with tips for cycling & hiking
This was our final stop and though historically in Brittany , Bourc'h-Baz it’s Breton name, is now in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France. The town is very much a traditional Breton town of whitewashed granite houses.
We stayed at the excellent Camping Les Paludiers, a Flower Campsite situated between Batz Sur Mer and Le Croisic. We could not fault this site, an excellent reception with good facilities, including an indoor pool and a stone’s throw from the wild Atlantic Coast.
There is a large supermarket on the main road, just before the station, towards Le Croisic, barely a mile from the site.
Turn left out of the site and onto the main road where there is a good bus service to Le Croisic in one direction and La Baule in the other direction.
A walk along the coast to Batz is extremely pleasant, though you will have to cut into the town with its centre around the church, and a fine fishmonger and baker but not before stopping at the excellent Café de la Plage for coffee and outstanding seaviews.
The town of Batz is situated on a former island that, until around the 9th century, was separate from the mainland at Guérande and the neighboring island of Le Croisic. The Guérande Peninsula with its rocky cliffs and sandy beaches along the Atlantic Ocean is undoubtedly an attraction . It is ideal for walking and equally for cycling.
A brilliant cycle route of only a few miles is to take the coastal route, following the Atlantic Coast around the peninsula to Le Croisic arriving in time for lunch at the many restaurants along the harbour area, of this very attractive picture postcard seaside resort. The town has a TGV station, linking to Paris and this resort is very fashionable with the French and understandably so. It is still an important fishing resort but tourism is now definitely the number one earner.
The coast to Le Croisic is also a must do walk, allowing you to get up close and personal with the Atlantic coast, which is not so easily possible by bike and you can always get a bus back but again not before doing lunch, which is always excellent value in France.
To the northeast and east there are extensive salt marshes with its associated salt industry which is still very much in existence and overlooking the marshes is the historic town of Guérande, a fortified town, completely surrounded by ramparts and it just oozes character. The fortified walls are impressive but the narrow streets with its speciality shops are a joy to wander and you will be spoilt for choice for lunch. Unsurprisingly there as many shops selling the prized Fleur de Sel and you can hardly resist making a purchase which is only going to cost a few euros.
You can walk along a very limited section of the ramparts.
The Collégiale St-Aubin is worth a visit but as is common in France, it will be closed over the lunchtime period, which is very much sacrosanct in this country.
The town is an easy cycle ride from Batz Sur Mer, you simply go into the main square and then drop down to the railway station, go underneath the track and cross the salt marshes on quiet roads. You then follow your nose for a steady climb up to the town.
It is probably about 5 – 6 miles each way and an easy ride with the obligatory lunch thrown in.
Or La Baule for short is another easy cycle ride, or alternatively take the bus and walk back. You must make sure you take the coastal route and though you have to divert away from the coast after leaving La Baule for about a mile, this route is more preferable than the direct main road. It is about 5 to 6 miles each way.
The attraction of the resort is undoubtedly the 7 mile long sandy beach. This is a very built up resort, quiet in September but in July & August the place is heaving, proving very popular with Parisians and virtually unknown outside of France.