THE VIE SALT MARSHES
DISCOVER THE VIE SALT MARSHES
The Vie salt marshes are a natural geographic site on the outskirts of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez. They are just 5 minutes away from our Vendée campsite. This is a magnificent place to visit. Its historical and tourist heritage is the pride of the Pays de Saint-Gilles region.
A QUICK HISTORY OF THE VIE SALT MARSHES
The stretches of land covered by the salt marshes were shaped by man beginning in the Middle Ages, around the 7th century. The Vie salt marshes were created in the 1700s. By the mid-19th century, they extended over 1,000 hectares in the Vie Valley. However, after various periods of activity, they were gradually abandoned through 1970, in favour of fish ponds.
20 years later, in 1990, old salt marshes were renovated, making them identical to the salterns of the past. This successfully revived business around the “white gold” that is salt in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez. In fact, it is precisely that activity which draws in tourists to the Vie salt marshes today.
SALT MARSHES, A REAL TOURIST ATTRACTION
The discovery of ancestral traditions and the experience of the different stages involved in the formation of salt, handed down over time, are amongst the marshes’ points of interest for tourists. In addition, they provide an opportunity to learn about what salt workers do and gain an appreciation for the gestures acquired over the course of generations.
The Vie salt marshes are a form of natural scenery which is protected by French coastal law and is also a designated Natura 2000 site. Over and above learning about the secrets of this white gold and its exclusive techniques and tools, the flora and fauna are also of great interest to tourists.
Species like swans, avocets and magnificent cormorants can be observed in this natural environment. Tasting the marshes’ white gold is a real taste experience. Its unique flavours are a clear draw for all visitors.
ACTIVITIES AT THE SALT MARSHES
Do you want to understand the profession of salt worker?
Come for a walk through the salt marshes to admire the traditional techniques and labours of our region’s salt workers. After a guided tour, you will be given the chance to sample some glasswort. You can also take the time to observe the marshes’ wildlife and plantlife, including birds like herons, egrets, marsh harriers and wild ducks.