From Bouin to Beauvoir-sur-Mer, the six small ports dotting the coastline are home to some 200 oyster farmers and offer exceptional views between land and sea.

The Ports of the Baie de Bourgneuf and oyster farmers

Atypical and lively

These ports can only be used at high tide and are located at the mouths of the main coastal channels. Their main activity is oyster farming.

Linked by footpaths and cycle paths, these are not-to-be-missed sites. In these unusual places, the atmosphere remains friendly and the nature wild. At high tide, the ballet of boats loaded to the brim is well worth the diversions. The smell of iodine lingers along the wooden pontoons, and the mooring stakes planted here and there in the water look like Mikados.

Simon Bourcier

Anecdote

The harbours here have no quays and, when the sea recedes, the beached boats slumber, waiting for the ebb.

The 6 small beaching ports

Patrice Badau

1

Port du Bec

Located at the mouth of the Etier du Dain, straddling Bouin and Beauvoir-sur-Mer, the Port du Bec is the largest of Bouin's 4 oyster ports. This original harbour owes its nickname of "Chinese Harbour" to its pontoons supported by wooden pilings forming an interlacing of poles reminiscent of the harbours of the China Sea.

There's no shortage of activity, with bars, restaurants and shops all set up in the harbour! As the tides go by, discover the most magical scenery and the ballet of the oyster farmers at rising tide.

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Simon Bourcier

2

Port des Champs

Very active in the eighteenth century thanks to the salt trade, the Port des Champs is the oldest in France. Bourgneuf Bay. Today it is very representative of the region, with its oyster huts and fisheries. With no quays and mostly wooden pontoons, it is the archetypal beaching port. Don't miss: the impressive lock, over which a bridge passes, testifies to the importance of the tides borne by this small port.

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Julien Gazeau

3

Port de la Louippe

The wildest of our destination's ports, La Louippe proudly displays its fisheries on stilts. It's a haven of peace in the middle of nature.

The fisheries are small huts set up at the end of pontoons and decorated with a fishing net called a "plaice (a large net stretched at the end of a mast and lowered by a pulley). Between amazement and fascination, these wooden huts and their footbridges arouse the curiosity of walkers and delight fishermen.

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Stéphane Grossin

4

Port des Brochets

Located in Bouin, the Port des Brochets has gradually given way to a marina. Living to the rhythm of the tides, this oyster port is a defensive structure against the onslaught of the ocean. Typical of Bourgneuf BayIts lock and quays were built to protect local residents, fisheries and oyster farms from flooding.

When the lights come up in the evening, admire what the locals call their "Champs-Élysées".

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Stéphane Grossin

5

Port du Collet

Straddling Bouin and Les Moutiers-en-Retz, the small port of Le Collet, where a few pleasure boats are moored, has a footbridge built on the site of an old lock that allows passage from the Vendée to the Loire-Atlantique.

Once a major salt exporter, the port is now renowned for its oyster farming and attracts a large number of yachtsmen and anglers who come here to bait eels and mullets.

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Simon Bourcier

6

Black Bridge

Further south, in the middle of the marshes, at the mouth of the La Lasse channel and a few hundred metres from the Passage du Gois, you'll find the Pont de la Pointe aux Herbes, also known as the Pont Noir. This is not really a harbour, but a few boats drop anchor here.

Its black appearance is due to the layer of tar that covers the planks to make them more resistant to corrosion caused by seawater. This earned it the nickname "Black Bridge".

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The fisheries

The "pêcheries" are small huts set up at the end of pontoons and decorated with a fishing net called a "carrelet". From the Loire estuary to the banks of the Garonne, they are an integral part of the landscape. Between amazement and fascination, these wooden huts and their footbridges arouse the curiosity of walkers and delight fishermen.


Land of Stories

Atypical rides in a horse-drawn carriage or on foot

La Compagnie Terres d'Histoires offers you fabulous rides, in a horse-drawn carriage or on foot, around the natural and historical treasures of Bouin and the Passage du Gois.

Discover the ports of the Baie de Bourgneuf and their history in a whole new way.

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