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Discover the Marais Salants (the salt marshes), the smallest of the 3 marsh areas of the Vendée, which is an important area for the production of sea salt, but equally if not more important is a refuge for native flora and fauna. Lying just north of Les Sables d'Olonne and protected by the sand dunes from the Atlantic Ocean this fascinating area has seen the production of salt dating from Gallo Roman times. It covers an area of several hundred hectares which are criss-crossed by walking trails. Much of the marsh is privately owned and is a protected natural zone, and many of the former salt farms are now producers of fish in particular mullet and eels. A bird sanctuary has been created in the salt marsh on the Ile d'Olonne, Champclou which is now a breeding ground for many species of birds.

The best way to see and understand this fascinating region is to take the boat tour offered by “Les Salines”, the tour takes a little over two hours and leisurely wonders through the marshes of Olonne. It takes you to the Jardins des Salines to meet the salt producers, (you will discover) to the secret smugglers paths, to adventure trails and even a fitness circuit. You will also discover much of the wildlife, birds, plants and animals. The boat trips operate from 1st April to 30th Sept and cost
18 per adult and 6 per child

It is recommended that you make a reservation
by telephoning Tel. 02 51 21 01 19

You can visit the company website on
and although it is in French there are some great photographs and an easy to follow layout.

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