Extending over a surface of 1,720 hectares, the Guérande salt marshes constitute a priceless regional heritage. More than a thousand years of history are preserved in this site, which has been maintained by generations of salt workers ("paludiers"). The marshes are one of the few areas along the coast which have been preserved from industrial activities. They produce a natural product in a traditional way: sea salt. They are also a preservation area for marsh flora and fauna.
The Guérande salt basin covers the towns of Batz sur Mer, Guérande and La Turballe (Le Pouliguen, Le Croisic and La Baule have filled theirs in). These territories are zones which are protected by numerous regulations, and, since 1996, have been classified 'a remarkable world heritage site'.
They are the northernmost salt marshes being cultivated in Europe, and although they benefit from a special micro climate, the harvesting season is very short. This necessitates a daily harvest directly on the clay beds. In regions with a more favourable climate, the harvest is less frequent, and carried out salt on salt (often every two days in Noirmoutier and the Island of Ré). However, this feature is also the reason for our salt's quality.
Most salt marshes located in the South (Mediterranean, Spain, Portugal) have undergone industrialization, enabling an annual harvest by machines, but this results in a hard product, which does not have the qualities of hand-produced salt.
Nearly 300 salt craftsmen, true sea-farmers - known as "paludiers" in the Batz Guérande basin, and "sauniers" further south - manage the salt works by perpetuating the ancestral traditions in this country of wind, sun and sea.