Our local favourites in Villeneuve-en-Retz

Our local favourites in Villeneuve-en-Retz

  • villeneuve salt marsh local nugget - © Ypov Agency


What could be better than a trip to the Marais Breton Vendéen ?
Stretching from Villeneuve-en-Retz to Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, in the Vendée, this protected natural area has been classified as ‘Natura 2000’, and is the perfect place to discover some surprising flora and fauna 
Historically situated between Brittany and Poitou, some consider it Breton and others Vendéen... hence its name: "Marais Breton Vendéen".
Today, we invite you into the heart of nature, on foot or by bike, along the paths between étiers and bossis, to meet our local favourites 
  • Epicureans
  • Explorers of culture and know-how
    Explorers of culture and know-how


Our 6 favourite walks in Villeneuve

How about a bike ride  ? From 6 July to 30 August, the Villeneuve-en-Retz Tourist Office is offering you the chance to hire a bike for a ride, a day, a week or even longer! 

Which route will you choose?

Villeneuve-en-Retz offers a wide variety of landscapes, from marshes and hedged farmland to typical villages. There are some real local nuggets to discover along these routes:
  • The Aigrettes trail : starting from the Villeneuve-en-Retz Tourist Office, this trail is the perfect way to discover the skills of our salt workers and the hydraulic management of the marshes. (By bike: 1 hour; 10.6 km)
  • The Loyau trail : a pleasant ride through the gentle marshes of Fresnay-en-Retz, providing an ideal natural habitat for a wide range of animal and plant species (40 minutes by bike; 6.9 km).
  • The Bocage trail : a journey offering a panoramic view over the ancient expanse of the Baie de Bourgneuf, from the Saint-Cyr-en-Retz orientation table (1 hour by bike; 11 km)
  • The Hauts de St-Cyr trail : this route through hedged farmland and vineyards on the heights of Saint-Cyr-en-Retz is not to be missed! (30-minute cycle ride; 6.1 km)
  • The Migrateurs trail : the best walk in the heart of the Marais Breton Vendéen, where you can watch migratory birds come and go with the tides (1 hour by bike; 10.3 km).
  • The Champs circuit : a walk through landscapes of hedged farmland, undergrowth and market gardening that will leave no one indifferent (50 minutes by bike; 8.6 km).
  • marsh cycling tour local nugget - © Le photographe du dimanche

The historic urban trail of Bourgneuf-en-Retz

Come and discover the history of Bourgneuf-en-Retz in complete freedom!
Accompanied by a small tour booklet, available from the Villeneuve-en-Retz Tourist Office or as a download, wander through the narrow streets of the town to discover the eight points of interest. Take a step back in time  as you discover anecdotes told by various characters who lived in the area around the village... A place, a building, a local anecdote will take you back to the prestigious past of these places...
This one-hour tour is open all year round and can be extended with a stop at the Musée du Pays de Retz.
  • town visit stroll nugget villeneuve - © Ypov Agency
  • circuit villeneuve local nugget marsh - © Damien Dufour
  • circuit villeneuve local nugget marsh swan - © Damien Dufour
  • villeneuve salt marsh local nugget - © Ypov Agency

A must-see destination: the Musée du Pays de Retz

To the north of the Marais Breton Vendéen, the Musée du Pays de Retz is dedicated to local traditions, the arts, history and heritage of the Pays de Retz, from prehistory to the early 20th century.
In Villeneuve-en-Retz, and more particularly in the Bourgneuf-en-Retz area, the emblematic salt-making town of the former ‘Baye de Bretagne’, this place of remembrance, which bears the "Musée de France" label, is a must-see in our region!

 Did you know ? The museum is housed in a former outbuilding of the Cordeliers convent. Run by Franciscan monks, it was built in the early 14th century. The building that remains today dates from the 18th century. 
In 1790, the convent was sold as national property to a private individual before being acquired by the commune of Bourgneuf.
In 1851, the building became a nursery school for boys. It was Jean Mounès, a French, history and geography teacher, who took the initiative in turning the building into a museum in 1966. Alongside his teaching activities, he was also involved in research into archaeology, folklore and the regional geography of the Baie de Bourgneuf and the Marais Breton Vendéen.
  • museum pays de retz villeneuve local nugget - © Mélanie Chaigneau

Unmissable visits from our Villeretz producers

True lovers of the region and passionate about their craft and know-how, our local producers produce treasures of which we are proud ! 

Salt : a local nugget to tantalise the taste buds

Located in the Marais Breton Vendéen at Villeneuve-en-Retz, the sublime Salines de Millac site has more than one treasure to reveal. Emmanuel and Nathalie have brought a historic salt marsh back into use 🧂 and turned it into a must-see attraction in the Pays de Retz, to be discovered on a guided tour.

A ballet of fragrances and colours 

La Savonnerie de Marcel is a passion born of a soap-making grandfather. Today, Maryline and Manuel make exceptional soaps 🧼 using the age-old method of cold saponification. Come and discover traditional, handmade soap-making through the workshop's glass roofs, Monday to Friday at 11am or on a guided tour (in french).

Wine titillates all our senses!

Overlooking the Marais Breton Vendéen and the ocean, Moulin de la Touche has been a family-run wine estate  for 3 generations, inviting you to taste wines typical  of our region. Thanks to his know-how and love of the land, Vincent Hérissé produces AOP Muscadet and IGP Val de Loire wines: 9 grapes varieties to discover on guided tours, available all year round by prior arrangement!
  • salt marsh villeneuve salt soap local nugget - © Mélanie Chaigneau

Our tasty nuggets for a local aperitif

To accompany your bottle of Muscadet-sur-Lie that you've just bought at Domaine du Moulin de la Touche, here are a few products not to forget for a guaranteed perfect aperitif !

The Marais Champs farm

Situated in Villeneuve-en-Retz between the marsh and the bocage, the Ferme du Marais Champs has been raising organically-farmed dairy cows and pigs for over 20 years. For a delicious aperitif, the Ferme du Marais Champs offers great organic products such as Breton marsh tomme , fresh cheese with chives* and dry sausage.

Market at the Clos Mouillés Farm

The market at the Ferme des Clos Mouillés in Villeneuve-en-Retz brings together a number of local producers every Friday from 4.30pm to 7.30pm. For an incomparable aperitif, you can pick up local bread, seasonal fruit and vegetables  and dairy and farm produce.

Traditional markets in Villeneuve-en-Retz

If you still have some shopping to do, Villeneuve-en-Retz hosts two weekend markets. The first is held in the Halles de Bourneuf on Saturdays from 8.30am to 12.30pm, and the second on Sundays in the Place du Marais, from 9am to 1pm. You'll find a plethora of local seasonal produce, including shellfish and oysters from the Baie de Bourgneuf. Psst, Muscadet is a wine that goes perfectly with oysters 🦪 ! Drink in moderation 
  • marais villeneuve local nugget wine estate - © Le photographe du dimanche

To know

Where can you stay to extend your stay in Villeretz ?

We also suggest...
+33 7 70 06 30 34 VILLENEUVE EN RETZ
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