Saint-Clément-des-Baleines is a village in southwestern France, located on the Île de Ré.
Why is Saint Clément nicknamed the whales?
The town is named “Whale” (baleines) because of large numbers of whales that washed up on the shores of the village:
Pliny the Elder speaks of 300 whales stranded on an edge of the Gulf of Aquitaine.
1522, Madame de la Tremoille request 7 or 800 pounds of whale Thibaud Maroy the receiver-general of the “Isle of Rhe.”
1582, December 31, Captain Bruneau de Rivedoux mentions a grounding of a mammal.
1584, Nicolas Herbin, notary of the lords of Ars and Loix speaks of a stranded whale.
1874: Foundation of the commune of “Saint-Clément-of-Whales”, by detachment of five hamlets of the town Ars-en-Ré (le Gillieux, le Chabot, la Tricherie, le Griveau, le Godinand).
Nowadays: The village of St Clément des Baleines is now composed of six hamlets stands. The salt marshes near the nature reserve join the forest and the village together
Cycling, watersports: swimming, surfing, kitesurfing…
Fishing the north coast of the island has large sandy beaches, La Conche beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. You can also visit The Wild Life Reserve and its Maison du Fier as well. Conjointly take the possibilities to find the salt marshes and play golf.
What to see?
Le Phare des Baleines (the Whale Lighthouse) is the most visited monument on the ile de Ré.
The Museum of the Sea, unchanged for 50 years … Where you can see the bones of stranded whales and great old models.
Hangar of the old lifeboat.
The fish locks.
The bunkers of the Atlantic Wall (WWII)