One of the must-see places on your camping holiday, Saint-Clément-des-Baleines is a must for campers wishing to discover one of the most visited monuments on the Ile de Ré: the Whale Lighthouse! On the programme: climb to the top of the lighthouse, visit the museum, but also discover the small built heritage of the surrounding area... Welcome to Saint-Clément-des-Baleines, a charming village in the north-west of the Ile de Ré, between the wild coast and the forest!
The visit of the Phare des Baleines, the museum and the Vieille Tour
As soon as you arrive at the foot of the Phare des Baleines, one of the highest lighthouses in France, several visits are proposed to you. Start by climbing the 257 steps of the lighthouse that lead you to the top of the building (57 metres). There you can admire a breathtaking view of the Ile de Ré, the Conche des Baleines, the fish locks and even the Baleineaux lighthouse and the Ile d'Oléron when weather conditions permit. Here is the opportunity to take beautiful pictures of your camping stay on the Ile de Ré! Continue the visit, on dry land this time, by pushing the doors of the museum. Through a playful and educational trail that will please young and old alike, you will discover the great epic of the lighthouses and beacons of the Charente coast and the history of these giants of the seas from the 17th century to the present day. All you have to do is press the red button to watch explanatory videos by Jamy Gourmaud, the presenter of the programme "C'est pas sorcier!". Kids will love it! The Old Whale Tower is also on the programme of the visit. Built between 1669 and 1682 by Vauban's engineers, the tower is 31 metres high. When it was still in operation, the fire was fuelled with fish oil, especially whale oil, and then with coal in the mid-18th century. In 1904, the Vieille Tour with its crenellated top was classified as a Historic Monument.
A bit of history...
The result of the know-how of the architect Léonce Reynaud, director of the Lighthouse and Beacons Department, the current lighthouse was inaugurated in 1854. It was erected to replace the neighbouring Old Tower built in 1682. It was used to mark the north-western tip of the island and to guide boats coming from the Antioch and Breton inlets. Today, the Baleines lighthouse is still in operation with a range of about 50 kilometres.
The campsite's favourites
Enjoy swimming on the Conche des Baleines beach, which retains a wild and authentic aspect.
Explore the paths of the salt marshes near the Lilleau des Niges Nature Reserve by taking the cycle path that links Saint-Clément-les-Baleines to Portes-en-Ré.
Discover the Pyramide des Chaumes, a curious 4-metre-high obelisk which was once used as a bitter.
Make a stop around the last fish lock of Saint-Clément nicknamed "La Moufette".