Les Moutiers-en-Retz, Loire-Atlantique tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Les Moutiers-en-Retz in Cote de Jade (Pays de la Loire region)

Visit Les Moutiers-en-Retz (Pays de la Loire, France)

The small village of Les Moutiers-en-Retz is situated near the coast in the Loire-Atlantique department of north-west France, about ten kilometres south-east of Pornic.

Visiting Les Moutiers-en-Retz

The village is best known because of its proximity to the beach of Pré-Vincent, which has received the Pavillon Bleu (clean beach) award and is a sandy beach popular with summertime visitors staying in the nearby campsites.

While Les Moutiers doesn't have any major attractions away from the beach there are some places of interest that are worth seeing when you visit:

  • There is a small fishing port called the Port du Collet betwen Moutiers-en-Retz and Bourgneuf-en-Retz, now best known as a centre for oyster culture and fishing.
    Originally the port was established as an important centre for the export of salt produced in the region

  • The Prigny Chapel, dating from the 11th century and built in the Roman style of architecture. Note that the large square tower was added to the chapel at a later date, as a watchtower for the local Templars.
    Inside the chapel there are three altars from the 17th and 18th centuries (which give the impression they should belong in a more grand church!) and, in the entrance, a very rare anchor believed to date from the 9th century and the vikings.

  • In front of the 16th century Church of Saint-Pierre in the centre of Moutiers you can see the 'Lantern des Mortes', a round stone tower built in the 13th century.
    As the name suggests, a lamp can be lit in the top of the monument as a guide to departed souls*.

Lanterns des mortes

These 'lanterns' are reasonably common in France , especially in the western part of the country, but very unusual elsewhere. They vary substantially in size, from small towers placed in cemeteries to monumental structures such as those in Sarlat (Dordogne) and Saint-Pierre-d'Oleron, and share the common features of (1) a system for lifting a light up inside the tower and (2) at least three or more openings in the top of the tower so the light can be seen.

Attractions nearby

Les Moutiers-en-Retz is at the southern end of the Jade Coast, which includes several popular seaside resorts of the Pays de la Loire region.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Loire-Atlantique guide and the Pays de la Loire guide.

See also:

Map of Les Moutiers-en-Retz and places nearby

Visit near Les Moutiers-en-Retz with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Loire-Atlantique

Address: Moutiers-en-Retz, Bourgneuf-en-Retz, Saint-Nazaire, Pays de la Loire, 44580, France || GPS: latitude 47.0628, longitude -2.001

Plan your visit to Les Moutiers-en-Retz, Loire-Atlantique

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Marais de Machecoul: site of natural beauty (16 km)
  • Planète sauvage (parc): zoo or wildlife park (19 km)
  • Pointe Sainte-Gildas: site of natural beauty (20 km)
  • Lac de Grand-Lieu: site of natural beauty (25 km)
  • Loire Estuaire: site of natural beauty (27 km)
  • Notre-Dame-de-Monts: ville fleurie 4* (28 km)
  • Saint-Jean-de-Monts: ville fleurie 4* (30 km)
  • Nantes: secteur sauvegarde (33 km)
  • Pornichet: ville fleurie 4* (35 km)
  • La Baule: ville fleurie 4* (39 km)
  • Jardin des plantes: remarkable garden (39 km)
  • Petite Amazonie de Nantes: site of natural beauty (40 km)

The French version of this page is at Les Moutiers-en-Retz (Francais)