in the distance, you will dominate the Conche des Baleines…
Considered as the most beautiful beach of the island, the wide Plage de la Conche, bordered by wooded dunes, stretches as far as Les Portes en Ré. Several scenes of the movie ‘The Longest Day’ were filmed here.
16 Le Phare des Baleines
If you have energy left, climb the 257 steps to a breathtaking view of the island and ocean!
- 103 meters of difference in height