European Heritage Days in Destination Pornic

Le Sémaphore de la Pointe Saint-Gildas
During European Heritage Days, owners, associations, municipalities, etc. come together to welcome a passionate audience and share their history(s) and know-how.
Some offer visits all year round (find all the information on our site or by clicking on the links) but others only open their doors on this occasion.

This national event is celebrating its 40th edition around the following themes :
* Water and natural heritage,
* Arts and architecture,
* History and memories
* Know-how and traditions

Find all the 2023 information in our Tourist Offices and by clicking here.

Here is our Destination Pornic selection !


Theme 1 – Water and natural heritage

Bordered by the ocean, crossed by canals and rivers and meshed with ponds and bodies of water, the Pays de Retz is a seaside and rural area with an exceptional natural heritage.

1- Visit to the Pointe Saint-Gildas Regional Nature Reserve
Visit to the reserve : issues and management techniques for the different natural environments encountered.
Préfailles - Town Hall

2- In the footsteps of the algae gatherer
Discovery of edible algae at low tide on the rocks.
Préfailles - Echos Nature

3- Bike ride to discover the landscape of the Haute-Perche canal following the town landscaper (2 hours).
Pornic - Town Hall

4- Visit to the Tenue de Mareil saltworks
Discovery of the history and functioning of the marsh during a fun walk complete with educational panels and a guided tour.
Les Moutiers - P2MB

5- Guided tour of the Millac salt pans
Meet Mano, a salt worker in the heart of the Marais Breton Vendéen. The architecture and graphics of these salt pans are unmissable.
Villeneuve - Town Hall.

6- Guided tour of the Fresne educational farm, for young and old (1 hour). Here, meet a team working to preserve and conserve the marsh ecosystems. Villeneuve - Act together.

7- Recognition and tasting of wild edible plants from the Pays de Retz.
At the heart of nature, the richness of the plant world will offer you a space for rejuvenation and learning.
Rouans - Cosmos and turmeric
  • Châtau de Pornic
  • Château de Briord
  • La lanterne des Morts

Theme 2 – Arts and architecture

From prehistory to the development of seaside tourism, the settlement and expansion of populations in the Pays de Retz have left numerous architectural riches. Habitats, religious heritage, defensive sites or vacation spots will no longer hold any secrets for you.

1- Commented hike “discovering the Plaines calvaries” (5 km or 10 km). In the past, at crossroads, stone crosses were erected which are sometimes mistakenly called Calvaries.
La Plaine-sur-Mer - Town Hall

2- Visit to Pornic Castle
Costumed guided tours of the interior of the castle, entertainment and medieval market outside.
Pornic - Owner

3- Discovering the Pornic heritage
3 possibilities are available to you :
- Time for short thematic visits to discover the charms of Pornic. You will be able to give your opinion on the heritage of tomorrow by participating in the consultation around the Place du Môle.
- 1h30 walk around the seaside, architectural and landscape heritage of Pornic. - Discovery hike of 10 km proposed by Jade Rando Loisirs.

4- Visit of the Domaine de la Gressière and discovery of the Petits Fruits de la Baie workshop
Built in 1870 on the ruins of a fortress, this castle, now a hotel-restaurant, today hosts numerous events in the heart of a 4 hectare park. Right next door, Anne-Claire Corbe will present her fresh or processed products from organic farming.
La Bernerie-en-Retz - Managers & owners

5- The Organ in all its states
Presentation of the organ "an orchestra in itself"... Visit of the instrument and mini-concert to discover the possibilities of the instrument, in the presence of the organist.
La Bernerie-en-Retz - Association Friends of the Organ of La Bernerie

6- Walk to the priories of Moutiers in the Middle Ages
Historical walk on the sites of the old priories of the town, discovery of the Lantern of the Dead and the baroque altarpiece of the Saint-Pierre church.
Les Moutiers-en-Retz - Town Hall & Municipal Library

7- Visit to Saint-Pierre church
Visit to the Saint-Pierre church, its baroque altarpiece and visit to the Lantern of the Dead.
Les Moutiers-en-Retz - Town Hall & Municipal Library

8- Visit of the Land of Briord
Guided tour of the park, the vegetable garden and orchards and 2 lounges of the Château de Briord built in the 18th century. Fun notebook for 7-12 year olds.
Port-Saint-Père - Owner
Le Port du Collet

Theme 3 – History and memory

Artists of yesteryear, passionate actors of the territory, committed professionals... all are linked, for a weekend, around tangible and intangible heritage.

