The Buzay Canal

  • Canal de Buzay
  • La Tour de Buzay
  • Vue sur le canal de Buzay depuis le pont rouge
  • Le Pont Rouge à Rouans
  • Canal de Buzay à Messan
Canal de BuzayLa Tour de BuzayVue sur le canal de Buzay depuis le pont rougeLe Pont Rouge à RouansCanal de Buzay à Messan


Located south of the Loire, between the Canal de la Martinière and the village of Messan in Rouans, the Buzay Canal was created in the 18th century to facilitate the transport of goods between the Pays de Retz and Nantes.

Today, it's an ideal spot for a bucolic stroll on foot or by bike. Surrounded by the Acheneau and Tenu rivers, numerous moats and marshes, it is home to an abundance of vegetation.
Who am I?
- Surrounded by the ancient meadows of the same name, the Buzay canal has not changed much since it was built.
- Although managing water resources is becoming more and more of a priority these days, in the past, monks, landowners and the inhabitants of the Pays de Retz were already aware of this issue, which gave rise to my construction.
- Around the canal, you can observe a network of sluices and locks, often automated, which allows controlled irrigation of the marshes in all seasons. - A source of life, the marshes around me are home to exceptional flora and fauna, and are classified as a Natura 2000 zone.
- at each season, the water level changes according to the needs of the farmers, so the seemingly calm movement is constant.
- Crossing the canal from one bank to the other via the small bridges that cross it, you can see the river Acheneau, which flows from the Loire to Lake Grandlieu.

Here are 5 good reasons to come and discover the Buzay canal:
- located right in the heart of the marshes, you can discover exceptional flora and fauna for most of the year; numerous birds (including many wading birds; herons, spoonbills, storks, etc.), many species of plants (rushes, yellow irises, thalias, meadowsweet, etc.).
- at the foot of the former site of Buzay Abbey, where you can still see the old tower and imagine what life was like in the days of the Cistercian monks, - Situated near the small village of Messan, where the peace and tranquillity of the waterside reigns, this is an ideal spot for fishing and relaxing in the shade along the river,
- The landscape is flat, making it the perfect place for an hour's stroll on foot or a longer cycle ride along the canal and up the small roads that wind towards the Loire,
- It's a great place to take a stroll in the cool summer air!

- From the small village of Messan to the locks on the Canal de la Martinière, through the Buzay marshes, it's just 8km round trip.
- There is a free car park in the village of Messan, as well as a restaurant and a camper van park.
- Before setting off on your walk, remember to bring your hiking boots, camera and binoculars
- the birds can sometimes fly very high! To find out more about this unspoilt area :
- find out more about the two hiking trails in Rouans: Le Grand Chemin HERE and La Vallée de la Blanche HERE.
- To find out more about the water cycle in the Pays de Retz marshes, visit the SAH (Syndicat d'Aménagement Hydraulique) website HERE.
    • River
    • Shaded area



Le canal de Buzay
GPS coordinates
Latitude : 47.19337
Longitude : -1.85413
  • Distance from the center (church ) :
    • 28 km. from the center of Pornic
    • 37 km. from the center of Préfailles
    • 32 km. from the center of Tharon-Plage
    • 24 km. from the center of La Bernerie
    • 25 km. from the center of Les Moutiers
    • 16 km. from the center of Chauvé
    • 15 km. from the center of Arthon
    • 27 km du centre de Bourgneuf
Contact details
The Buzay Canal