An iodised walk between the marshes and the ocean at Moutiers-en-Retz

An iodised walk between the marshes and the ocean at Moutiers-en-Retz :
a breath of wild nature !

  •  - © Ypov Agency


Discover the striking landscapes of Moutiers-en-Retz, where the gentle salt marshes blend with the powerful Atlantic Ocean. This easy 5-kilometre walk promises a complete change of scenery and an immersion in the heart of nature. You'll really feel like you're somewhere else!
  • Tribes in search of nature
    Tribes in search of nature
  • A romantic getaway
    A romantic getaway
  • Epicureans


The picturesque village of Moutiers-en-Retz

The walk begins by crossing the pretty village square... It has a peaceful, authentic atmosphere. It is lined with small shops and cafés. It's a favourite meeting place for the locals... an ideal place to rest on the way back from our Monastery tour.
In the middle of the square stands the church of St Pierre, an imposing edifice with a listed altarpiece that's well worth a visit (don't forget to bring €1 to illuminate it and take some great photos).

In front of the church is an exceptional vernacular heritage, unique in the département: the lantern of the dead. What is a lantern of the dead? It's a rare historical monument in the form of a tower. This one dates back to the 11th century and is the last one in France still in use! Inside, a lamp shines every time there is a death in the commune and on the Day of the Dead (02 November).

This small square is home to a market that is fairly small in winter, but gets bigger in summer ! Colourful with fruit and vegetables, clothing collections, sweet and savoury treats, it brings together several local producers.

Come on, this time we're really starting our walk! Head for the station stop, then walk along the railway line for 1.5 km. On this stretch, the route is reserved for pedestrians and cyclists.
The walker quietly enters the marshland, with a few birds in the sky.

  •  - © Patrick Gérard
  •  - © Patrick Gérard
  •  - © Edwige de Lépinay
  •  - © Edwige de Lépinay

Stage 1 : a trail in the heart of the Lyarne marsh, full of treasures...

At the end of this path, a sign indicates the bird observatory 800m away. The tarmac gives way to a small path that leads into the heart of the marsh, offering you a real immersion in the tall grasses. In spring, summer or autumn, this is an experience worth repeating. The nature of the Lyarne marsh is revealed in a thousand colours. You don't really know where you are any more! Near you, a horse, a little further away sheep.
The birds sing and the wind plays in the tall grass. You'll never tire of the scenery, and you're sure to come back here for some quiet, rejuvenating time! It's a beautiful place to be alone in the world !

After a short walk, we arrive at a wooden hut : this is the observatory. Like the marsh, it has remained somewhat in a wild state and offers basic comfort... but the place is ideal for observing the birds and other animals of the marsh: herons, swans, avocets, ducks, butterflies, ladybirds and even a family of coypu passing by...

To set off in the right direction, you need to retrace your steps. We continue our encounters with the inhabitants of the marsh - some of them quite unusual! It's better than a circus here!
  •  - © Patrick Gérard

The inhabitants of the Lyarne marsh

A wetland of international importance, Lyarne is part of the Marais Breton Vendéen, the southernmost part of the area. A unique area for its breathtaking scenery, its natural flora and fauna and its history and heritage, Lyarne is an immense wet meadow, with a network of canals, salt marshes and reed beds that are rich in biological diversity.
To maintain and preserve the environment, sheep, Higland cows, ponies and horses live close together. Robust and majestic, endearing and adapted to the environment, these herds graze with total respect for the protected species (fauna and flora) of this exceptional site, classified Natura 2000 and labelled a RAMSAR zone.
  •  - © Ypov Agency
  •  - © Patrick Gérard

Stage 2 : salt production, Lyarne's white gold

Along the winding road through Lyarne, a magnificent salt marsh stretches out.
It's called La Tenue du Mareil.
The salt worker's name is Christophe, and he'll be happy to tell you all about the history of the former Baye de Bretagne (now Baie de Bourgneuf and its growing salt trade) if you happen to meet him or come along on a visit organised by the Patrimoine 2MB association. Today, the salt marshes are a typical part of the local landscape, to the south of Destination Pornic.

Fleur de sel, gros sel, nacre de sel... this noble product will hold no secrets for you, and neither will the ancestral know-how of our salt worker!

Not to be missed : Don't leave without buying a small packet of fleur de sel "made in Les Moutiers" and if you don't see anyone passing by, this salt is on sale in our 7 Tourist Offices.
  •  - © Edwige de Lépinay

Stage 3 : iodised scents from the Atlantic

We continue our way towards the ocean and begin to see the famous wooden huts called fisheries.
As we approach the coast, the wind picks up and brings us odours ... of salt ... with us.
Along the road is the oyster area of Lyarne: a paradise for oyster lovers. Some tourists try them directly from the producer. Others go home with seafood platters.
That whets our appetite !
Unfortunately, we don't have time to stop and eat these local specialities, but maybe next time?
Finally we reach the beach. I love this view!
The place is ideal for a picnic. The sound of the waves, the wind that brings a little cooling, the wild beaches where there really aren't many people apart from us and the seagulls.
And of course I've planned a local aperitif: We're toasting our walk with wine from the Les Moutiers vineyard (to be enjoyed in moderation)! Cheers!

To round off this beautiful evening, we experienced a sunset that was magnificent. After the picnic, we continued along the coast and returned to the village centre.
Next time we will take torches with us, as there are no street lights on the wild coast!
  •  - © Ypov Agency
  •  - © Ypov Agency
  •  - © Edwige de Lépinay
  •  - © Mélanie Chaigneau

Practical information before setting off on your Destination Pornic tour

Start and finish: village of Moutiers-en-Retz
Distance: 5 km
Duration: approx. 2 hours (depending on walking speed )
Accessibility: all public (except PRM)

Our advice :

  •     comfortable walking shoes 🥾
  •     a pair of binoculars
  •     a torch (if you're going at the end of the day)
  •     a picnic lunch and water
  •     sun cream and any clothing suitable for the weather

To know

For more ideas :

We also suggest...
+33 2 51 18 61 49 LES MOUTIERS EN RETZ
+33 2 51 74 93 97 LES MOUTIERS EN RETZ