Visit the Ria botanical park in Pornic
With over 100,000 visitors a day in summer, Pornic, once a major seaside town, is now a major tourist attraction on the Atlantic coast.
Pornic is the center of the Pays de Retz region, 11 km from the Eleovic campsite. It retains the charm of the early 20th century while looking to the future. The Ria Botanical Park, created in 2013, is clear proof of this. This is the place to be during your seaside vacation in Pornic.
From industry to exotic botany in Pornic
Cross the esplanade between the tourist office and the Café du Port, at the foot of the May 8th bridge over the Canal de la Haute-Perche. Here you are at the Ria, east of the Old Port. This industrial wasteland, a veritable wart in the heart of the city, has been transformed into a botanical park, open to the public since 2013. This area, which revisits the landing of exotic plant species from faraway lands, notably Asia, extends over 13 hectares and stretches for a kilometer.
It’s a splendid place to walk or cycle, without leaving the city center. And it’s free!
You can visit the site at your leisure, or refer to the three suggested sequences: along the quays, the botanical relay and the wooded wetland.
Along the quays
Take the alley beside the railway. You’re bound to stop and admire the plant species gathered here. From pontoon to pontoon, sea buckthorn stands alongside hemp palms, viburnums, phormiums and other callistemons, acacias, mangroves, banana trees and magnolias.
The botanical relay and its islands
A little further on, you feel transported into an Asian landscape. Camellias and exotic plants surround rice fields reminiscent of the Chinese countryside. This site contains a system for regulating the flow of water which, depending on the tides, flows into the Canal de la Haute-Perche via small waterfalls.
You can also enter the botanical park from the south-east. The wood has been preserved in its natural state and enhanced with new species. It surrounds two ponds that are a meeting point for local wildlife.
Enjoy the peace and quiet: the site has been transformed to protect you from the noise of traffic on the Route Bleue, the north-south axis that runs along the eastern edge of the city.
Châteaux, thalassotherapy and sea outings, but no concrete!
Pornic during your seaside vacation in the Loire Atlantique region? Because here, the coastline is not overrun by concrete.
At the end of Quai Leray, the château overlooks the mouth of the canal. A true medieval fortress, it underwent major transformations during the 19th century. And since it’s open to visitors, take the opportunity to climb the tower and enjoy the panoramic view.
Just opposite, on the other bank of the canal, is the Corniche du Gourmalon, with its early 20th-century villas that rival those of Sainte-Marie-sur-Mer in beauty.
Pornic also boasts a thalasso center, inspired by the former Palais du Trocadéro in Paris, overlooking Plage de la Source.
And while we’re on the subject of beaches in Pornic, make the most of them during your vacation: there are as many as there are coves, sheltered from the wind and the crowds.
PornicIn addition to the megalithic monuments lining the “sentier des douaniers” (customs path), the region also offers a wide range of hiking, cycling (via Vélocéan) and horse-riding activities, sailing schools and sea trips aboard the Corsaire to the island of Noirmoutier, a casino at the end of the botanical park, an 18-hole golf course and a host of activities for children.
Enjoy your vacation in Pornic, a seaside resort like no other!