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Travel Guide Ile de Ré Get to know Ile de Ré

Saint-Clément-des-Baleines

Saint-Clément-des-Baleines is located on the western tip of the island of Ré. It is a small village of 600 inhabitants spread over six tiny hamlets. Until the 20th century, several cetaceans ran aground on the village beaches, which gave the term of "Les Baleines" to the town of Saint-Clément. In the 1st century AD, the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder even talked about 300 whales stranded on this part of the island.

The landscape of Saint-Clément consists of large areas of sandy beaches, great dunes and rocky points. The maritime zone bordering the village is particularly rocky and is very difficult to navigate. Besides, the village is the only one deprived of port unlike its nine counterparts of Ré island.

Until September of this year, German fortifications of the Second World War were parts of the landscape and this is one of the reasons why the directors of the film The Longest Day came to shoot sequences at Saint-Clément. The worldwide success of this movie also helped to attract film enthusiasts to the beaches of the island of Ré.

While staying at Saint-Clément-des-Baleines, it is impossible not to notice the two majestic monuments, symbols of the city: the Tour Vauban and the Lighthouse. The first, built in 1682, is 27 meters high while the second peaks at 57 meters. The lighthouse of Baleines is one of the highest ones in France and is the most visited place of the island of Ré.

The beaches of the Conche des Baleines in Saint-Clément are among the most beautiful in Charente Maritime. Celebrities even praised its beauty as the singer Charles Aznavour who talked about Trousse Chemise, a beach located near the lighthouse.