Pornic travel guide

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Visit Pornic (Pays de la Loire, France)

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Pornic is a coastal harbour town situated in the centre of the Jade Coast, as the Atlantic coast south-west of Nantes is known.

Exploring Pornic

It is the port that forms the heart of Pornic, and this old centre is the most interesting part of a visit as you amble along admiring the boats in the harbour, watching the fishermen, and perhaps spending some time on the beach in the town centre: the small beach can become rather crowded but plenty of other beaches are available along the rocky coast nearby.

There is also a large modern casino and several 'belle epoque' villas to see, and Pornic is a very pleasant town to explore. There are few 'outstanding' monuments but a couple of churches in Pornic (Church of Sainte-Marie and the Church of Saint Gilles) and the 'English cemetery' should feature on your itinerary.

boats in the traditional fishing harbour at Pornic

Pornic has also made a great effort with its parks and gardens which provide several opportunities to escape from the crowds around the port. Among our favourites, the gardens at Jardin de Gourmalon provide a shady respite from the crowds and have pretty views across the harbour and the Jardin Renoir has nice views across the beach and port.

Gardeners will also certainly want to take a stroll around the Botanic Park de la Ria, an extensive landscaped area along the Ria river with pretty views along the water.

The Chateau de Pornic stands at one end of the port. The castle dates from the 13th century but was significantly altered in the 19th century. The chateau is also known as Bluebeard's castle because it was owned by Gilles de Rais, the famous bluebeard, in the 15th century. The castle is not open to the public but forms an impressive sight, especially when illuminated at night.

You can enter the courtyard of the castle if you take one of the guided tours of the town organised by Pornic tourist office, or the castle itself if you can visit on one of the 'journées du Patrimoine' organised each September in France.


Pornic pottery

Another popular attraction here in Pornic is the pottery centre called the 'Faiencerie de Pornic'. It is interesting to see how this popular pottery is made, and of course you have the chance to buy examples of this very traditional Brittany pottery at prices we thought very reasonable. It is even possible to create your own work of 'pottery art' - to reserve a place or for other details see

There is also an adventure park here called 'Pornic Adventure' which your children will enjoy if you like clambering around in tree tops (these centres are known as accrobranche parks in France and are found in many places across the country).

Attractions nearby

You can explore the coastline by following the old customs path from Pornic.

A particularly enjoyable way to spend an afternoon is to take a trip on one of the sailboats from Pornic harbour, which vary from short trips along the Jade Coast lasting a couple of hours to longer trips including, for example, a few hours at Noirmoutier, the Ile de Yeu, Morbihan...

No visit to this part of France would be complete without visiting some prehistoric megaliths and several are nearby, including the Dolmen de la Joseliere, the dolmen du Predaire and the Tumulus des Mousseaux. The Tumulus des Mousseaux, 5500 years old and in the town just north of the pleasure port, is the most interesting and imposing of these monuments

Explore elsewhere in the Cote de Jade. You can find more travel ideas in the Loire-Atlantique guide and the Pays de la Loire guide.

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Map of Pornic and places nearby


Visit near Pornic with France This Way reviews

Jade Coast

Jade Coast

Pornic, a traditional port town with an attrcative harbour, is well placed to explore the Jade Coast

Jade Coast guide
Les Moutiers-en-Retz

Les Moutiers-en-Retz

The small town of Les Moutiers-en-Retz is best known for the nearby beach which attracts many summertime campers

Les Moutiers-en-Retz guide


On Noirmoutier island you can find lots of sandy beaches and a traditional port town

Noirmoutier guide


The beach at Saint-Brevin-les-Pins is the main attraction and we also enjoyed exploring the dunes and forest

Saint-Brevin-les-Pins guide


The emphasis in Pornichet, immediately south of La Baule, is most certainly based around the long and sandy beach

Pornichet guide
La Baule

La Baule

La Baule-Escoblac is a very pleasant and popular resort with a long sandy beach - a toch of the French riviera in the north-west!

La Baule guide

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

Address: Pornic, Saint-Nazaire, Pays de la Loire, 44210, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 47.116667, longitude -2.1

Plan your visit to Pornic, Loire-Atlantique

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Pointe Sainte-Gildas: site of natural beauty (11 km)
  • Loire Estuaire: site of natural beauty (19 km)
  • Pornichet: ville fleurie 4* (25 km)
  • Marais de Machecoul: site of natural beauty (25 km)
  • Planète sauvage (parc): zoo or wildlife park (25 km)
  • La Baule: ville fleurie 4* (29 km)
  • Notre-Dame-de-Monts: ville fleurie 4* (32 km)
  • Lac de Grand-Lieu: site of natural beauty (32 km)
  • Briere: regional natural parc (34 km)
  • Guerande: recommended detour (34 km)
  • Saint-Jean-de-Monts: ville fleurie 4* (36 km)
  • Nantes: secteur sauvegarde (38 km)

Market days in Pornic, France

Regular market(s) are held in Pornic each Wednesday & Thursday & Sunday & Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Pornic (Francais)