The bay of La Baule

The bay of La Baule is crescent of fine golden sand which stretches some 9km between the ports of Pornichet and Le Pouliguen.  Characterized by their villas, whose architecture is both unique and original, the famous seaside resorts which make up this bay (PornichetLa BauleLe Pouliguen) bear a befitting nickname of ‘drôles de dames’.
In November 2011 the bay made its much deserved entry into the prestigious club of ‘the most beautiful bays in the world’!

The transition from 'la bôle' to La Baule

Carte postale - Le Pouliguen

The development of ‘the seaside resort’ first saw the light of day in Le Croisic, the trend quickly spread to other adjacent towns thanks to the arrival of the railway line in Saint-Nazaire in 1857. The subsequent link from Saint-Nazaire-Le Croisic ran through an area known at the time as ‘La  Bôle’.  This area was all but deserted, lost in the middle of the sand dunes planted with maritime pines.

As early as 1880, spurred on by the influence wealthy entrepreneurs and shop-owners, an area which once was a vast wooded open space devoid of any buildings, became a successful seaside resort created from scratch.  The same period saw the resort’s name evolve to become what it is today ‘La Baule’.   


Pornichet, La Baule, Le Pouliguen, these ‘drôles de dames’ by the seaside…

Distinctive and elegant, each of the seaside resorts of the Atlantic coast Pornichet, La Baule and Le Pouliguen has its own particular brand of charm :

Pornichet, can be described as both a great venue for sport as well as a festive and ‘family-friendly’ resort :  take a stroll around the market, place des Halles on a Saturday morning, experience the laughter and mirth of attending a show at  ‘Les Rencart's de Pornichet’, a street art festival, or feel the adrenalin rush during the grand nautical and sporting events...

La Baule, is oh so chic, take in the atmosphere of the first sea-baths in the ‘clubs de plage’ which sometimes date back to yester year.  Feel the change of pace as the whole town comes to life with the famous ‘Jumping International’ or one of the many regattas.  Take a wander around some of the many luxury boutiques – another hallmark of this distinctive town…

Le Pouliguen opens out along the sumptuous côte sauvage’, where the bicycle is everyone’s 1st choice to get around.  Le Pouliguen’s marina provides a perfect meeting place and starting-point for many a beautiful walk.  Finally the charm of la Plage du Nau makes it second to none!..

The prestigious Club of ‘the most beautiful bays in the world’

Baie de La Baule - Le Pouliguen

November 2011 saw the bay of Le Pouliguen - La Baule - Pornichet become a member of The Club of the most beautiful bays in the world! 

This famous club currently has a membership of some thirty bays including not only the French bays of: Le Mont-Saint-Michel, La Somme, and Le Golfe du Morbihan but also the Bay of San Francisco and the Bay of Ha-Long.

Founded some 15 years ago this club is a veritable hub for the exchange of information and best practice.  The Club’s primary objective is to become ‘the international point of reference for a well thought through management policy of coastal areas’.  The conditions for admission to the Club are particularily strict.  Each bay must fulfil a minimum of two of the criteria recognized by Unesco in terms of their cultural and/or natural heritage.

The villas, true gems of seaside architecture

Villa dans une rue de La Baule

The 3 major coastal resorts of La Baule, Pornichet and Le Pouliguen boast a magnificent array of seaside villas each and every one a veritable treasure of period architecture. You are sure to fall under the charm of these villas dotted amongst the maritime pines…each competing for your attention as they display their many influences ranging from Moorish to Basque to English and their variety of styles including ‘Art Déco’ and ‘Belle Epoque’.

The given names of these grand town houses such as ‘Pax’, ‘Régina’…  remind us of their inextricable links to the families who once owned them. 

As ‘listed buildings’ they are afforded special conservation status and remain to this day witnesses to a period when the fashion of sea-bathing and the arrival of the railway to the area gave rise to the early beginnings of seaside tourism. 

A selection of famous villas:

- In Pornichet : ‘la villa Rosalba’, ‘l'Orientale’ built according to traditional Indian plans, ‘la villa graine au vent’...
- In La Baule : ‘Pax’, ‘Régina’...
- In Le Pouliguen : ‘la villa Mortureux’...
  • Jumping international de La Baule
  • Pornichet  - 100-pour-100- Nautik
  • Pornichet beach Tennis
  • Vendredi des petits loups
  • Plage de La Baule