Historical walk in Cheix-en-Retz

A historic walk in Cheix-en-Retz

  • tremblante stone circuit cheix hike - © Ypov Agency


A village in the Pornicais hinterland on the edge of the marshes on the banks of the Acheneau, Cheix-en-Retz sounds like a summer rendezvous for lovers of peace, walking and history 
  • Tribes in search of nature
    Tribes in search of nature
  • Active, sporty and thrill-seeking people
    Active, sporty and thrill-seeking people
  • Explorers of culture and know-how
    Explorers of culture and know-how


A typically Cheix hike

Situated on the route between Nantes and Paimboeuf, Cheix remains a secret spot all year round. History and legends will guide you along the footpath leading to the famous Pierre Tremblante 

The Pierre Tremblante trail

Although the history of Cheix-en-Retz dates back to prehistoric times, the Acheneau river route is thought to have enabled the town to expand its trade between the Loire and Lac de Grandlieu and to prosper in the Middle Ages.
A veritable green lung, it's along this river that the Pierre Tremblante trail takes you on a journey through nature and the myths of the region, all the way to the famous megalith.
Do you believe the legends ? An imprint of the right foot of the evangelist Saint Martin, a pagan inhabitant of Herbauges transformed into a rock, a trembling stone... Only the most hardened will be able to shake the Pierre Tremblante, also known as the Pierre Saint-Martin !
The banks of the Acheneau lead to paths lined with oak trees, opening the way like a hedge of honour. A moving landscape of forest and cultivated fields leads to a number of typical hamlets, recognisable by their brickwork and local stonework. Some of the old water mills lie here, bearing witness to the historical heritage of the Pays de Retz.
  • cheix tremblante stone hiking - © Mélanie Chaigneau
  • nature bocage cheix paturage vert - © Ypov Agency
  • hamlet cheix nature hiking - © Damien Dufour
  • church steeple cheix hike - © Damien Dufour

Traces of the past in Cheix-en-Retz

On the way to La Pierre Tremblante, there are other historical treasures to discover 

Cheix castle and presbytery

Keep your eyes peeled! We've kept a few monuments in store for you along the way. Among them, the château and the chapel of Bois-Corbeau, dating from the 14th and 12th centuries respectively, offer a fascinating plunge into the past. Once the hunting ground of the aldermen of Nantes, the château boasts remarkable architecture that we'd love to see up close... 
The former presbytery of Saint-Martin, which dates back to the Middle Ages and has been enlarged over the centuries, can be seen on the banks of the Acheneau from the chemin de la Rive.
Although not open to the public, we love imagining what life was like in their golden age.

Starting and finishing point for your walk : the church of Saint-Martin

It's hard to miss the church of Saint-Martin  on the Pierre Tremblante trail! Built in the 19th century and dedicated to Saint Martin de Vertou, this building bears witness to the rich religious tradition of Cheix-en-Retz. 

 Remarkable features not to be missed
  1. The pillars of the transept vault and the arches of the skylights, made of white stone and brick.
  2. The granite stoup, one of the few remains of the 12th-century church.
  3. The marble and copper baptismal font, dating from 1853. 
  4. The choir's stained glass window, dating from 1856.
  • church steeple cheix walk - © Ypov Agency

Where to rest in Cheix-en-Retz

There's nothing better than the banks of a river, in the shade of a white poplar, for a rejuvenating break after a long walk.

The peaceful banks of the Acheneau

Just a stone's throw from the Pierre Tremblante, the banks of the Acheneau are a delight to sit or lie on. Cheix-en-Retz is the perfect place to slow down, refocus on the essentials and contemplate and listen to nature, the real master of the place.

Perhaps you'll be lulled to sleep by the song of a grey wagtail or the croak of a green tree frog.

 Did you know ?
The Acheneau is one of the only rivers in France to flow in both directions: its gradient is so slight (40 cm from end to end) that its course can reverse when the tides are high enough to affect the level of the Loire.
  • river cheix acheneau hike - © Ypov Agency

Things to know before you set off

Just 30 minutes by car from the centre of Pornic, we invite you to the heart of the village of Cheix-en-Retz, the most easterly commune in the region. The start and finish of this 11.2km loop is opposite the church of Saint-Martin, an easy-to-find landmark.

Get ready for a 2 hour 45 minute walk, where you'll discover the mysteries of this charming, confidential town with its surprising history.

 Useful information : 
This walk is suitable for all levels, even beginners. It's an excellent opportunity to learn to walk and discover new horizons, without any difficulty.
  • walking cheix nature history monument - © Mélanie Chaigneau
Have you laced up your hiking boots ? History and lush green trails are waiting for you !

To know

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