1- 100 years of coastline and its modifications
Conference, photo exhibitions and wandering.
Saint-Michel-Chef-Chef - APROMIT

2- Visit of the Pointe Saint-Gildas semaphore
History of the life of lighthouse keepers and semaphore lookouts, developments in maritime communication techniques (by reservation).
Prefailles - Semaphore of Pointe Saint-Gildas

3- Exhibition “The plainais ordeals seen by the artists”
Exhibition of works inspired by Calvaries in the Plain and created by local artists.
La Plaine-sur-Mer - Town Hall & Les Arts en Retz Collective

4- Olivier de Wismes exhibition
Discover Pornic in the 19th century, through the original drawings of Olivier de Wismes, a baron on holiday.
Pornic - Town Hall

5- A living and sporting automotive heritage
Exhibition of old vehicles in the parking lot of the château.
Pornic - Auto Retro Pornic

6- Village, market and medieval festival
The garden of Retz hosts a camp and a medieval market all weekend long with entertainment.
Pornic - The Hearts of Blades

7- Historical walk in Le Collet
Walk on the rich history of the Port du Collet (Gulf of Machecoul, Lancastria, trade of the Hanse, …) (by reservation).
Les Moutiers-en-Retz - Municipal library

8- “The devil’s weapon” is unveiled at the Musée du Pays de Retz !
Discover the equipped camp of the knight in the 15th century with tent, furniture, weapons, armour. Introduction to the handling of historical crossbows…
Villeneuve-en-retz - Friends of the Pays de Retz

9- Discovering the historical and natural heritage of Vue
Guided walk through the heart of the town's heritage : its marshes, its monuments, its traditions.
Vue - Vue sur les Marais

10- Airplane open doors
Visit to the Sainte-Pazanne catering shed and presentation of the work in progress.
Sainte-Pazanne - Airplanes
Moulin de l'Arzelier

Theme 4 – Know-how and traditions

The identity of the Pays de Retz is also part of its traditions and know-how of yesteryear. Between Brittany and Vendée, from the marshes to the ocean, the Heritage Days reveal a land of character.

1- Free guided tour of the municipal fishery
Guided tour and plaice fishing demonstration.
Préfailles - Town Hall

2- Visit to a river fishery
Discovery visit to a river fishery and educational panels.
Pornic - Town Hall

3- Discovery visit to the fisheries of the Jade Coast
Opening of 7 Pornic fisheries as part of the 10th edition of the Fisheries Route.
Pornic - Association for the conservation of fisheries of the Jade Coast & Imaginary Territories

4- Sea shanties, music and traditional dances
Sea shanties by the Jad'Hisse group, traditional music by the Retz Majeur group, dances in traditional costume by the Quadrille de Pornic.
Pornic Celtic Circle

5- Concert “Clarisse Lavanant”
Clarisse Lavanant: author, composer, performer. Composition of personal songs in Breton and French.
Les Moutiers-en-Retz - Wednesdays in Prigny

6- Visit to a fishery
Visit to a fishery (for those over 13 years old).
Les Moutiers-en-Retz - Monastery Association of Fishermen and Boaters (AMPP)

7- Marcel’s soap factory : soap-making artisans
Open the doors of our artisanal soap factory and come discover soap making using the ancestral method of cold saponification. From simple, natural and local ingredients, exceptional soaps are made entirely by hand. Fun notebook for 7-12 year olds.
Villeneuve-en-Retz - Marcel's soap factory.

8- Guided tour of the Arzelier mill
Guided tour in small groups of the interior of the mill, history and projects. Baking bread and fouées in the wood oven. Fun notebook for 7-12 year olds.
Villeneuve-en-Retz - Friends of the Arzelier mill

  • Les salines de Millac
  • Sur les traces du Baron de Wismes
  • Eglise des Moutiers
  • Le Musée du Pays de Retz
  • Les pêcheries du Pays de Retz
  • La savonnerie de Marcel
  • Les ruelles de Pornic

Practical advice and our good deals

  • Stay ideas : do you want to stay longer and enjoy our territory? The accommodations and restaurants will welcome you with pleasure.
  • Guided tours : for other exciting discoveries in the heart of Destination Pornic, follow our guides during “guided tours” or “Meetings with our enthusiasts”.
  •  For the youngest, discover Pornic, its history and its heritage while having fun with the pedestrian rally from 7 years old.
  • Walking or cycling tours : would you like to discover these sites and many others independently? No worries, we have more than 35 circuit sheets that you can discover and download here.

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