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Ponds and other stretches of water

These can be found in Bourgneuf, La Marne, Machecoul, Paulx, and St Etienne de Mer Morte.

  • The lake of Grand-Lieu
    Visible from Saint Mars de Coutais, it is the largest lake in the French plains during winter. Topologically, it is very flat and surrounded by barriers of vegetation.
    On this hiking trail you can go around the Lake of Grand-Lieu on foot or by bike. You will find various viewpoints where you can study this protected natural site. A tourist map is available. It enables hikers to visualize the itinerary and to find additional information on the natural environment and cultural heritage along this circuit.

    Channels - les étiers

    There is a system of channels flowing through the Breton marshes. They help supply the salt marshes with seawater, or are used for grazing cattle when brackish.

    The Breton Marshes

    There are two types of landscapes in the marshes (a Natura 2000 site) : salt water marshes the and freshwater marshes. These can be observed from Bourgneuf en Retz, Fresnay en Retz and Machecoul as far as the Vendée.


    This area in the hinterland is moister than the edge of the Breton marshes.

    Woods and Forests

  • La Choltière wood in Saint Etienne de Mer Morte.
  • The forest of Machecoul : a private forest with a path that pedestrians can use to cross it. Information is available at the Tourist Office. Start your walk from the leisure area in St Même le Tenu.


  • Le Falleron : Saint Etienne de Mer Morte, Paulx, Machecoul and Bourgneuf en Retz.
  • Le Tenu :
    Extraordinary ! Did you know that le Tenu, flowing through Saint Même le Tenu, Saint Mars de Coutais and la Marne, has the particularity of flowing in both directions ? The bed of le Tenu hardly changes levels and the river is a corridor for water flowing between the Loire and the marshes of the Bay of Bourgneuf. In winter, any overflow from the marshes is evacuated towards Loire and in the summer, the marshes are topped up with the water from the Loire by an upstream pumping system.


    Take the wine road starting from Bourgneuf en Retz and going deep into the hinterland. You will find the best addresses and their specialties in the section "Gastronomy and regional produce."

    Parks and Gardens

  • La Bambouseraie
    in Fresnay en Retz - Beaumont
    Contact : Marc ROBIN FARGER
    Tel : +33 (0)2 40 21 49 84
  • L’Herbier du Lac
    in St Même le Tenu - Le Bois Foucaud
    Contact : Liza PERRAUDEAU
    Tel : +33 (0)2 40 26 46 11

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