The lighthouse of Baleines and Saint Clement
As you head towards the western tip of the island of Ré towards Saint-Clément, you will arrive at the foot of the lighthouse of Les Baleines, a must-visit for your camping holiday! Always in operation, the lighthouse welcomes almost 170 000 visitors every year.
Climb to the top of the Whales lighthouse!
If you feel you are attacking and you do not get dizzy, you will have to climb the 257 steps of the helical staircase to reach the top of the lighthouse which culminates at 57 meters high. After this effort, you will be rewarded with a unique view of the island of Ré and the Atlantic Ocean, the fish lock at low tide, the conches des Baleines and even on the island of Oléron on a clear day.
Discover the Tower of the Whales, one of the oldest fire towers in France
Built in 1682, the Whale Tower is part of the vast fortification program set up by Vauban to defend Rochefort's arsenal. This former fire tower was to guide the ships that cruised off the island of Ré, but also to constitute an ideal maritime observatory. Built in stone, the building is made up of 3 floors and 3 rooms accessible from a spiral staircase. With the completion of the works of the new whale lighthouse in 1854, the old Tower fell into disuse, but was declared a Historic Monument in 1904.
Visit the Whale Museum
To complete the visit of the lighthouse of Les Baleines, discover the museum located in the heart of the former school of lighthouse keepers at the foot of the Old Tower. Until 1970, it was here that the future "lighthouse masters" were trained. The museum tells you the history of the lighthouses and beacons of Charentais pertuis since the 17th century through a playful and exciting didactic path, exhibition panels, but also videos animated by the journalist Jamy Gourmaud of the show "C ' Is by Wizard "!
Continue your discovery around Saint-Clément-des-Baleines
Enjoy your visit to the lighthouse to explore Saint-Clément-des-Baleines and its surroundings. You will be able to discover the Saint-Clément church, the Moufette lock, the first fish lock on the Ile de Ré or the numerous blockhouses of the Atlantic Wall, impressive vestiges of the Second World War ... < / p>
But in fact, why is the whale lighthouse called?
There used to be a time when whales and other cetaceans flocked to this place. That is why the lighthouse was furnished with this very evocative name! For the small anecdote, Pliny the Elder, a famous Roman naturalist of the first century, spoke already in his writings of 300 whales stranded on a point of the Gulf of Aquitaine ...