A seaside resort in Loire-Atlantique, Pornic owes its reputation to its proximity to Nantes, which has made it one of its favorite beaches. Located in the heart of the Pays de la Loire, the town is located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, about twenty kilometers from Saint-Nazaire.
The rise of Pornic came in the 19th century with the development of seaside tourism. The arrival of the train in 1875 favored this economic and tourist development. Since that time, many people appreciate the charms of this ancient Breton city, like Gustave Flaubert, Auguste Renoir, or Julien Gracq. In the early 1970s, the seaside resort merged with the neighboring municipalities of Sainte-Marie-sur-Mer and Le Clion-sur-Mer, expanding its territory and its tourist offer.
Today, the town is as much appreciated for its idyllic geographical location as for its important architectural heritage which seduces many visitors every year. Lovers of great gastronomy will also find their happiness with the products of the Fraiseraie (ice cream, jams, pasta...), or the famous Curé Nantais, a cheese produced directly on the town.
Castle built in the 12th century on the territory of Clion-sur-Mer, the castle Brefs has been rebuilt over time, before taking its current appearance. It became a Louis XIII style pleasure castle and was enlarged in the 18th century, before being restored in the Clissonnais style at the beginning of the 19th century. Owned by the Gallimard family in the following century, the site welcomed writers of international renown such as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, or Albert Camus. Today, the castle hosts a center of art and culture, with the organization of plays or exhibitions throughout the year.
Also of great interest, the Pornic castle dates from the 13th century and was heavily modified in the 19th century. In the oldest part, it is still possible to admire a tower surmounted by machicolation. Former property of the famous Gilles de Rais, the castle now belongs to the town.
Classified as an historic monument, the Mousseaux tumulus is the largest megalithic complex in the town of Pornic. On the site, we can discover a cairn with three levels consisting of micaschists covering two tombs.
Several religious buildings are to be discovered on the territory of Pornic, like the Clion church built in the thirteenth century. Remodeled in the nineteenth century, it unveils a mechanical carillon of the same era. One can still admire the remains of St. Mary's Abbey of Pornic, as well as the church of the same name built in the late nineteenth century. The latter presents a beautiful neo-Gothic style. The Saint-Gilles church dates from the same period, while the chapel Notre-Dame de Gourmalon was built in the early twentieth century.
The natural heritage of Pornic attracts every year a large number of tourists. The customs trail allows you to travel the coast for nearly fourteen kilometers, offering breathtaking views of the ocean and the surrounding countryside. Several beaches take place on the town, like those of Birochère, Fontaine aux Bretons, Joselière, Grandes Vallées, Boutinardière, Portmain, Montbeau, Noëveillard, Sablons, La Source, Le Porteau or the pond. Pleasant, they allow to enjoy the sun, as well as practice many water activities. The old port also deserves your attention with its particular charm and its authentic architecture.
An English cemetery welcomes the graves of the victims of the torpedoing of the RMS Lancastria, June 17, 1940.
A casino, that of the Mole, allows you to enjoy slot machines and various shows organized throughout the year, while the golf offers a breathtaking view of the immensity of the Atlantic Ocean.
Activities abound at Pornic, including an adventure trail in the trees, fishing or guided tours of the Tourist Office.
Several markets take place all year round at Pornic. The classic market takes place on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, while an organic market takes place on Saturday in the late afternoon. At the end of the year, the town also offers a Christmas market with several seasonal events.
At the end of March, the festival of the song of coffee makes it possible to attend several concerts in the bars of the commune.
Carnival takes place every year at the end of April, including a parade of floats and various other frenzied animations.
At the weekend of the Ascension, the festival La Surferante animates the streets of Pornic. For the occasion, free cultural events take place in nine seaside resorts of Loire-Atlantique and Vendée, such as La Tranche-sur-Mer, Les Sables-d'Olonne or Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez.
On Tuesdays and Fridays in July and August, the city offers its Estivales with various shows. At the beginning of July, a concert at the green theater opens the festivities.
At the end of August, the Celtic festival of Saint Gilles makes it possible to discover the traditions of this rich culture in Brittany.
The festival Pornic Classic offers its concerts at the end of October.