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Travel Guide Ile de Ré Get to know Ile de Ré

Ars-en-Ré

The town of Ars-en-Ré houses the most important port of the island. The exceptional geographical situation of the city, in the heart of a bay of 800 hectares allows a greater capacity of reception of the fishing and pleasure boats which are hundreds to make there come and go on a daily basis.

The port of Ars has a capacity of 550 places whereas the other municipalities of the Ré island can accommodate an average of 250 boats in their respective port. Previously, the port of Ars stood at the same level as its counterparts retrieved, but the various works of development, undertaken between 1994 and 1995, made it possible to raise it far above the others.

The bay, which houses the town and its harbor, is known as Fier d'Ars. This wide expanse of water, bordered by marshes, is a natural emblematic heritage of the commune. This area with very muddy bottoms is found almost without water at low tide, giving the landscape two completely different faces depending on the tide.

Part of the Fiers d'Ars is home to the activities that make the Ré island famous, oyster farming and salt mining. However, several places have retained their wild aspect, especially the north which even enjoys the status of a nature reserve. It is a haven of peace for several species of migratory birds who appreciate the place because of the abundance of crustaceans they feed on.

Ars is one of the 153 members of the Plus Beaux Villages de France, an association that works to promote the tourism arguments of small rural communities, rich in quality heritage.

It must be admitted that the village can be proud of its heritage. Indeed, besides the port, the bay and the salt marshes, there are various monuments of interest. The most notable are the church of Saint-Étienne with its bell-tower painted black and white, the Maison du Sénéchal which is a former mansion of the 16th century, the redoubt of the Martray which is one of the strongholds of the island, or the Telemetry Tower of the battery "Karola", vestiges of the German fortifications during the Second World War.