5 REASONS TO WALK IN BRIÈRE
La Brière, located only a few minutes away from La Baule, is one of the must-sees of a stay in or around La Baule.
If you stay a few days on the coast, set aside at least half a day, or even the whole day to explore this immense marshland. Whether you're a couple or a family, here are 5 good reasons to go there!
1. For its unique landscapes!
Less than a quarter of an hour from La Baule, the Brière reveals breathtaking panoramas. The marshes stretch as far as the eye can see and the sky is reflected in the water of the canals lined with reeds.
Far from being monotonous, the landscape is made up of a myriad of canals, piardes, reed beds, flood meadows and mounds. The piardes, shallow bodies of water, are former peat extraction sites.
The landscape is constantly changing, and changes throughout the year. In winter, water covers a large part of the marshes. In spring, the water begins to recede and the plant world explodes in a symphony of green. In the summer, a gentle mix of colours and activities provide an enchanting setting.
2. For its exceptional fauna and flora
The Marais de la Brière has a phenomenal ecological wealth. It was classified as a Regional Natural Park in 1970.
It is the first reedbed in France, home to many birds, and a stopover for migratory birds... It is a sight to behold! The reed beds now cover almost half of the Brière marshes. A secret world where everything is stealthy, they are home to a great deal of biodiversity: amphibian vole, whiskered tit, or bittern...
The natural wet meadows stretch as far as the eye can see. It is the most important area in France for the preservation of wetland species. Regular hosts, weasels, ermines and European hares rub shoulders with wintering and migratory birds such as the black-tailed godwit, the fighter, the short-eared owl...
3. For a memorable barge ride
The barge is the best way to discover the vast expanse of canals and wet meadows of the Brière. It is a traditional flat-bottomed boat from the Brière region. A guide will tell you about the history and life of the marshes and show you the birds and plants of interest. At the bend of a canal, we are shown the marshmallow, the roots of which used to be used to make the famous confectionery.
You can also take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, or on a bicycle for the more athletic. But the most interesting part of the marshes is only accessible by boat.
Practical information: In Saint-André des Eaux, at Jean-Sébastien Crusson's, the guided barge tour (45 min to 1 hour) costs 10 euros per person. After the ride, children can take a free pony ride and then discover the animals on the farm. A guaranteed hit with the little ones!
4. For its typical thatched cottages
Thatched cottages are charming traditional dwellings covered with thatched reeds, and are the true symbols of La Brière. There are more than 3,000 of them in La Brière, scattered throughout the Park. To see a whole hamlet of them, head for Kerhinet.
Kerhinet, a traditional village in the Brière
Kerhinet is both an open-air museum, where you can discover the typical local architecture, and a place for walking. A traditional Brière village, it has eighteen thatched cottages. Entirely pedestrian, it is freely accessible all year round. Information and explanation panels allow you to discover the history of the village, the life and customs of its inhabitants and the secrets of its craftsmen.
5. For the serenity of the Briere
It was indeed her: ten thousand hectares of silence and nakedness, an immense blue lotus blooming in the middle of the circus of the atmosphere.
This is what the Briere inspired in Alphonse de Châteaubriant when he discovered it for the first time.
Far from the hustle and bustle of the coast, the Briere is a magical and peaceful place. You can take time to breathe, to walk along the many paths, to admire the dance of the reeds in the wind. On board a barge, you can sail along the water, lulled by the gentle lapping of the waves on the canals. The silence of this trip encourages contemplation, far from the worries of everyday life...
Good to know about La Brière
During the boat trip, you won't be bothered by mosquitoes: the wind blowing over the marshes will scare them away. However, make sure you bring a windbreaker in the off-season.
Picnic tables are located throughout the park. There are picnic tables at the Port de la Chaussée Neuve, in a peaceful wooded area, about 100 metres from the starting point of the boat trips. Don't forget to reserve your picnic basket the day before at the hotel reception.
The best time to see the birds is in spring, during the months of April, May and June. However, the park remains fascinating all year round!
The Briere in a few figures :
Saint André-des-Eaux, the starting point for many walks, is 12 minutes by car and 40 minutes by bike from our hotel in La Baule.
La Brière is the 2nd largest marshland in France, after the Camargue
The marshland covers 490 km², including 170 km² of wetlands, which is almost twice the size of Paris!
Since 1461, the Brière has been the undivided property of the Briérons, inhabitants of the 21 communes bordering the marsh.
There are more than 3,000 thatched cottages in the Brière, which represents 60% of French thatched cottages.