The enchanted islands

  • un parcours au coeur de l'histoire à Chaumes en retz
  • Les iles enchantées, entre mystère et poésie en forêt de Princé
  • Les iles enchantees
  • Voyage d'île en île au gré des passerelles enchantées
  • Rêveries dans les iles enchantées de la forêt de Princé
  • Balade envoûtante à Chéméré
un parcours au coeur de l'histoire à Chaumes en retzLes iles enchantées, entre mystère et poésie en forêt de PrincéLes iles enchanteesVoyage d'île en île au gré des passerelles enchantéesRêveries dans les iles enchantées de la forêt de PrincéBalade envoûtante à Chéméré


The Enchanted Islands is the name given to a former Renaissance-style garden, located to the south of today's Princé forest, where nature has now reclaimed its rights.
In the past, the site was private and part of the Princé estate, but today it is public and open to all...

Take an afternoon or a morning stroll to discover this place restored to nature...

Situated on the road from Chéméré to Vue, the site exudes a mysterious atmosphere and invites you to reverie...

you have to get lost in the countryside to find it and get there...

At the entrance to the site, leave your car and continue on foot, a short walk of just 2km round trip awaits you! Just follow the path...

The colours change with the seasons, with the leaves taking on a thousand hues in October and November, but the abundant vegetation inhabits the site for most of the year, providing a breath of fresh air in summer...

Here are 5 good reasons to discover the area:
- In this surprising wood at the beginning of spring, the vegetation wakes up. And so does the wildlife. This is the time to listen to the sounds around you; if the branches creak, it's normal; the birds are there to take what they need to build their nests.
- When summer comes, the shade brings cool days. At the end of the path, a small clearing appears, where you can discover the islands of the forest. It's the perfect place to take a break in the shade of a tree.
- In autumn, the trees are decked out in all their colours, and the ephemeral nature of this moment makes it all the more magical,
- As winter approaches, and even a little before, you won't find any pine or fir trees here, the king of trees is the oak... the little animals of the forest come here to gather their provisions in anticipation of the days of famine.
- You come here once, then you come back a second time, that's the magic of this place...

A little history to give you an idea of what this place was like in days gone by:
The de Gondi family gave the Château de Princé its presence and majesty. Albert de Gondi came from Italy and married Claude Catherine de Clermont, the Baroness of Retz, in 1565. They demolished the existing fortified castle to build a Renaissance-style manor house.
Then Henri, Albert's grandson, who really loved the Château de Princé, decided to stay there all year round. He thus abandoned the more austere château in Machecoul.
The Duke laid out a magnificent landscaped park around the château. Gardens, orchards and large stretches of water were all close to the château. Around 1620, he had the Enchanted Islands built. The Enchanted Islands consist of 5 artificial islands arranged in a cross. The largest, square island is in the centre, surrounded by the other four. Canals measuring 10 to 12 metres separate them. Passage was by boat, making for a romantic walk.

A little background information: Princé was once a place of festivities and lust: A building resembling a small castle was located on the central island. Pavilions featuring statues of Roman gods were built in the four corners of the island.
These four statues represented the activities on the enchanted islands: Mercury for games, Minerva for reading, Bacchus for wine and Venus for pleasure.

Practicalities & useful tips :
- A small car park provides access to the site. Be aware that it may be a little damp in winter.
- To reach the small islands, follow the small marked path.
- By staying on the path, small wooden bridges allow you to pass from one islet to another, but you should avoid entering the undergrowth to respect nature.
- Access is free of charge.
- Remember to leave nothing behind.
    • Forest, pine forest
    • Natural area
    • Shaded area



Les îles enchantées
GPS coordinates
Latitude : 47.13446
Longitude : -1.90857
  • Distance from the center (church ) :
    • 18 km. from the center of Pornic
    • 24 km. from the center of la Plaine sur Mer
    • 26 km. from the center of Préfailles
    • 24 km. from the center of Tharon-Plage
    • 13 km. from the center of La Bernerie
    • 14 km. from the center of Les Moutiers
    • 15 km du centre de Bourgneuf
Contact details
The enchanted islands